St. John Rescue is gearing up for an intense year of training to maximize their abilities in all aspects of emergency rescue and medical support services. At the completion of this month’s public safety dive team certification course, St. John Rescue will have the only public safety dive team in the entire territory.
“The Public Safety Dive Team is designed to assist in both search and recovery for law enforcement and local emergency services,” St. John Rescue Dive Captain Mike Spivey said. “This is a team that works together and trains together throughout the year and will serve on-call to assist law enforcement, the coast guard, fire department, police department, and even private agencies.”
St. John Rescue fills a unique capability gap in the territory. Currently, they are the only water rescue asset aligned with VITEMA and the fire department. St. John Rescue extends the emergency service capabilities of the St. John community to the surrounding waters and below.
Due to the frequency of use of waters in the territory for tourism and commercial activities, having a properly trained public safety dive team will allow St. John Rescue to continue to expand their marine and dive assets and further assist local and federal agencies.
Once certified, the crew’s next step will be to complete their Underwater Crime Scene Investigator Course. The components involved in public safety diving are vast and can range from preserving evidence to recovering bodies of the deceased. Divers will be further trained on the proper procedures for recovering evidence, preserving and photographing an underwater crime scene, and recognizing potential signs of foul play.
St. John Rescue is a nonprofit organization and relies heavily on the generosity of their donors. These donors have done an amazing job at providing specialized equipment for the dive team, including lift bags and full face masks with integrated communication. A substantial goal for the future is to upgrade their vessels.
The volunteers that make up the St. John Rescue Public Safety Dive Team have a great variety of ages and experience levels represented, including a retired military officer, an emergency room doctor, and multiple coast guard licensed boat captains. Because St. John Rescue will have the only public safety dive team in the entire territory, this experience will be vital for the success of the group. Their backgrounds will allow them to maximize their efforts in protecting and supporting the local community and the territory at large.
On Sunday, January 28th at 5pm at St. John Rescue, the public safety dive team will be celebrating the completion of their official certification with a graduation ceremony following their final exercises.
To see more about St. John Rescue’s role in the territory, view the video below: