I started my Swiftwater Rescue training with the Okaloosa Joint Water Rescue Team in 1997. You would not think NW Florida would have a need for a team like this. Neither did we until the flood conditions brought on by hurricanes. When the team began we drew on all the area Emergency Service organizations for team members. The team had personnel from our county EMS, Fire Departments, and the Sheriffs Office.
I am a 20-year+ veteran of the Okaloosa County Sheriffs Office. I have been involved in public safety diving for over 25 years and currently run the Underwater Investigation Unit for the Sheriffs Office. I was quickly selected as Co Team leader for the OJWR team and functioned in that roll until 2004. My experience led to my selection as one of two instructors for the team and I completed my instructor training in 1999. I now function as the Swiftwater Training Coordinator for the county water rescue team.