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Dive Team Works Hard To Serve Community


To The Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to many overheard comments regarding the Estes Park Dive Rescue Team. I heard many negative comments being made as I tried to enjoy the Duck Race this year. From the remarks I heard, it was very clear that most people don’t understand much about this amazing team of people who donate hundreds of hours of their time every year to community service, training, safety instruction and responding to dangerous calls at all hours of the day and night. I can speak from experience about this as I am the wife of a Dive Team member. To hear members of the community that my husband works so hard to serve disparage this team is very offensive to me.

I would like to address the issue of the Dive Team choosing not to follow the ducks down the river, as this seemed to be a matter of concern to many. This decision was not made lightly. The team has been considering it for a few years. The reasons behind this mostly revolve around safety, as this is always the top priority of the Dive Team. There are only eight divers on the team, and being in the river with the ducks would greatly slow their response to an emergency.

They are not willing to take that risk with our community members. In addition to this concern, the team has to take into account the detriment to their own well-being. Wading down a freezing cold river for several hours is not only exhausting, it has almost always resulted in falls and serious injuries to Dive Team members, as well as damage to expensive equipment which must be replaced to ensure the safety of the divers.

Despite the negativity they have encountered, several members of the Dive Team volunteered their time to man the Dive Truck and patrolled the river for the entire duration of the Duck Race in case of an emergency. This is as it should be. They exist to make water rescues, and this was the best way to accomplish that goal and to ensure the safety of those helping with the race, and

I am angry and ashamed of those in the community who disparage their efforts.

As a final note, I want to take this chance to remind everyone that all the members of the Volunteer Fire Department and Dive Rescue Teams work hard to serve their community. I doubt anyone not involved understands how much time, effort and dedication goes into being on the Fire Department. They spend hundreds of hours in fire academy, at community events, training, and responding to calls every year, and deserve no less than our deepest respect and gratitude. I hope in the future, when my husband has to leave during Christmas dinner, or miss fireworks on the Fourth of July to respond to a call I can feel that it is for good reason, and appreciated by the people he is trying to help.

Desiree Patterson

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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