(DiverWire) Participants in a recent PADI Public Safety Diver Workshop in Mermet Springs, Illinois saw first hand how effective the program can be. Using the proven field techniques for real life rescue, recovery and evidence collection, participants helped discover and recover a reported stolen vehicle.
PADI Americas joined forces with Underwater Criminal Investigators, owned by Mike Berry— a PADI Master Instructor, Virginia State Police Sergeant and renowned expert in the field of public safety diving— to develop a series of workshops helping train public safety divers. Under Berry’s watchful and experienced eye, the seven-day Mermet Springs workshop consisted of two courses: the PADI Public Safety Diver Specialty course and the PADI Underwater Criminal Investigator Distinctive Specialty course. The entry-level PADI Public Safety Diver Specialty course establishes a solid public safety diving foundation by familiarizing divers with the skills, knowledge, organization, procedures and hazards of public safety diving. The course also includes two rescue scenarios. The PADI Underwater Criminal Investigator Distinctive Specialty course prepares attendees to become professional underwater investigators by teaching them techniques on establishing a crime scene, expanded search procedures, evidence recovery and preservation skills, light and heavy salvage procedures, case preparation and much more.
Attendee Tim Bradley, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Manager at Forest City Scuba in Rockford, Illinois, USA, says this about his Public Safety Diver Workshop experience, “This was one of my most challenging and rewarding experiences – not just of my dive career, but of my life. One of the reasons I wanted to get into public safety diving was to use my dive skills to help people in the community that I live in. I now feel prepared, not just to do that, but to excel at it.”
Public Safety Diver Workshop attendee, David Faulkenberg, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Public Safety Diver instructor, adds the following about his experience, “I enjoyed the training very much. I thought Mike Berry was very professional and knowledgeable, as well as great in his presentation and working with students. He created, in me at least, the desire to perform and meet his expectations. I am already planning the trip to Virginia for the Master’s Class.”
The workshop culminated with a team dive under a local bridge, where they discovered a submerged vehicle that was reported stolen in 2009. In the true spirit of public safety diving, the team applied their newfound skills to rig the vehicle, return it to the surface and notify local authorities.
The next PADI Public Safety Diver Workshop is scheduled for 18-26 August 2012 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA. Register online or contact Janna Christenson. For more information, contact Bill Hamm or Tom Warnack at PADI Americas.