GROUP PHOTO… Deputies from the Williams County Sheriff’s Office stand together for a photo at the end of their training. Pictured are Deputy Zach Erb, Deputy Josh Mercer, Detective Ben Baldwin, K9 Deputy Ken Jacob, Deputy Kyle Miller, and Detective Paul McCord. (PHOTOS BY JACOB KESSLER, STAFF)
By: Jacob Kessler
The Williams County Sheriff’s Office held a Water Survival Training class on August 17th and 18th. Classes took place from 8 a.m. to noon and encompassed half of the department on each day.
The class brought in instructors from the ODNR’s division of parks and watercraft. The class offered another level of training, protection and knowledge to ensure that if they ever had to rescue someone or protect themselves, whether on duty or off duty, they would be able to.
Topics covered in the class involved water rescues, ways to put on a floatation device, deployment of rope bags, and what to do when someone takes you into the water in an aggressive manner.
The Deputies also held a competitive swim at the end of class each day and compared the time of the fastest swimmer.
Whether it was the water rescue, aggressive water entry, or the competition swim, the officers performed each of the skills while in full gear. This means, department uniform, bullet proof vest, full gun belt, shoes, and the occasional floatation device.
The department plans on hosting many other different training sessions throughout the next year. There is also a plan for next spring and summer to come out to the pool on a regular basis.
Doing so will help to provide exercise and keep their skills sharp. The fact is that you will never know when or where something like this will happen and you always need to be ready.
Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PROPER FALLING … Detective Baldwin attempts to fall into the pool in a proper manner. This method protects the ear drum from bursting as well as shields the weapon as it hits the water. The knee up also places the officer in-between themselves and an aggressive person which will later be discussed during the class.
TAKEDOWN… A deputy experiences being taken down into the pool by a would-be aggressive person. The helmets are worn as a precaution to ensure that their heads do not hit each other when entering the water.
WATER RESCUE … Deputy Miller trains in Water Rescue to bring a member of the ODNR, who is playing that of a drowning victim, back to land.