Team trains to do rescues on Iowa rivers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Team trains to do rescues on Iowa rivers

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The Johnson County Metro Dive Team may be small, but they hope to make a big difference in Johnson County.

"The golden hour, or 60 minutes from the time the victim is last seen, if we can get to the point where we can train and deploy fast enough, ( then possibly have the opportunity to make a rescue, that would be the ultimate accomplishment for the team," said Tom Hartshorn, Group Supervisor. 

The 10-person team is mostly made up of emergency crews from throughout the county.

"In Johnson County there's a lot of lakes and rivers, farm ponds that are through here. Having this kind of background is just one more additional asset," said Cory Wolf, Johnson County Deputy Sheriff.

The dive team formed and began training in the fall on Coralville Lake. Since then they've been able to do some dives and recover evidence.

This section of the training is designed to teach the crew how to do water rescues when there's a current, which is why they're out here training in the Iowa River.

"This allows us to search the river in a consistent pattern so we don't miss any areas, without floating downstream," said Hartshorn.

The county relied on outside crews for years. Having its own team means faster response times.

"If we do have a victim that drowns or an accident, their loved one's in the water and they want them recovered as soon as possible," said Hartshorn.

The team will primarily work in Johnson and Linn Counties, but will be an available resource statewide.

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