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Todays team activity

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Gary D., Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    Today was more eventful than we had planned on as these normally go very smoothly.

    I was assigned the deep water is a given for every event. I’m the lucky one that sinks like a rock even with a cold or stuffed up. I was also operating the 28’ Almar twin with one other team member, 2 EMTA’s, a Paramedic, a Certified Lifeguard and one part time Marine Deputy.

    At 0500 the Marine Deputy, other diver and I leave the Boathouse and head for the main boat ramp to pick everyone else up.

    Having the biggest boat I do some shuttling between the course and various docks we are using. The about 30 minutes prior to the start I go back and pick up the rest of our crew.

    While we are tied up here come what looked like some German Storm Troopers ready to take Paris and they had enough equipment to do it. This kid walks up to one of our other divers who was right alongside my boat and in a demanding stern voice says, “What boats are we assigned to?” Our response is “Who are you?” Our team member he has confronted was the wrong one to be getting into his face. This guy puffs up and says “We are the rescue divers for this event and I want to know who is in-charge!” He was directed to the Sgt. to have a discussion.

    While he is over with the Sgt. a second Storm Trooper comes up to our boat and TELLS us to remove our inferior equipment from the boats as they were the assigned divers. He proceeded to tell us that they were on the PADI Rescue Diver list for the area and the Sheriff’s Department divers weren’t on that list so we were not authorized Rescue Divers. I’ll get zapped here if I post what I said but involved several 4 letter words with directions on where to go. We load up and get underway leaving the Troopers on the docks.

    Our station is inside the course at the first turn in 92 feet of water. We get there and drop anchor. All our Jets are staying mobile but have assigned stations. We had one Fireboat inside and one Fireboat outside the course. They will do the majority of the medical transports BUT no boats will cross the course. With 1900 swimmers in the water at once that is the job of the 100 or so Kayaks we had out there.

    About 15 minutes after the race start we see one of the Storm Troopers outside the course on a civilian boat. He was suited up and keep in mind this is a, by their own definition, Rescue Divers. Dry suit, mask, fins, weight’s, Alum 80 with a “Y” valve and 2 regs, Alum 80 on his right side with a reg., Alum 80 on his left side with a yoke and hose, reel and at least two lift bags. What in the heck was this guy thinking he was going after? There were two of them on this boat but we didn’t see much of the other one who had a similar set up.

    The racers were only allowed two hours to complete the 2.4-mile swim and a few stragglers went right to the wire.

    We ended up with 6 rescues where the patient had to be transported to the hospital, which is very unusual. One guy coughed up a lung and is in critical condition the last we heard. A few were asthma attacks that could have lead to drowning had a Kayaker not been on the ball. We had a suspected heart attack but she should be fine. But best of all we didn’t have to dive after anyone.

    Three times we raised the anchor from 92 feet and the little Marine Deputy now has a great respect for them. Pulling a 28# Danforth (sp) with 20’ of chain up that far in a hurry can get your attention.

    Some of these people competing today didn’t have a clue what they were getting into. All some could see was the $50K for today’s winner and the $500K purse later in the year in Hawaii. Swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.6 miles is not easy. I LIKE WATCHING!!!!!!!!!

    Gary D.

    Ps. The 6 hours of ot was hard to handle as well.

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