Nacogdoches rescue dive team suits up for training

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Members of the Nacogdoches Fire Department water rescue dive team suited up and spent the day underwater at Lake Nacogdoches sharpening their scuba skills.

Nacogdoches County has always had a dive team but in recent months those divers merged into the Nacogdoches Fire Department water rescue dive team.

The team is made up of 2 dozen highly trained, firefighters, police officers and volunteers.

Nacogdoches Fire Department training officer, Chuck French says, "They're going through some rescue diver training now."

French says the team hasn't had to do a real-life rescue mission in several years but it's important to stay sharp.

"Some of these guys are already certified rescue divers and what we're going through now is going through and freshening up on some skills," said French. "What they're doing now is they're practicing techniques with all their dive gear on. Some of them are working a grid as to go to one point and find their way back to where they started."

The divers spent the entire day in the water running through different scenarios with more than 70 pounds of gear.

"They'll go through search and rescue tactics, underwater scenarios, as to how to try to locate an individual who might have drowned or try to locate someone that maybe just fell out of the boat or on top of the water," said French. "I hope we don't ever have to but if we do have the training to come out here and try to locate somebody."

And 14 of the members are apart of the swift water rescue team.

"Swift water primarily deals with swift water from floods so-on, so-fourth, hurricanes, low-lying areas when we have to go in and rescue people locally or even if we get deployed on a state disaster event," said French.

French says the goal is to get everyone rescue diver certified and eventually have 3 or 4 master divers on the team.

There is a mixture of divers of the team ranging from new divers to advanced. The fire department will have another training day, next Tuesday, September 24th.

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