Police and Fire Personnel Team to Rescue Drowning Victim

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On August 11, 2013, at approximately 12:03 PM, the Long Beach Fire Department Dispatch Center received a 911-telephone call regarding a male subject who jumped off the Belmont Pier into the ocean. The caller believed this was a suicide attempt and said the man was wearing a backpack.

Long Beach Fire Department Lifeguards, Fire Engines and Paramedics quickly responded to the scene. The Lifeguards deployed a marker buoy at the location where the subject was last seen. Lifeguard personnel initiated sub-surface rescue dives for the man until members of the Public Safety Dive Team were able to respond with scuba gear for a deeper and more prolonged search under water. A Long Beach Police Boat also responded to the scene and two police divers entered the water where the marker buoy was deployed.

At approximately 12:12 PM, the police divers pulled the man from the water. His backpack was filled with sand. The man was placed aboard a waiting Lifeguard rescue boat and immediate life safety measures were rendered as he was transported to the dock where Fire Department Paramedics were waiting and transported the man to a local hospital. The man is currently on life support. If not for the capabilities, equipment and training of the Public Safety Dive Team, it is likely this man would have not been located as quickly.

The Public Safety Dive Team is a partnership involving the Long Beach Fire Department, Lifeguards and Police Department personnel. The Public Safety Dive Team was formed in 2009, combing each discipline’s team into one overarching Public Safety Dive Team for the City of Long Beach. The goal of the merger was to transition Fire, Lifeguard and Police diving capabilities and resources into an effective, efficient, and safe entity that supports one another in an environment where resources are limited. The City of Long Beach has 22 miles of waterfront that includes the second busiest port in the United States, the largest municipally owned marina in the country, seven miles of recreational beaches, and numerous lakes, ponds, and channels. Given these features, a robust Public Safety Dive Team is an essential part of public safety. The Public Safety Dive Team members regularly respond to calls such as missing swimmers on the beach, vehicles in water filled channels, and port security diving missions. The various disciplines that make up the team regularly trains together to prepare for any underwater contingency.

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