Drills, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Training Options for Your Dive Team

Issue 9 and Volume 167.

By TOM HELMKAMP The Fort Wayne (IN) Fire Department is a mid-size department that has a very established and solid dive team with a modest budget. We run three separate 24-hour shifts with eight to 12 divers per shift and train every Sunday. We need to be well-versed in all of our skills-especially mask skills-because we typically dive in zero visibility water with all kinds of debris and, sometimes, overhead ice. During Indiana’s bitter winters, open water diving is not always easy (except during our annual ice dives on non-subzero days). For most of the winter, training outdoors is counterproductive; regulators and equipment freeze up, rigs are parked outside for hours, and harsh conditions tax the divers. Most ice incidents typically happen in early or late winter when the temperature fluctuates and the ice gets weak, so we try to practice under the ice in those conditions. The time between…

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