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9-11 Gives Us All Pause to Thank Public Safety Divers and Others

On the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, John Flanders shares some thoughts on Public Safety Divers for their contributions.

For those of us too young to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, 9-11-2001 will be the day we remember as a day of infamy.  The horrific scenes of planes crashing into buildings and bodies leaping from flames will be forever etched in our memories. It was happening in real time.  Like a bad movie, the world came to a stop for all of us as we would see the worst terrorist attack on American soil being conducted with surgical precision from an enemy that was virtually invisible, at the time.  The dust eventually cleared.  The faceless enemy became very visible.

The damage was unveiled as the smoke over New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC lifted.  And as the tears were still falling from the eyes of America, we were blessed to see a generation of unsung heroes rise to the occassion.  Human beings helping human beings.  We were no longer New Yorkers or Americans. On the day after the most signficant violent act in modern history, we saw the best of human-kind rise to the call of help.  The day after 9-11, we were a single family cheering for the heroes working without tire to help those who were caught in the deadly attacks.

There were many heroes that day.  Far too many to list in this article.  But, as we remember the aftermath of this incredible disaster, there are heroic images that seem to rise above the rest.  Service men and women running to the aid of those who were in dire need. Firefighters, police officers, EMT’s are the short list of many heroes on 9-11.  When the throngs of panicked citizens were running out the doors of the terrorist attacked sites, the world witnessed heroes running in.  Many, far too many, didn’t come back out.

On 9-11, I take a moment to thank the service men and women who risk their lives every day.  Our military, our public safety officers, our medical personnel.  These are all amazing people who do extraordinary jobs.  These are the folks we call when we need help the most.  Today, we honor the patriots who gave their life in the service of others.  Thank you.

As Scuba divers we give an extra moment to think of the folks on Public Safety Dive Teams and Rescue Divers.  These are the intrepid men and women who get the call when a recovery needs to be made in our local lakes, rivers, canals and waterways.  Ice cold waters, black water visibility, swift currents and entanglement and entrapment dangers lurk in their workplace.  Public Safety Divers are the men and women who enter waters that no diver would want to ‘giant stride’ into.  Public Safety Dive teams are the core to any inwater rescue and recovery.

Here in Phoenix Arizona, we have several dive teams such as the brave folks on the Tempe Fire Department, Phoenix Police Dive Team and the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Dive team. We are lucky to have the well equipped, efficiently trained and ready to respond public safety divers at our disposal.

We salute all of our service men and women, public safety officers and dive teams and take great pride on the every day heroes who answer the call.

Special thanks to John Flanders of Academy of Scuba for writing this tribute.

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