More than a dozen Beverly firefighters have given their time to become certified rescue divers. When called upon, those firefighters respond to areas across the North Shore to mitigate underwater emergencies ranging from missing persons to submerged vehicles.
Lieutenant Robert Atherton is the teamís coordinator. Lieutenant Atherton manages the day to day operations of the team and coordinates the monthly dive drills for divers to hone their skills. Each diver is required to make 8 monthly dives as well as an annual ice dive and skills review.
Over the last three years the Dive Team has been activated more than thirty times.
The Beverly Fire Department has taken delivery of its new Dive Rescue truck. The truck is a Heavy Rescue built by Ferarra Fire Apparatus for the sole purpose of responding to water emergencies across the region. This marks the first time that the department has had a truck that was purchased new and designed for its intended use.Three quarters of the cost of the truck was paid for with funds provided by the Port Security Grant Program. The remainder fell on the City of Beverly.
In 2003, Keyspan delivered a heavy duty box truck to replace the departments 1986 box van on loan from the U.S. Forestry service. Fire Department Mechanic Jack Morris transformed the truck into an emergency response vehicle complete with specialized storage for the divers.
Each diver is assigned his own equipment including dry suits and full face masks with communications capabilities. The masks keep divers in constant contact with surface support personnel allowing for transmission of valuable information throughout dive operations.