Charleston, West Virginia


Published on March 14th, 2017 | by Ryan Pennington


Dive Training in the Kanawha River

March 13 – The Charleston Fire Department Dive Team spent the morning practicing rescue skills in the Kanawha River. Winter temperatures added a variable to performing rescues with water temperatures around 40 degrees. Their encapsulated suits protect firefighters from the harsh temperatures, but the bulkiness of the suits adds a degree of difficulty to their movements. Without these special suits, the divers would be unable to tolerate the water temperatures during the critical minutes of a water rescue.


The Charleston Fire Department Dive Team consists of firefighters stationed throughout the city that respond to water-related calls. Each diver spends numerous hours to become a certified public safety diver and then require annual in-service training hours to maintain their skills. Their equipment includes suits for various environments, breathing apparatus, rope systems and both high-tech search and communication equipment.


Today’s training consisted of victim rescue, sonar use, boat operations, line tendering and victim removal. Training in varying conditions in scenario-based situations keep the divers ready to respond.

Click on Picture to see additional photos of the dive training day 


About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Mission Statement

    It is the mission of the Charleston Fire Department to provide maximum protection of life and property through the prevention and extinguishment of fires, provision of Emergency Medical Services, Hazardous Material response and Mitigation, Rescue, and performance of any other services to the citizens of Charleston that may be required to ensure a safe community.

    The Fire Department will attain this goal through preparation and training, dedication, public education, and a constant focus toward the end result — a safe City of Charleston.

  • Twitter

  • Facebook