Pentwater PD hosts dive training.

May 15, 2018

Pentwater PD hosts dive training.


PENTWATER — Divers from Midland, Newaygo, Ottawa, Wayne and Oceana counties joined forces in Pentwater last weekend to participate in “Dive Rescue One” training.

The three-day course combined classroom study with field exercises to provide students both instruction on the current best practices and an opportunity to demonstrate the skills they learned.

The training was conducted by Dive Rescue International and hosted by the Pentwater Police Department with the assistance of Oceana County Sheriff’s Office and Pentwater Township Fire Department.

Topics included dive team organization, search patterns, scene evaluation, victim retrieval, services to family and media, response to vehicle accidents, and underwater investigation.

The instructor for the course is veteran diver Ashley Payton, who has 15 years of experience as a dive team leader. Payton travels the country training divers and dive teams in the latest techniques for Dive Rescue International.

Payton instructs students on the use of an underwater body recovery system.

Students traveled to West Shore Community College Friday, May 11, to perform water skills tests in preparation for actual dive operations which took place Saturday and Sunday in Pentwater Lake.

The training concluded Sunday when students responded to an actual scenario which tested their understanding of the skills they had learned over the three days.

“It’s critical to stay sharp on the best techniques and equipment being used to perform these diving operations” said Pentwater Police Chief Laude Hartrum. “Pentwater and Oceana County have thousands of visitors each year that enjoy swimming, boating and fishing. It’s our job (law enforcement and fire) to help keep those people safe, but when things go wrong we’re tasked with the difficult job of bringing loved ones back to their families as safely and professionally as possible. This training helps us do our job.”

The class provides students with ample opportunity to ask the instructor questions, share information and network with fellow divers.

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