|Due to an increase in water recreation on the eight lakes that fall within our primary response area, we saw a significant need to improve our water and ice rescue capabilities.
We set a department goal early in 2003 to improve our level of training, make several water and ice rescue equipment purchases and attempt to make the purchases using private donations. We were able to achieve our goal and raised in excess of $25,000 in donations, with primary support through a local pull tab organization.
The result of our efforts has made our department an integral component of what has become a four department county dive rescue team in Washington County, Minnesota. We now have a full compliment of dive rescue equipment, to include dry suits, underwater communications equipment, an enclosed 24 foot water rescue trailer. We currently have twelve dive rescue certified divers and three rope tenders.
The compliment of divers and the addition of the dive trailer which is coupled to our rescue truck has allowed us to reduce our in-service time to a five minute average with a minimum crew of two divers.