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Gonzales Fire Department Dive and Water Rescue Team Trains in Diversion Canal.

On May 15th, several members of the Gonzales Fire Department Dive and Water Rescue team participated in a training exercise which focused on getting familiar with new equipment.  The department invested in two new dive masks which are more protective and suited for black-water operations.  The masks also allow for the use of a communications system.  Having constant communication with a diver who is in a pitch black, completely disorienting environment can prove to be extremely valuable and even life-saving.  A diver is able to explain his surroundings to the personnel who are topside, and the Dive Master is able to give detailed instructions.  Without wireless or hard-wired communications, a diver's only contact with topside is by using a rope.  A rope tender on the bank or in the boat maintains constant tension on a rope connected to the diver.  A certain numbers of pulls by the tender tells the diver what to do, and a certain number by the diver gives the tender an idea how he is.  Ropes are still used to supplement wireless communication in order to maintain constant physical contact with the diver and give an exact location to the officers on land.  The divers who were able to use the system were extremely satisfied with the performance and the capabilities of it.  Being able to talk to people on the surface helps to keep the diver calm and makes for an easier and usually more successful dive.  The training was very successful.  Four divers completed eight total dives,gaining valuable experience in the deep, dark waters of Diversion Canal.Divers


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