For our Wednesday night (3/22/23) drill, we took to the Ramapo river for some practice night diving in current. Not only did our divers get more time in the water (which they are always happy about) but they worked on perfecting a new search technique that will allow the divers to methodically search a body of water, even with a decent current.
Like all the other specialties Co 1 firefighters maintain, pubic safety diving is a very technical skill requiring a significant amount of specialized equipment and skill. Often, these dives are in water that is utterly dark with thick silt and contaminants, and they are often in bodies of water that no one has ever been to the bottom of. So getting tangled in fishing line, trees, or other underwater obstacles is a normal part of the divers operation.
Despite the demands, the Co 1 dive team is one of the most highly trained, equipped, and experienced dive teams in the northern half of NJ and we are frequently requested out of our normal response area to perform technical dives that require extra special skills or equipment beyond those found on other teams. These dives can include recovering drowning victims, locating evidence for law enforcement, or even finding a lost cell phone (though that one was actually in Mahwah).
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