With a Federal Port Security Grant, the Greenwich Police Dept. will host regional dive team training courses this week.
The courses provide a foundation for training as a regional unit between police, fire and other public safety dive teams in the Region 1 ESF-20 Bridgeport Area Marine Group.
Public safety divers from the Greenwich Police, Milford Police, Westport Police, Westport EMS, Stamford Fire Dept. and Connecticut State Police will participate in the advanced dive training.
Public safety dive training involves law enforcement, fire departments and search & recovery dive teams.
Public safety diving is very different than recreational diving in many respects.
Unlike recreational divers who plan their dives in advance and rarely “work” underwater, public safety dive teams must dive and work effectively in conditions frequently not suitable for recreational divers.
The training is being led by Ed Hayes of Scuba Shack, LLC , the only Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) training facility in the Northeast.
The GUE classes, along with their instructors have set standards and training methods higher than the norm in the scuba world.
Public safety dive teams typically encounter some of the harshest circumstances, including technical cave diving, and require advanced techniques in propulsion, buoyancy control, team protocols and equipment configurations.
With limited dive teams in the region and each team having different levels of training for their specific departments, standardized training is critical. Multi-agency responses during major events — manmade or natural — require the dive teams to work together in a coordinated effort to provide the best opportunity to mitigate waterborne incidents.