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Duncan Police Department Dive Team offering training to purchase new gear

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- The Duncan Police Department's Dive Team is trying to raise money for new equipment  for its crew by offering their accredited scuba diving training course to other public safety agencies.

Instructor Chris Perkins said the training is quite extensive and in some cases broken up over several weekends or different days of the week.
They are going to offer the basics, scuba diving and and advanced scuba diving certification in an 80-hour course over a period of two weeks.

Perkins said there aren't many places to get certified in Oklahoma. The Highway Patrol conducts dive training, but some agencies send their divers to south Texas, or even Florida for this special training.  So, this will give departments here in Oklahoma another option that will cut down on travel and course time. And it also means there will eventually be more certified divers who can provide backup for other police departments in case of emergencies. 

The Duncan Police Department started their Dive team back in 2012 to help with different emergencies at the city lakes and homicide investigations. Joining the team was something certified diver and Lake patrol officer Chisholm Hale was inspired to do. Hale and 8 other divers purchased all of their gear out of pocket at a cost of about one-thousand dollars each.

"When we first started it was more something that we all enjoyed and wanted to do and wanted to be a part of," Hale said.

Hale said most of the equipment they have now is in good condition, but their are hoping to get enough money from their accredited course they are going to offer to get a second set of gear.

"All of our stuff will pretty much be the same, instead of us having to go get this length of hose or whatever we need to fix the problem we will have spares," said Hale.

Hale said the team now uses thick wet suits when getting in the water. He hopes they can purchase thinner wet suits that help with hot and cold temperatures.

"The thick stuff anytime there is any kind of sun or heat you will just melt in that wet suit, they are so thick for the cold water to protect you from the cold and when its not cold that's not the best thing to have," said Hale.

Dive team instructor Chris Perkins believes this training course will quickly grow in popularity, once word gets out that it's available.

"It makes us feel good that we are able to offer that kind of training we are hoping this will be something we can continue to do every year and possible look at providing more advanced training in the future to outside organizations," Perkins said.

"If one of us is gone and we are in their area they can help us they are certified just like we are and they will be certified by the same guy, so that will help us with them being the same experience as we are to an extent or they can help us on call outs if we need too," Hale said.

Perkins said he already has some outside agencies interested in the course. Their goal is to get around 20 people signed up and have their first course in July. It will cost $500 dollars per diver.

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