Public Safety Dive Instruction / Consulting

Public Safety Diver / Tender Course

Depending on your specific goals and needs, US Water Rescue offers PSD certifications through the following agencies:

  • PADI
  • ERDI
  • USWR

There are so many agencies and instructors, how do I pick a PSD Instructor?

It seems as though it has become increasingly easy for any Recreational Scuba Instructor to be awarded a PSD Instructor Certification without much (or no) real world experience in Public Safety. In addition to the standard questions you would ask when seeking a qualified Scuba Instructor, you might want to ask the following to ensure you are receiving a "Qualified" (not just certified) Instructor:

1) Besides training, how many body recovery missions have you conducted? Don't be afraid to ask.
2) Besides training, how many vehicle recovery and evidence recovery missions have you conducted?
3) Besides training, how many rescue operations have you conducted?
4) Besides training, how many hazmat operations have you conducted?
5) What Law Enforcement or Fire Agencies have you conducted missions for?

US Water Rescue and our Instructors are partners with
US Water Rescue Dive Team (USWRDT).

USWRDT has been conducting real world PSD missions for 18 years.

-Public Safety Diver

-Public Safety Dive Tender

-Advanced PSD Diver

-Full Face Mask Diver

-Dry Suit Diver

-Deep Diver

-Navigation Diver

Who is ERDi?
ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International) is the Public Safety diving (PSD) agency that trains Police, Fire and other public safety organizations in Search and Rescue techniques in just about every submerged environment known. ERDI trains departments on how to make and maintain their own PSD teams along with being the only Public Safety diving training agency that has their own insurance that endorses its own standards. All ERDI programs are OSHA and NFPA compliant. In fact, some of the largest successful and renown departments use ERDI Programs to conduct their training.

Helping Public Safety Professionals, into ----and out, of the water!

Public Safety Diver:

A common misconception with non-divers, divers, and even dive instructors, is that a “Certified Recreational Diver” (including recreational (SAR) search and rescue divers) are qualified to perform Public Safety Diving Services. Sadly this is an extremely dangerous misconception, and far from the truth. Far to often that belief leads to serious injury or death of divers who have taken on work they are not certified nor equipped to complete. A Police Dept. would not hire a college graduate, show him how to shoot a pistol and make him a Police Officer. Would a Fire Dept. hire a recent graduate, show him how to use a fire extinguisher and make him a Fireman? Of course not, that’s silly. So why does it happen in Public Safety Diving? Lack of public education!

Recreational training teaches a new diver the very BASICS of diving (enough to get by). Most of the time it is taught in ideal conditions (warm water, clear water, free from any dangers). It is taught with the idea that the diver will be diving in similar ideal conditions with no stress and no dangers.

Public Safety Divers find themselves diving in cold, dark, polluted, moving, black, and dangerous waters. Dangers such as barbed wire, trees, glass, sharp jagged pieces of metal, entanglement hazards (just to name a few) all pose dangers to Public Safety Divers. What would a diver do if he/she could not see, all of a sudden became entangled, was bleeding from a cut, and was running low on air? Typically, that diver will PANIC which adds to the distress and forces the diver to lose control which in the underwater environment usually ends in tragedy.

The Basic Public Safety Diver Course not only teaches how to conduct safe EFFECTIVE black-water searches, but also how to avoid common problems such as those stated above, and how to handle them if they were to occur; so that everyone goes home when the day is done. The typical BASIC Public Safety Diver course is 4-5 days. Rain or shine. Sign up for a PSD or PSD Tender course today!



-18 years old

-CPR/First Aid Certified

-Current SCUBA certification (this is not a course to take for a scuba refresher, students should be active and
proficient divers)
-Advanced Scuba cert or equivalent
-Rescue Diver cert

-Member of a PSD Organization
-Students should be able to swim non-stop 500 yards, tread water for 10 minutes, and swim underwater for 25 yards

Public Safety Dive Tender:

Dive Tenders are the most important person on a PSD Team! These important members provide the eyes and ears of the diver and the above water communication system that makes underwater work safe and effective. Tenders assist divers and back-up divers with equipment preparation and pre-dive safety checks. Tenders many times control the search patterns of the solo-tethered diver. Tenders maintain profiles and logs of crucial diver information.

The PSD Tender course is taught in conjunction with the PSD Diver Course. Non-divers as well as divers are encouraged to become certified Public Safety Dive Tenders.



-18 years old

-CPR/First Aid Certified

-Member of a PSD Organization

Our consulting services are available to agencies and individuals. Consultation fees vary, including free advice and support from our non-profit water rescue and recovery dive team to families working with other teams.

We realize that it can difficult to understand how and why Public Safety Dive Teams operate. Families working with teams may want additional information about the operations being done to bring home their loved ones. In these cases, the U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team is just a phone call away and members are happy to take the time to explain rescue/recovery efforts and offer suggestions about the options available. The same services are available to Public Safety Dive Teams who can use input on training and operations.

Public safety agencies interested in starting their own team are encouraged to avoid costly mistakes by making a small investment in consulting services. With more than 20 years of experience, U.S. Water Rescue team members know the ins and outs of starting, maintaining and expanding Public Safety and Technical Dive Teams.

We work closely with clients to meet the specific needs of their agency; whether it is a volunteer group, local, state, or federal government. We are available to provide guidance on equipment purchases, training, and setting up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and agreements for working with other agencies.

We also sell and service dive equipment, with a commitment to top-notch customer service. Our volunteer members and professional instructors use the equipment they sell, so they thoroughly understand the gear and can help guide customers to the right selections for their needs. Our sales belief is that if the customer is not happy, we are not happy until you are. Our customers can always expect to work with experienced Public Safety Divers who are knowledgeable and will treat them with respect.

Our instructors are certified to teach courses offered by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors); ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International) and TDI (Technical Diving International). We specialize in private classes for all levels of dive instruction and are devoted to one-on-one attention for our clients. Courses are typically offered at our location in Billings, Montana, however we are willing to travel for classes.

Public Safety Dive teams are excellent resources for all public safety and law enforcement agencies; however the cost of developing a team and finding dedicated members can be huge barriers. The U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team, our nonprofit partner, is available for rapid deployment to assist other agencies with water rescues or recoveries and stand by water rescue operations. The team is also available to join existing teams that need additional resources on long-term and highly technical rescue/recovery operations. Please contact U.S. Water Rescue for more information or to set up a Memorandum of Understanding.

For more information e-mail us at or call (406) 591-4649. To learn more about the volunteer U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team, visit the team’s Web site at