Rescue Team Drills, Seeks Volunteers

Members of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Underwater Search and Rescue Team, under the direction of team coordinator Deputy Thomas Grady and Chief of Diving Operations Bob Lamb, gathered at the Housatonic River in Glendale to conduct a swift water rescue drill.

More than a half-dozen team volunteers took part in the drill, during which an air-charged fire hose, connected to a rope, was stretched across the swiftly moving river. The hose was anchored on both sides of the river. Team members serving as “victims” then grabbed the fire hose, and were guided safely toward shore by volunteers serving as shore tenders, once the rope and hose were released from the far side of the river.

The Sheriff’s Underwater Search and Rescue Team, manned entirely by volunteers, responds to water emergencies year round throughout Berkshire County, including ice rescue emergencies. The team has answered more than 200 calls since its formation in 1990.

The team is actively seeking more volunteers. In addition to certified divers, who must supply their own dive gear, the team needs volunteers to serve in the critical role of on-shore support. Interested volunteers should contact Deputy Grady at the Sheriff’s Office, 443-7220, extension 1117.