ERD – Emergency Response Diver – Mermaids Experience Level II
The ERD (Emergency Response Diver) experience proved such a success that Mermaid’s Career Development Center – the company assisting us with the training took the response diver training experience to a higher level. PSDivers, Fire Department Dive Teams, EMS Dive Teams, Police Divers, SAR divers, Public Safety Divers and flood and swift water rescue folks are the type of guys that benefit from this type of training – do you wish to join the team?
At night a stolen car suddenly swerves violently crashing head on with another vehicle, causing both to career off the bridge into the deep water below. As the vehicles sink into the unknown depths, a witness calls in the accident from their cell. The emergency services are on the scene within 20 minutes, including your ERDT (Emergency Response Diver Team). There is very little chance of a rescue but body recovery is essential. The vehicles will need to be recovered for examination. Who will lead the team? Emergency Response Divers are required – yes, you and your team!…
The emergency first response covered:
- Scene assessment, information gathering, set up and diagramming.
- Scene safety supervision.
- Interviewing witnesses.
- Equipment configurations.
- Full-Face Mask (FFM) diving practices.
- Use of Tethers, tenders and communications.
- Stress tests with extreme entanglement exercises. Air-depletion in extreme conditions including entanglement in zero visibility.
- Body and object recovery in extreme conditions and zero visibility.
The ERD’s level of skills and fitness are raised with the ERD 2 experience and to start the qualifying swim tests (watermanship assessment) just got longer and tougher!
- 500m swim no equipment – max time 14 minutes.
- 600m swim full scuba – max time 18 minutes. Use of arms for swimming is prohibited.
- 200m approach to a tired diver followed by a 200 meter tired diver tow wearing FULL SCUBA – max time 14 minutes.
- 15min tread water – last 2 minutes with hands and elbows out of the water.
- Blind bailout exercise from at least 2.5 meters of water using blacked out mask.
- Retrieve a 4.5 kg weight from at least 2.5 meters of water and bring to surface. Support the object for 1 minute above the surface and then return the object to the place of origin.
The Public Safety Divers (PSD) whom entered this experience were expected to display a very solid mastery of all content and diving practices in ERD Level I (One). The ERD 2 experience reinforces all skills and develops and ensures mastery of the skills in the additional following areas:
- Heavy object rigging and recovery.
- Night time recovery operations.
- Incident command and control.
- Diver assignment and accountability.
- Interviewing techniques and information gathering (including photographing the scene).
…The witness is taken aside by a reporter for a local newspaper – he’s the only person who knows the exact location if the entry of the vehicles. Command of the scene and information gathering begins here. You need the witness…
ERD 1 (One) experience is utilized and the command of the scene begins. The ERD 2 experience covered the following objectives.
- Night Time Recovery Operations.
- Heavy Object Recovery including vehicle.
…The witness is in shock but made to feel at ease by you. Information on the speed of the vehicle and other factors leading to the trajectory are unveiled. Your PERT can now plan more accurately (do you trust the witnesses’ instincts?) on where to enter and even whether to attempt the recovery now…
Night Time Recovery Operations:
The ERD team must demonstrate the ability to successfully conduct a night dive recovery operation including the following areas:
- Assess probability of dive success. Plan and decide the best time to dive successfully maintaining safety.
- Controlling the dive site.
- Consideration for the special hazards of ERD diving at night.
- Psychological impact of Emergency Response Divers at night.
- Special considerations for marking divers at night and detecting missing ERD’s. Ensure tracking systems where possible.
Heavy Object Location, Rigging and Recovery:
The ERD team must competently demonstrate the ability to locate, rig and lift a submerged object that has a weight of no less than 100 Kilograms. Lift bags and separate cylinders must be used for the lift operation. The following areas of skill and consideration are to be displayed:
- Search assessment.
- Location of the object and marking if necessary.
- Computation of required lift for the object. All relevant calculations and conversions are to be examined and demonstrated. Considerations for air expansion during ascent, and all other areas of the lift.
- Rigging procedures including stability of the object, structural stability of the bottom composition and the object, the impact of water movement methods of rigging the object and all other considerations for object integrity.
- Diver safety including divers positioning, determining potential hazards and emergency dumping procedures.
The ERD 1 (One) experience prepares the ERD with elementary skills in extreme recovery diving, dealing with stress situations, incident scene considerations, equipment and strong team work. ERD 2 continues to build on these skills and expands to Night and Heavy Object recovery and then…
Submerged Vehicle / automobile Search, Survey and Recovery: (The submerged vehicle for training).
The pinnacle skill prior to the final 4 dive final scenario (4 dive scenario is the full team effort working with all skills learned) is the vehicle location and recovery. The ERD team is to combine skills and display a competent ability to:
- Survey and determine the stability of a submerged vehicle. If unstable demonstrate procedures to stabilize the automobile for rigging and lifting.
- Successfully lift the automobile safely with use of lift bags and all other appropriate tools for the job.
…The scene of the accident was controlled; police and fire services took control in closing off the incident area and continued care of the witness. The information from the witness was used to gain the approximate location of both vehicles. Your ERD Team successfully located the vehicles where a body was found in each of the drivers’ seats and recovered to the surface. The vehicles were appropriately secured and safely lifted for the relevant authorities. Sad that there were no survivors but this is not Rescue diving – you are an Emergency Response Diver – it is not for all. Can you handle it?
NEWS BREAK: The police gain a tip that there were two people in the criminals’ car at the time of the accident … your work is not done here. There are no other qualified or fit personnel to take on this work other than your ERD Team. You need to utilize your teams’ skills and resources to conduct a further search of the area for the missing criminal … if they did indeed expire in the accident – but then, that’s another story…
ERD Experience Team: