Officers train for water rescues

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Forty law officers from around Oregon are in Jackson County for two weeks of marine safety training. The activity began last Monday at Rogue Scuba on Crater Lake Ave. under the direction of the State Marine Board and Dale Flowers, law enforcement coordinator.

This is the first time Jackson County has hosted the event. Heretofore training has been on the northern Oregon coast. This has been a good economic boost for the valley as not only are officers here, but a number of them bring their families. LaQuinta, in nearby White City, reports being near capacity as a result of the function.

Officers can find themselves needing to make a water rescue or to do battle with an escapee or someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Officers do not have opportunity to pick and choose the location or the issue, they need to be able to act and react quickly and carefully.

Training began at Rogue Scuba with officers doing a variety of activities, from checking on how long they could hold their breath under water, to learning how to splash their hands until a victim turns over to avoid getting splashed to actually doing hand to hand combat in the water.  These and other exercises were performed as  officers had full body gear on including weighted utility belts and bulletproof vests.

Training will also be at Emigrant Lake where officers will be tested on their ability to handle a boat and learn how to deal with BUIIs (boating under the influence.) 
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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