~STAND-BY WATER RESCUE
~SWIFTWATER / FLOOD RESCUE
~DIVE RESCUE / RECOVERY
~DEEP WATER RECOVERY
~WATER SAFETY EDUCATION & AWARENESS
~PUBLIC SAFETY DIVE TRAINING & CONSULTING
The U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team (USWRDT) is committed to water safety and awareness. The Public Safety Dive Team is available for rapid response to provide governmental agencies and families with water rescue and recovery services throughout the United States and internationally.
Our volunteer members are law enforcement, military, professional divers and EMT/paramedic personnel who are highly trained and proficient at meeting the challenges of underwater world. Based in Billings, Montana, the U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team has been providing dive rescue and recovery services, swiftwater / flood rescue, and water safety education since 1997. Dive capabilities include swiftwater, ice, blackwater, and depths up to 350 feet. USWRDT has served several private organizations and numerous local, state, and federal agencies.
The team also provides Public Safety Dive training and consulting, dive rescue/recovery, swiftwater rescue, on-site standby water rescue and evidence recovery services. USWRDT provides standby water rescue for water related events whether for work or play. Water safety and awareness education is another major thrust of the team’s mission. The U.S. Water Rescue Dive team does not receive governmental or tax-based funding but operates on membership funding and donations.
Much of the team’s work is not seen by the public, including the hundreds of hours of technical training required to obtain Public Safety Diver certifications and our underwater efforts. That does not mean the U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team is “out of sight, out of mind” as the services provided by the team are extremely important. The team touches entire communities as they bring home victims of drowning and assist law enforcement agencies in recovering evidence that helps bring justice to crime victims.
U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team is named such because we operate anywhere (when financially capable) in the UNITED STATES, we provide stand-by WATER RESCUE services for special events or work activities that take place on or around the water, we provide flood rescue services, DIVE RECOVERY services, UNDERWATER INVESTIGATIONS, and occasional Dive Rescue services (near our headquarters).
Depending on the task at hand, USWRDT members utilize many different types of underwater equipment. Some of these include: SCUBA gear, Surface Supplied Diving, Rebreathers, Mixed Gas Technical Diving, Underwater Sonar, Underwater Cameras, Underwater Drone. USWRDT also utilizes specially trained K9s.
USWRDT Mission Statement:
U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team exists to reduce the number of water related incidents and deaths by providing water safety education and awareness, swiftwater rescue, dive rescue and recovery services, and water rescue / dive recovery consulting.
Many times I get asked why we do what we do….(typically referring to underwater body recoveries) because it is dangerous, expensive, time consuming, emotionally and physically draining, and as you can imagine not very fun at all.
There is a host of reasons why US Water Rescue Dive Team does what we do:
1. God gives everyone talents. He gives us those talents in order that we may serve others. He expects us to use the talents he has given us. He has given members of USWRDT certain talents that enable us to do this type of work. (We are not the only ones; there are many people/teams with the same talents).
2. People need us! It is a tragic horrible event when someone looses a loved one. It is never an easy process dealing with the loss of a friend, family member, or loved one especially if it comes unexpectedly.
3. Any unexpected death is difficult at its best, but I have to say that a drowning victim that has not yet been recovered has to be one of the worst. In a typical situation where a person passes away, the family immediately starts funeral preparations. After the funeral, the closure/healing process can begin.
In a drowning however, typically funeral arrangements do not happen before the body is found. Which means the healing process is delayed: day – after day - after day. For some people, every new day is another day of reliving the day of tragedy. Can you imagine the pain? I have seen people that have relived this day for several days, weeks, and months. I’m sure there are people that have relived it for years. It is heartbreaking! Anyone’s heart would break just listening to the stories of people that have suffered waiting for someone to bring their loved one home so they can one day begin their closure. For some people they know that their loved one is gone, but yet in the back of their mind (because the body has not been found) they hope that their loved one will still come walking through the woods at anytime.
4. What we get in return for making a recovery. The greatest gift of all: being able to help someone else in need. And we are rewarded BIG TIME. Here are just a few examples of our greatest rewards:
I don’t have enough words to thank you guys. You have helped us so much. We can now take our son home & try to start healing. Thank you so much,
In Christ’s Love, Xxxxxxx
I just want to say thank you so much for finding my great friend, xxxxxx! It meant so much that there were so many people out there helping and they didn’t even know him. You are so brave at what you do and for that I am thankful that God put you on this earth just to find my friend and so many others. May God continue to bless you and your families because I know they have to trust in the Lord that you will return after every mission. You are truly amazing people and I know that without even meeting you. Thank you soooooo much. Xxxxxxx
Thank you for your diligent recovery. Words cannot express our gratitude for your service. Although our hearts ache, you have provided a peace that would never have known. We thank you!
Thank you so much for all your efforts to recover xxxxx. Even though he is gone, we were able to have some closure. Wish you could have known him…..awesome kid. Thanks again for the job you do.
Please do not attempt Public Safety Diving, Search and Rescue Diving, or Technical Diving without the proper training, equipment, and team support.
PUBLIC SAFETY DIVERS:
Under stress, you will not rise to the occasion; you will fall to the level of your training! Too many times scuba divers think that they if they train once in a great while that is all they need, if the need arises for them to take on a difficult, stressful, challenging, or hazardous underwater task they will be able to handle it if needed, this is dangerous thinking. Train as if your life depends on it, because it does!
For dive rescue equipment, technical dive equipment, and water rescue gear please visit our corporate web site at: uswaterrescue.com
A Dive Rescuers Prayer
When I'm called for duty God
to dive beneath the waves.
To search for an unfortunate soul
whose body they have claimed.
Let swiftness be my virtue
to find that soul in time.
Please let this be a rescue lord
and not the other "kind"
Be my eyes in the darkest lake
and guide me with your hand
that this person may be saved
when we return to land.
If this is not your will Lord
then please show me the way
to sort out this sad mystery
and to dive another day.
If things become the darkest Lord
and it's I that you call home
please guide my friends and family
that they'll never walk alone.
by Kris D. Andrews
Volunteer Dive Rescue Specialist,
American Dive Rescue Team, Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Mark 4:41 Even the wind and waves obey him.