The Lafayette Fire Department, in an effort to provide a more complete and comprehensive package of services to the community, established its Water Search and Recovery Team in 2003. This team began with, and continues to be, an all-volunteer group of individuals with a commitment to providing the City of Lafayette and the surrounding area with another facet in a long line of innovative techniques and highly trained specialists.
In the beginning, many of the members had little, or no, scuba skills, and none had the skills necessary to conduct search and recovery operations in an underwater environment. Since its conception in late 2002, to its humble beginnings in the spring of 2003, the team has become proficient in many aspects of underwater operations including:
Controlled searches for victims or evidence in lakes and ponds
Controlled searches for victims or evidence in moving water
Lifting and salvage of submerged property or evidence
Surface ice rescue techniques
Diving under ice for rescue or recovery purposes
The team continues to evolve and grow. It has added members to its ranks and strives to gain more knowledge and learn the newest and latest techniques in order to provide those in which it serves the very best that it has to offer.
Funding for the team is made up of mostly donations from local area businesses with a small amount coming from the Fire Department itself. Much of where the team is today is due to the dedication and sacrifice of time and effort by the members themselves.