Grayson Fire Department Rescue & Recovery Dive Team was established in 2010. After the need was seen for a local Dive Team for rescue and recovery of victims at the Grayson Lake and other waterways. On average, Grayson Lake has had approximately 2-3 people tragically drown each year. Before the Rescue and Recovery Dive Team, divers were called upon from other counties to respond. Now the community will have divers in the same county and in the same Fire District as Grayson Lake. Which will speed up the initial response time to such calls at the lake. This will be a great asset for the residents of Carter County and the many visitors that come to the Grayson Lake for recreation each year.
Heading up the GFD R&R Dive Team is Battalion Chief Kyle Morgan. In 2009, 7 more GFD members obtained their Open Water Diver certification through P.A.D.I. Then in 2010, 5 of those 7 obtained their Advanced Open Water Diver certification through P.A.D.I. Ron Pope, a Scuba Instructor through P.A.D.I., trained and certified the GFD divers. Some of the other certifications that the dive team members have recieved are Rescue Diver, Dry Suit, Nitrox, and Equipment Specialist.
How the dive equipment was funded has been the topic of many different newspaper articles and even a WSAZ TV report. It all started back in the early Spring and Summer of 2010 when the idea of hauling scrap metal that was donated by the public to help raise money to purchase new equipment. The scrap metal drive started out with just word of mouth advertisement around Grayson, but as the story started to spread around, newspapers, radio stations, and even TV stations wanted to help get the word out about the scrap metal drive. After the initial $3500 from the Coal Severance fund was received to buy the first two sets of dive gear, a goal was set to raise enough money to buy just one more set of dive gear. But after the media helped spread the word, the Dive Team was placing orders at New Horizons Dive Shop in Lexington, KY for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sets of complete dive gear as well as ordering a tandem axle enclosed trailer to haul all the new equipment. With the support of the community the Dive Team has raised over $45,000 going toward dive equipment. The Dive Team would like to the time to personally thank all those in the community how donated to the scrap metal drive. The Team would also like to thank Wolfe’s Wrecker Service for their donation of time and equipment in hauling junk cars to the scrap yard.
Swift Water Rescue has been a part of the Grayson Fire Department for many years now. Now GFD members have become certified divers to expand in a new area of Water Rescue. Swift Water Rescue deals primarily flood waters or other fast moving currents of water. The Dive Team will now add to Water Rescue by being able to rescue and recover people or items from under the surface of the water. There is continuous training that is involved with being a diver. Logging dives outside of classes is very important to keep a diver in good practice with the equipment. So if you see the new dive trailer parked out at Grayson Lake or see the Dive Team traveling to another location to dive, rest assure, that they are volunteering to do this training so that they can better serve their community in water related emergencies.
The Dive Team has had a logo designed by Martin McHenry, the very talented brother of Lieutenant Travis McHenry. Martin has drawn many pictures that are currently on display in many businesses throughout Carter County, and even in the Carter County Court House. This logo will be used for shirts, stickers and for other various items.
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