DUI salutes the Lexington Fire Dive Team
We went through quite a bit of research and development to narrow down the equipment we would utilize as a Public Safety dive team. Specifically we looked at the type of PPE our divers would wear and evaluated several different components. Those components were safety, diving environment, diving missions, reliability, customer service, and budgetary impact. One of the key challenges we recognized early on was sustainability. We recognized that through attrition, promotion, retirement, the core group of divers would change. A compelling factor in selection of the DUI TLS Public Safety Drysuit was the availability of the ZipSeal system. ZipSeals allowed us to purchase drysuits in several different size configurations that were common amongst the groups of divers we had. Each diver then has their own set of seals, personally trimmed for their use. By doing this, we were able to train and outfit 33 divers across the department. Obviously this is a substantial savings as compared to the purchase of 33 drysuits, and the future purchases as new divers come on board.
Being in the heart of the Bluegrass, central Kentucky, Lexington experiences severe temperature extremes on either end of the thermometer. The ability to adjust bunting and having a suit that has some flexibility to do that was a challenge. The telescopic torso system of the front entry suit allowed for some variance not only in size, but for a variety of bunting to be worn based on diver preference.
Safety of our personnel is paramount. It can be tied to so many activities, from training to equipment. One of the things we tried to establish early on was “what are the risks, and how can we eliminate them”? Based on this assessment we decided to utilize drysuits, and specifically the tri-lam suit.
Our diving parameters were for rescue/recovery of human life, environmental protection (i.e. vehicles in water), and evidence recovery to assist law enforcement. All of these environments potentially warrant the need for “encapsulation” based on varying degrees of water contamination. The use of a drysuit opposed to a wetsuit, one that could be decontaminated yet provides flexibility to allow a working diver to stay on task without fatigue was a goal. The DUI TLS350 Public Safety Diver provides a barrier between the diver and the environment, thus minimizing the risk to our personnel.
The front entry design of the DUI suit and telescoping torso allows for easy donning and doffing with minimal effort exerted by the diver assisted by a tender. As mentioned earlier each diver has their own ZipSeals, the neck seal is integrated with the dry hood offering maximum encapsulation and protection for the primary environment we dive in.