Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) Dive Rescue Team serves the City of Portland and surrounding areas by providing water rescue and recovery, primarily in the 60 miles of waterways in the response area. Occasionally, the Dive Team is called to help with Police investigations or provide mutual aid to our partners in public safety on other waterways, such as the Sandy River.
The Dive Team responds yearly to an average of 80 incidents, including cars over embankments, drowning victims and jumpers from the City of Portland’s numerous bridges. The Dive Team works closely with PF&R’s fireboats and the Technical Rescue Team at Station 1. The Dive Rescue Team is comprised of approximately 24 active Portland firefighter members as well as several Gresham Fire & Emergency Services firefighters.
Dive Team members continually improve their skills through annual drills and training to become better prepared and coordinated in the event of a water emergency. For example, for the past two days members have been taking part in swift water rescue drills at Dabney Park in Troutdale, Oregon.
Dressed in vulcanized rubber drysuits, full face dive masks, and other specialized dive gear, members practiced water rescue techniques to save people in fast moving water like creeks, rivers, and flash flood conditions.
Dive Team members understand that swift water rescue operations are inherently dangerous and with the complications of fast current, low-head dams, and/or hidden debris they can become deadly. Members are prepared for these hazards by taking part in drill scenarios such as these at Dabney Park to improve readiness to respond to swift water emergency situations.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens to stay safe while swimming in lakes, rivers, or other open-water areas. Begin by checking out "Lake and River" safety tips from the American Read Cross Oregon Chapter here.
Photos courtesy of Portland Fire & Rescue Photographer Greg Muhr.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
May 17, 2011