U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Resource: Public Safety Dive Team
Category: Law Enforcement/Security
Kind: Team
Minimum Capabilities (Component) Minimum Capabilities
(Metric)
Type I Type II Type III Type IV Other
  Air Compressor

Recommended ability to refill air bottles onsite

 

 

 

 
Equipment Scuba

1 for each diver, including: Full face mask, regulator,
1 additional air bottle, wetsuit, fins, and light

Same as Type I, plus at least 1 additional air bottle per diver

Same as Type I, plus at least 1 additional air bottle per diver

Same as Type I, plus at least 1 additional air bottle per diver

 
  Deep Water Scuba

Each diver will be equipped with backup air source and regulator

 

 

Each diver will be equipped with backup air source and regulator

 
  Surface Supply System

Capable of sustaining divers for deep water dives (more than 60′) or dives of extended lengths of time, including 2, 300′ umbilical hoses to support primary and backup divers, and 1 positively pressured full face mask with communications system for each diver; Underwater video monitoring/recording capabilities

 

 

Capable of sustaining divers for deep water dives (more than 60′) or dives of extended lengths of time, including 2, 300′ umbilical hoses to support primary and backup divers, 1 positively pressured full face mask with communications system for each diver; Underwater video monitoring/recording capabilities

 
  Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV)

Available only for a Type I Team

 

 

 

 
  Towable Motorized Vessel

Capable of transporting the entire team and its equipment

Capable of transporting the entire team and its equipment

Capable of transporting the entire team and its equipment

Capable of transporting the entire team and its equipment

 
  Electronic Communications Systems

Each diver equipped with underwater communications system

Recommended same as Type I

Recommended same as Type I

Same as Type I

 
  Portable Sonar

Aides in locating objects from surface, allowing diver to be directed by support team

 

 

 

 
  Drysuits/Wetsuits

Drysuits:
Vulcanized-Rubber,
1 for each diver, necessary to have available for potential biological or HazMat diving

Same as Type I

Wetsuit, recommend drysuit

Same as Type I

 
  Lift/Salvage

Bags with minimum lift capacity of 6,000 lbs. and rigging equipment

Bags with minimum lift capacity of 4,000 lbs. and rigging equipment (recommended)

 

 

 
  Evidence Collection/Search Tools

Including: Body recovery bags (fine nylon mesh), underwater metal detectors, sealing plastic containers, 200′ of search lines and marker buoys

Same as Type I

Sealing plastic containers

Same as Type III, plus explosives handling equipment

 
Personnel Divers

Minimum 6, at least 4 for deep water diving (capability and training to dive a minimum of 100′, low visibility overhead and cold-water environments)

Minimum 4

Minimum 3

2+ specially trained in explosives and underwater demolition

 
  Dive Team Leader

1 per 4 divers

Same as Type I

Same as Type I
(if available)

Recommended

 
  Rescue Diver

1 rescue diver trained in First Aid/CPR and hyperbaric recognition

1 rescue diver trained in First Aid/ CPR and hyperbaric recognition (recommended)

1 rescue diver trained in First Aid/CPR and hyperbaric recognition (recommended)

1 rescue diver trained in First Aid/CPR and hyperbaric recognition (recommended)

 
Vehicles   Support vehicle for transportation of personnel/ equipment Support vehicle for transportation of personnel/ equipment Support vehicle for transportation of personnel/ equipment Support vehicle for transportation of personnel/ equipment  
Training   Minimum Physical Fitness Qualification with recurrent annual certification**; Scuba Certification; Public Safety Certification** – 100 hours minimum, including the use of full face masks and lift bags, surface supplied air systems, diving in polluted environments, use of lift bags for salvage operations, evidence recovery and preservation, low visibility, and overhead environment; (recommended: aircraft deployment and tactical) operations; Certification of
6 training dives per year, including 1 training dive to maximum depth
Scuba Certification; Public Safety Certification** – 60 hours minimum, including the use of full face masks and lift bags; Certification of 6 training dives per year

Scuba Certification; Public Safety Certification**
– 60 hours minimum, including the use of full face masks and lift bags; Certification of 6 training dives per year

Same as Type I, plus explosives training

 

Comments:

All teams are described for law enforcement purposes. Many of these teams will be trained and prepared for search and rescue as well. All divers and dive operations will be compliant with current NFPA. 1670 and 1006 guidelines.
** A national training standard needs to be developed.

Description of Type

Type I – A team of divers and a support team with necessary diving experience as well as law enforcement experience. Teams should be able to respond with all outlined equipment to handle evidence recovery and deep water diving. Team should be self-contained for 24 hours. A dive team leader with experience and training in risk/benefit analysis should be assigned to each dive team. Capable of conducting rescue dives.

Type II – A team capable of responding with all outlined equipment to handle evidence recovery.

Type III – A team with Scuba certification and Public Safety Diving Certification.

Type IV – A team of divers and support team with necessary diving experience as well as explosive/underwater demolition experience. Teams should be able to respond with all outlined equipment to handle evidence recovery and deep water diving. Team should be self-contained for 24 hours. A dive team leader with experience and training in risk/benefit analysis should be assigned to each dive team.

Definitions of Acronyms

NFPA National Fire Protection Agency
Scuba Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Sonar Sound Navigation and Ranging – uses sound to identify objects, allowing divers to be directed by surface support team


National Mutual Aid & Resource Management Initiative
Law Enforcement