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Another call, another bad one.

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Gary D., Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    1810 the pager goes off. “Spokane River Dam subj. jumped off cliff has not resurfaced”.

    Bad bad area only 2 miles from the house. I’m enroute but the shift Sgt. sends me and most of the team to Corbin Park about 5 miles away to catch the boat that enroute.

    I get there and partially suit up wet when they change plans and have me return to the dam.

    It’s a ***** to get to the water and a 300-yard swim to the cliff.

    5 of us in searching with the rest standing by. We get him in 35’ of very dark water and at 1853 he is in medical’s hands.

    My wife calls while we are securing and she is freaking out. CALL YOUR DAUGHTER AND KATHY AT THE WHITEHOUSE!!!!! It’s a local med/Greek restaurant. So after she tells me why I go by there.

    My daughter was waiting on tables in a very pack business. She stopped what she was doing and came running over to me. “Dad I saw you fly by and I knew something was wrong”. She then proceeds to tell me how it was one of the cooks that we had just recovered. Now I had to inform my daughter and all the employees that he was dead. He had also just cooked a meal for us a few days ago.

    I’ll post more as it comes in. But I hate days like today. I have recovered way to many people I have known.

    Here is the sat view of the area:http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?t=1&s=10&x=2516&y=26420&z=11&w=1
    From the short bridge to the island move along the upper shoreline to the right. Almost back to the dam.

    Gary D.
  2. teknitroxdiver

    teknitroxdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hudson Valley
    Man that really stinks. Before my dive today I didn't really have a grasp on what dark murky water is really like, I REALLY feel for you guys now
  3. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    Just took a shower to get ready to go back in but I need to share something very important to both you Firemen and LEO’s.

    Quit any bickering and turf wars you have and work together. Here is why.

    When we got on scene we need ropes run to get to the water which is 50-100 feet almost vertical.

    We were there so fast there was no time for ropes so the FIREMEN on their own sent one rigging crew to set up the ropes. But then the rest lined the side of the cliffs and handed us from one Firemen to the next hand over hand to the water. We didn’t ask, they just pitched in and did it.

    It would have taken another five to ten minutes to get the ropes done and they were done when we surfaced. When we were getting out there were three Firemen for each diver to get us back up the banks safely.

    I can not stress enough how working together is in the best interest of the public. It is almost a crime when departments fight over services and turf.

    Please folks put aside the differences and work together. You LEO's go kiss a Firemen. You Firemen, go kiss a LEO. or something close :wink:

    The public trusts and relys on us for their safety. When we fight they suffer.

    Gary D.
  4. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    This has kind of been the day from h-ll (put an e in space #2).

    Busy graveyard shift last night but at 4am I get dispatched to a small town in the NW corner of the county for a suicidal 21-yoa male who has cut his wrist.

    Just as I turn onto his street 911 says he has left the residence wearing all black and he is unarmed. Well two blocks away I see what looks like a person going down a trail into the wooded area.

    I advise 911 I will be out trying to catch him in the woods. I make it about 50 yards down the trail and get within 10 feet of him and HOLY POOP BATMAN. It’s a bear. Does a bear poop in the woods? I didn’t stick around long enough to see because I was wondering if I pooped in the woods. Trust me it was close.

    Well, to make a long story short I get him. We get him treated and into mental at the hospital.

    My shift is from 10pm to 8am but I finally get back to the office at 9:30am. Then after I finish the paperwork I get slammed with being the lottery winner. My number came up for the random drug testing. The brass said just do it when I can as they know I’m the last one in the department they would ever have to worry about. But NO, no special treatment here. Back to the hospital to whiz in the cup.

    Now being 3 hours late for dive training I go play. At 3pm we secure and I go home to a nice waterbed. Out like a light. No cooking tonight, It’s 2 for 1 pizza night so it’s delivery time.

    Then after stuffing my face and plopping back down it goes crazy again with the dive callout. Now it’s 9:30pm and I’m back off to work until 8am and dive training starts at 9am. Tomorrow’s training is going to start at a very long debriefing breakfast.

    Typical nutzoid day.

    Gary D.
  5. Snowbear

    Snowbear NOK ScubaBoard Supporter

    Hey Gary - Thanks for the tribute :D

    I know what you mean - when it's someone you know, it's a lot tougher. Then being the one to tell your loved ones the bad news makes it even tougher.

    From your posts, it sounds like your dept has a pretty good support system with defusings/debriefings. That's important.

    Thanks for sharing here as well.
  6. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
  7. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    Max water depth in the area was 42' Victim was at 35'.

    Cliff height was 64' where he jumped.

    Surface temp 67df. Temp at 18' and below was 51df.

    Vis ranged from zero to 10'.

    Found an SKS in fairly good shape.

    We covered the entire area and didn't find another body.

    We are done in that area for now.

    Gary D.
  8. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Thanks again for your service. Priscilla & I often include you in our prayers. Your service to our area does not go unnoticed. We applicate you!
  9. TheAvatar

    TheAvatar Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: 9300ft above sea

    Sorry to hear about the hell day.

    Ballistics say anything about that SKS? I assume you don't normally find semi-auto rifles in the lake that are there by accident...
  10. Kayla

    Kayla Great White

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Washington (State!)
    Its always worse when its someone you know. About three months ago it was a friend of mine, and I declined to dive it. I stayed as surface support, but there was no was that I was coming face to face with someone I had known my whole life. I definetley feel for ya there.

    Sounds like a crazy day! Hope you have quieter ones in the future! (Yeah right, eh?)


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