Firefighter Training

Firefighters and Coast Guard Team Up

Issue 110 and Volume 162.

By JUSTIN THOMPSON Interagency cooperation has hit new heights. Volunteer members of the North Bend (OR) Fire Department (NBFD) have teamed up with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station—North Bend to provide 24-hour dive team response to emergencies and other disasters. The team responds to calls along the entire Oregon coast from Washington State to California, as well as most of Oregon’s inland waterways including the infamous Rogue River. The joint response program originated in 1998 as the result of a casual conversation between USCG Lieutenant Brian Edmondson and NBFD Training Officer Rick Cooper. The program has grown into a first-rate emergency services resource for mariners, residents, and tourists. USCG rescue swimmer protocol prohibits its personnel from going beneath the water’s surface during operations. For safety reasons, USCG crew members must always maintain visual contact with the mission’s helicopter team. This means that other agencies must conduct rescue or recovery…

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