Forrest County MPs Receive Dive Training

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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) – Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, according to the World Health Organization.

This week, divers from the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department and the Petal Fire Department are hosting training at the Family YMCA in Petal.

This involved providing individual certification to members of the dive team, teaching them how to safely conduct water rescue and recovery missions.

The training first began in the classroom where they studied the course material and became familiar with various aspects of scuba equipment as well as the safety protocols required during a rescue attempt.

These lessons were later put to the test in the swimming pool where they were given practical instruction in the water to give them the confidence and skills needed during an emergency operation.

The training will conclude later this week at a local river where divers will be briefed on the dangers of dark water rescue missions.

The Forrest County Sheriff’s Department dive instructor said training is crucial for divers who will be working in underwater environments where there may be little or no visibility and contain hidden dangers.

“Today we’re going to be in the underwater skills pool to see how they behave underwater. It’s about preparing them for black water in rivers, which is a whole different certification, ”Sims said.

“Once they have been trained in the basics of scuba diving, we will submit them to public safety, which will give them that training in the river,” Sims added.

Currently there are approximately 30 certified members of the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department and the Petal Dive Team.

The group participated in rescue and recovery efforts in the Pine Belt and other areas of the state.

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