When disaster strikes on the water, Charles County Dive Rescue, Inc. is there to help by dispatching properly trained and equipped divers to assist in emergencies. The organization was founded in 1989, when medical advances in near-drowning resuscitation prompted a need for a specialized rescue team that could respond in those situations. Today, CCDR Company 13 is an independent emergency service agency that operates an in-house training program and maintains a fleet of dive and rescue boats and vehicles. We talked with Chief William “Skeeter” Porter for this week’s Friday Focus, who gave us a look an inside look into the organization.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
A: CCDR is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that operates with other public safety agencies for emergencies around water and ice. Our mission is to serve the citizens of Charles County (as well as neighboring jurisdictions) by providing properly trained and equipped divers to assist in times of need. Further, we shall always strive to raise public conscience concerning safety around water and ice.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: It’s hard to pick a ‘favorite’ moment when your service is most needed at times when people may be experiencing a horrible tragedy. Suffice it to say we are fortunate to have dedicated members who volunteer their time, knowledge, and skills to help others in their time of need.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Many emergency operations on open water are difficult due to a lack of reliable information. Distance is very hard to estimate over water. Also, wind and currents create difficult contributing factors. Alcohol is often a contributing factor to accidents, which also makes obtaining accurate information about an incident difficult.
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
A: You can learn more about CCDR by visiting our website at www.ccdr.net.