• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

PSD question.....

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by CDN ff, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. CDN ff

    CDN ff Nassau Grouper

    123
    0
    0
    Here's a question for those in the know on FD's with scuba teams: I work for the fourth largest FD in North America. We are located ON one of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario, and YET; we have no dive team.
    Quite a few years ago, the Fire Chief at the time decided to let the Police have complete control over all PSD matters. Thus, the police ended up with all the divers, and the FD have no team at all.
    Now, this is not to demean the police dive team whatsoever:they do a great job. But it does strike me that we should probably have our own as well.
    Now, my question: can anyone provide a reason why the FD should allow us to start our own scuba team? Is there something that we can do that might be more specific to our job than the police? Any ideas at all?????
    Cheers!!
    Stay safe....
     
  2. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Crime scene investigation for a starter. We go into a scene with the mindset that it's a homocide in the making and take a wider picture as to who's around doing what. FD teams have more of a medical tunnel vision. There is nothing wrong with either mind set because it is just what we are trained to do.

    There isn't much you can do for a victim underwater so it doesn't matter there. What matters is when they hit the surface. Then who cares who did the recovery as medical/FD will have them anyway. FD teams about end when the victim hits the surface while the LEO is still looking for someone with not so good of intentions that caused this scene.

    I don't have a problem with either departments handling it. LEO's do where I am because we have our cars 27-7 and can keep them ready to go. On a FD you switch around so you either have to share gear or keep rotating it. Either way it takes more gear.

    Just the other night we had an hour responce time running code to a car in a river 60 miles into national forest. A fire truck would take over 3 hours to get there. So your geographic area might have something to do with it.

    We can walk away from a traffic stop, booking a dirtbag into jail and a lot of other things we do and come back to finish it later. But if your on a fire you just can't pack up and go.

    $$$$$ is a big thing. Who has the cash to spend. A LEO team like ours is quite a bit cheaper than a FD team.

    Lots of things dictate who does what but that is up to the brass to decide, not us.

    Gary D.
     
  3. 6Gill

    6Gill Nassau Grouper

    185
    1
    0
    Gary I think you layed it out pretty good! (As you might have heard.) Here in the Seattle area we have has sort of a turf war between the SFD and SPD. The Police union even got into the mix. The Fire department has fire boats on Puget Sound and the SPD has a Marine unit with boats and divers. Of course, there are fresh water lakes in their jurisdictions as well.

    I think that the fire departments claim is that usually they can get to most water rescues faster. So, as I recall now, they can respond to water rescues and rescue people. The Diving/Body recovery and evidanece work is left to the SPD. (This may be under stated.)

    In the surrounding County The King County Sheriff Marine Unit/Dive Team has jurisdiction, except in Cities. Some of the Cities in King County have dive teams in their Fire Departments and other in their PD. Some others use the Sheriff's Department.

    In my opinion, based on my experience with both Bomb Disposal Units and SWAT units it is far better to have a large regional agency handle such units. I have seen to many very small departments, with Bomb, SWAT and Dive units that do not have the funds to support the basic or on going training, needed equipment and up keep of such equipment. If need be, local small can have people assigned to work in and with such units.

    I do really have to agree thought....there is nothing like a herd of Fireman/Medics tramping through your crime scene! :11:
     
  4. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    The bottom line is simple. If there is a life that might be saved do everything in your power to save it and screw any criminal investigation. (that came from the lips of a cop).

    We can always go back and reconstruct the incident. But when it comes to a recovery it needs to be treated as a homocide until someone proves it different.

    It was a shame to see Seattle get into that turf war. They had a model team with good solid training and a good SOP. Their policy stated no train, no dive until it was made up.

    Oh well, we live and learn.

    We have a good thing going here. We work so close with the FD's you would think we were one department. They bend over backwards to support us.

    We travel out of state every so often. The fire units will follow us even if we fly and they have to drive. Thats support. Just one big team with different uniforms.

    Gary D.
     
  5. Boater Dan

    Boater Dan Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western PA
    320
    2
    0
    We are a small volunteer team made up of a group of divers within the department and others as external divers. We are fortunate that we have a couple of PO's who dive with us also. On any type of evidence recovery or investigation, we depend on them to lead the plan for the recovery and documentation. We are planning to have a couple of personnel do a class on evidence recovery, handling, chain of possession, documentation, and recording.

    The one difference for us that I will note is for emergencies, it falls to the fire department to lead, for PD matters, we follow their lead.

    Even external of the diving, we tend to have a good relationship with PD and that helps all around. They only tend to get upset with us when our members do stupid things, such as respond priority to a non-priority call.
     
  6. Curt Bowen

    Curt Bowen Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    1,142
    89
    48

    I have also been down this trail. I work for Sarasota County Fire Department which is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

    Our department has also denied my attempts to form a Dive Rescue unit. After several years of trying to change their minds, I gave up. Now I dive to much on my time off to even care.
     
  7. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    758
    5
    0
    I'm a full-time FF and on the PSD team and I'd have to agree with the others. If there is already a team in place (police or fire) it would be financially irresponsible to have 2 teams. If theres extra money the one team I'm sure could use it.
    I'm guessing that you would have a surface rescue capacity of some sort. This can definately make a difference working with a PSD team
     
  8. Wildcard

    Wildcard Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Alaska
    5,256
    0
    0
    can anyone provide a reason why the FD should allow us to start our own scuba team? Is there something that we can do that might be more specific to our job than the police?

    Very few fires underwater.:) This is a time of tight budgets and cut backs. No reason to start a redundant team and squander more tax dollars.
     
  9. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    One rule of thought might be from a RESCUE angle. Other than kocking butt and taking names LEO's aren't as valuable on the surface as Firemen. FD training is much better than ours when it comes to saving lives. So we get them and you work your miracles on the medical side.

    Who cares as long as someone is qualified to go get them and someone is there to try and get them jump started.

    With both LEO and FD teams your bound to buck heads from time to time. It's better to just have one strong team with the other side in 100% support no matter who is doing what.

    Besides, we are always calling you guys to clean up our messes :wink:

    Gary D.
     
  10. Wildcard

    Wildcard Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Alaska
    5,256
    0
    0
    Two words, CROSS TRAINING.
     

Share This Page