• 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

Public Safety Ice Rescue & Diving

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Standingbear56, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Standingbear56

    Standingbear56 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Somewhere Underwater in Upstate New York
    903
    1
    18
    Hi Everyone,
    Well it's getting to be that time of year - Turkeys, Presents, last minute shopping, etc, along with ice rescue and diving conditions. I'm a member of a county wide dive team here in Sullivan County, NY and unfortunately while most of our fire departments have ice rescue teams, there are only a few (less than 5) ice certified divers. I was just wondering how other teams gear up for this time of year, the problems they face, gear selection and actual techniques used, etc. Thought this would be an interesting topic.
    Good Diving,
    Bear
     
  2. duckman

    duckman Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    16
    0
    0
    Hey Standingbear56,

    I'm part of a rather large canadian fire based dive team. We are extremely fortunate to have a department that recognizes the important implications that come with diving in an overhead environment such as ice. Every year we are given time to train our ice surface rescue skills when the ice is thin and the potential for events is high. We use heavy neoprene drysuits, full body harnesses, zodiac inflatable boats with a webbing system tied around every anchor point around the boat. Our surface rescuers are then cross-tied to the boat with muti-point webbing ( the lowest setting still allowing for the rescuers head to be above the water line should he fall in). We send the boat out (stern first) with 2 rescuers, this allows an easier victim lift into the boat. A line is also tied to the bow so it can be pulled in after victim retrieval, a mechanical advantage may also be tied-in should the situation warrant it. In conjuction with this system we also dress at least 2 divers on aga + comm lines and full body harnesses. The primary diver will use a spidering technique with ice awls to advance to the approximate location of the victim, should the situation turn into a dive he will be in place. The back-up diver has the identical set-up as the primary diver, except for a longer comm line so he can assist the primary diver should he become lost and off his line.

    Once the ice is thicker, we concentrate our training to ice diving. We practice both rapid rescue mode evolutions and slower more methodical recovery modes as well. A rescue mode scenario will invlove minimum manpower, no shelter and rapid dressing. The recovery mode will include heated tents, nice large holes, extra manpower and extra gear. Practicing both modes allows our members to experience real time situations and diffuse to tendancy to look for shortcuts. As with any department we stuggle with gear freeze-up eventhough we have strict equipment handeling procedures. We use arctic regs with enviro-cold water 1st stages, we promote only using 1 air-draw at a time ( breath-in, inflate bc or inflate suit) and keeping equipment away from moisture and the cold environment at the same time. We always have a campstove with hot water available as well as passive warming equipment.

    I will stop here as I am not sure if this is the type of information you are requesting, hopefully this will open some dialogue and we can expand on this important subject.

    Duckman
     
  3. Sealboy

    Sealboy Angel Fish

    34
    0
    0
    Nice input Duckman, Im seeing more and more what we lack here in Iceland and Ice rescue & dive training is one of those items.
     
  4. Standingbear56

    Standingbear56 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Somewhere Underwater in Upstate New York
    903
    1
    18
    Hi Duckman,
    Thank you for the awsome reply. It sounds like your teams are definately well trained and ready for the task. Any chance you would want to train with some of us teams to the south? I think it would be a great experience for all.
    Bear
     
  5. duckman

    duckman Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    16
    0
    0
    Hey Bear,

    Wouldn't it be a great world if we could set this kind of thing up; cross-train, pull information and experiences from various departments in our sector? Unfortunately, our department has never really seen the benefit of these kinds of conferences. They rely on individuals that have a passion and desire to do things right to go out and build programs on their own time. Don't get me wrong here, we are very lucky in that we get time to train, but administration has not made the leap to peer conferences and training sessions. Money is the scapegoat. For this reason a trip to the East U.S. is not in the cards, but perhaps if we continue to dialogue and others input into the forum, I may be able to make a case should funding arise.

    In my original reply I did not mention how we deal with rapid /no inflatable boat rescues. I will send something shortly but I must go right now, didn't have lots of time but I wanted to reply anyway.

    Stay warm, train hard

    Duckman
     
  6. Standingbear56

    Standingbear56 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Somewhere Underwater in Upstate New York
    903
    1
    18
    Hi Duckman,
    It's a definate go on the dialogue. We are in the development phase of our protocols, so when we have things firmed up, I can post them. At this point, it's basically 1 diver in, 1 diver kitted up 100% as 1st back up, and 1 diver kitted up 90% as 2nd backup.. We do not have full comm capability, so we are still relying on rope signals. However, we have gotten good at using an airboat for the ice rescues. While it may be a bit loud (OK, VERY LOUD) it travels across the ice faster than anything, and if the ice does break, the crews are still safe on a stable platform that floats. Most of us are using the OSSystems SARR drysuit with varying degrees of undergarments. Basically, each of us own and use their own personal gear. Besides the OS drysuit, I use a steel 95 main cylinder with an H valve, and a 45 steel pony. I have a Poseidon Xstream for a primary, Poseidon Jetstream as my secondary, and a Dive Rite on the Pony. For the cold water, I use plain ol analog gauges. For buoyancy, I use a wt. intgergrated BP/W. It's a simple set up, but it works well. Just add a twin set of cylinders and a 7 foot primary hose, and it's tech diving ready. Like I said, we are in the process of setting things up, so as things come along, I'll post the results. Till then, great diving to all, and to all a good night.
    Bear
     
  7. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    3,165
    681
    113
    Only one in the water? We have two in at all times (diver and swimmer), safety at 90% and tender at 50%.

    If we have more for a call, we add a member dedicated to comms and documentation (time in, out, psi, conditions, etc), then the rest haul equipment, get the water, laison, etc.
     
  8. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    We run like you do. The only real changes we do to go under the ice are a harness and how our line is attached. The 90% is ready to slip in while the 50% is ready and close. Each diver has a dedicated tender and THAT IS ALL THEY DO.

    Most other line dives are run about the same other than our mindset.

    Gary D.
     
  9. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

    1,633
    50
    48
    Pretty much SOP for ice diving.
     
  10. Greg D.

    Greg D. Solo Diver

    993
    0
    0
    speaking of Ice... got any worth diving yet Gary?
     

Share This Page