The Calumet County Dive Team has expanded the number of volunteers trained to do water rescue by 6 additional members with the help of donations from the community and grants equaling more than $20,000.
Team President, Gary Halbach indicated “With the additional volunteers 75 percent of the county can receive emergency services within minutes of being contacted.”
On Wednesday, June 5 new members were in training at Long Lake in Calumet County. Their extensive training of about one year will get most of the volunteers certified. The dive team currently has 12 certified members, expanding to 18 with addition of the new members.
Halbach compared the other dive teams on the West Shore of Lake Winnebago. “On the other side of the lake, there are dive teams in Neenah, Menasha, and Oshkosh covering the link of the lake and inland bodies of water. To have a trained team on this side of the lake will help improve response time if something happens on this side of the lake, in addition to the other bodies of water in Calumet County.”
According to Halbach the Calumet County Dive Team has had individuals willing to volunteer, but the equipment and dive suits were needed in order to expand the team.
The Dive Team was started about 4 years ago after an incident were a truck broke through the ice on Lake Winnebago killing two individuals with one survivor. “You have that golden hour when your in rescue mode, it is important to have the manpower and equipment needed to react to a situation, with the expansion we just get a little closer to protecting lives.” said Halbach.