Searchers train in advanced water rescue
September 27, 2013
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - An elite team of firefighters who are part of the Fort Wainwright water search and rescue team participated in an emergency response diving technician course culminating in an open water dive on post Sept. 12.
During the five-day training, life-threatening situations such as a search and rescue diver becoming entangled while performing a water search scenario, are enacted. Becoming entangled, the search and rescue diver relays his distress through tugging on a rope to another team member known as the 'tender,' monitoring from the shore. The tender activates a rescue action to send a third diver down the rope to the entangled diver. The rescue diver provides a rescue air tank, untangles the first diver and brings them back to shore safely.
Fort Wainwright Deputy Fire Chief Charles Gibbs said, "The training we learned in this class will change the way we perform recovery operations. Our capabilities have increased, which will provide a better service to our customers."
"We respond to all Army connected water situations as well as to aid the civilian community," Gibbs said of the team that was created in January 2008. "We have responded to requests from Fairbanks Fire Department, Alaska State Troopers and the Tanana Chiefs, for recovery operations."