• 10 members of the Fort Wainwright dive team participated in a five-day emergency diver certification course, concentrating on diver safety and advanced search techniques. This certification allows them to continue providing professional search and recovery diving services to the Army and surround civilian community.

    Not a sit-down class

    10 members of the Fort Wainwright dive team participated in a five-day emergency diver certification course, concentrating on diver safety and advanced search techniques. This certification allows them to continue providing professional search and...

  • Using the Melaven Pool for dive training, members of the Fort Wainwright dive team practice in clear water to perfect rescue procedures before going to an outdoor environment where visibility is limited.

    Clear water practice

    Using the Melaven Pool for dive training, members of the Fort Wainwright dive team practice in clear water to perfect rescue procedures before going to an outdoor environment where visibility is limited.

  • As training goes on, divers practice search and recovery on the pond floor. Tethered to an on shore 'tender,' a team member responsible for keeping track and communicating with the diver through tugs on the rope, divers simulate becoming tangled in an underwater obstacle. Two divers on standby are ready to come to their aid with an extra air tank and to help untangle the divers and bring them safely back to shore.

    Training at the pond

    As training goes on, divers practice search and recovery on the pond floor. Tethered to an on shore 'tender,' a team member responsible for keeping track and communicating with the diver through tugs on the rope, divers simulate becoming tangled in an...

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."

Page last updated Fri September 27th, 2013 at 00:00