2016 was a year of re-building for Clark County Dive Rescue. As with any volunteer organization, personnel come and go with the tides of their other obligations. 2014 and 2015 experienced an ebb in CCDRT activities that was reversed this year.
Emergency Response diving is not a trivial undertaking. It requires a level of dedication and training unqiue among divers- to be willing to dive in all kinds of conditions; cold, black water, contaminated water, swift water. To undertake a level of financial committment to purchase your own equipment, train at your own expense to provide a level of professional competence that your team mates and community can reply upon in an emergency. To be willing to sacrifice your personal time each month to attend business meetings and training. To participate in fundraising and community outreach and education. To sign up to be called out for emergencies any time of day or night. These things require a large number of people to undertake a large effort in order to present a functional team to the emergency management function of our county.
2016 was the year we re-built that capacity, more or less from scratch. We trained and certified new divers to the Operations Level of ERDI, filed applications for new members to become Washington State Emergency Workers (with background checks), shepherded our entire team through initial and refresher FEMA ICS training, and worked on our intra-team communications and coordinations skills.
All of that work has paid off. As we enter 2017, CCDRT is back and operational, ready to be called out by CRESA for any regional water-related emergency needs via the Active 911 app.
Much thanks to our emergency management community partners in the Clark Sheriff's Office, CRESA, and the Washignton Emergency Management Department. Special thanks to our local private business partner Seven Seas Scuba for supporting our team with special rates on equipment and air.