EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The Boonville Fire Department broke in its brand new dive rescue equipment. Team members completed a training exercise this morning in the Boonville High School pool. When it comes to water and ice rescue operations, Boonville Fire Chief Steven Byers knows that his staff needs to be prepared.
“It is not a real frequent event, that is why it is even more important to train for those incidents because it is not something that we do all the time,” said Byers.
Byers estimates that the Boonville Fire Department responds to around eight to ten dive rescue operations every year. After receiving new gear last month, they were finally able to suit up and jump in the water for the first time.
“Just to come out, get in the pool, get familiar with it and use it. So that way when we do have to use it on training or on a dive operation with zero visibility, our divers are comfortable with it," said Byers.
That increased level of comfort for the divers can make a big difference. Each operation can pose different challenges, and with the potential of a human life at stake, there is no time to waste.
“Ice operations or cold water operations, obviously you have to treat those differently than a dive operation in the summer. So it takes a lot of resources, a lot of specialized equipment and training to be prepared for that so we can get on scene quickly, deploy those resources and equipment and hopefully save a life,” said Byers.
The Boonville Fire Department typically conducts these training sessions once every month.