Sioux City Dive Rescue brave the cold, plunge into frigid waters for training

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) — Today’s frigid cold temperatures and gusting winds didn’t stop a group of first responders from getting some underwater diving training.

“You never know when you’re going to get the call someone needs help, and Sioux City Dive Rescue will be there to take the call and to come and answer,” said Hayley Mathiason, a member of the
Sioux City Dive Rescue team.

Mathiason is just one of the 19 men and women braving the icy cold waters for dive rescue training.

“It helps us to get familiar with our equipment and different scenarios that might come you never know what will be handed to you so it’s always good that we keep training and learn different tactic skills so that we’re ready for any call we have to go to,” said Mathiason.

This year’s training has had its challenges due to the pandemic and having an opportunity like this one to train outdoors can be a rarity.

“Try to train once a month on different aspects of training it just so happens that this month is an ice dive training every month we try to do something different but with COVID, we haven’t gotten to do that with classrooms, but we try to do what we can when we can,” said Lt. Aaron Lisle a member of the Iowa Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue and Sioux City Fire Rescue.

Thursday’s icy lesson was all hands-on deck, with divers gearing up with 20-40 pounds of equipment.

“Simulate someone under there or a vehicle under there or some sort of a rescue situation. So we are going to be putting divers under the ice doing some patters and let them get used to being underneath the ice,” said Lt. Lisle.

As the rescue team breaks through physical barriers to protect those on the water, program leaders are breaking down walls to attract more first responders to be a part of the dive team.

“We are always hoping to get more involved, let them know what it’s all about and we’re always excited to get new training and anyone interested, it would be great to have them on also,” said Mathiason.

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