EQUIPMENT: Performing rescues and recoveries on our local waterways requires a variety of specialized equipment to operate in what can often be hazardous conditions (cold water, fast currents, steep levees, low to no visibility, water pollutants and debris). Maintaining and updating our equipment is one of the largest costs that our organization faces each year and is a core part of keeping our team mission ready and safe. Our equipment includes our water vessels, response vehicles, dry suits and blackwater dive equipment, swift water rescue gear, gear for dive tenders and shore support, and countless other pieces of equipment that are essential to our mission.
DIVE TRAINING: Enhancing the ongoing training for our rescue and recovery divers is another primary focus for DART. Blackwater diving (which refers to the zero-visibility conditions where divers often cannot even see their hands when held inches from their face) is a hazardous task, but necessary when searching for patients and victims in Sacramento-area rivers and lakes. Most DART divers join the team with a recreational diving background, and DART then provides them the additional training and equipment needed to safely operate in the blackwater setting during rescue and recovery missions. We train at several intervals: twice a month, divers practice skills at local pools and waterways; we conduct one to two "all day trainings" each year; and, once every three years all divers complete a national certification course from an outside training provider. As Sacramento County's only all-volunteer public safety dive team, our skilled divers are called upon frequently for incidents ranging from vehicles found in the river, to criminal evidence searches, to missing swimmer reports. A robust training program keeps our divers safe and ensures we're ready to respond when the community needs us.
GENERAL TRAINING: Our members are fully certified for their dangerous jobs. These certifications, such as public safety diver, swift water rescue technician, and rescue boat operator, require constant training, often with outside experts. Funding for training offsets costs that members otherwise may need to pay for out of pocket.
TEAM MEMBERS: As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on our committed members for everything we do. DART members come from all walks of life, some with prior diving experience and some without, but all find incredible personal fulfillment in protecting their community and empowering others to enjoy the rivers and lakes in our area. Whatever your background, there's a role for you on our team, and we'd love to help you find it!