(LaGrange County Water Operations Team)
LWOT is a Joint Effort, by LaGrange County Emergency Personnel, to provide LaGrange County with professional water rescue and recovery assets.
Current Participating Agencies include:
LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department
LaGrange City Fire Department
Johnson Twp. Fire Department
Topeka Fire Department
Stroh Fire Department
Howe Fire Department
WHAT IS LWOT?
LaGrange County has more than 72 bodies of water within it’s borders, making the need for a SCUBA Diving Rescue and Recovery Team vital. The LaGrange County Sheriff Department is heading up the effort to create a County wide emergency response Rescue and Recovery Team. The team is open to SCUBA divers from all first responder agencies within the County. The main goal for this team is to provide adequate rescue assets to assist in any water based rescue situations throughout the County. Aside from providing rescue and recovery response, the team hopes to help set up and develop drowning prevention programs, educate the community on how to be a good witness in the event of a water emergency, and make our County a safer place to enjoy the water.
After completion of required certifications to become Search and Rescue Divers, members participate in monthly scenario based traing exercises. These exercises are designed to promote cohesion between divers, as well as inter-department cooperation. Divers will also be trained to assist in the development and presentation of water safety programs to benefit LaGrange County Residents.
Currently the team is being funded by the participating departments for each individual diver, as funds are available. For each participating diver the costs is approximately $1800.00 for personal gear. Only a small portion of our divers are outfitted with all of the personal equipment necessary. Other divers are using their personal equipment to be able to participate with the team. The cost of the personal gear does not include the larger items required for the team. (Boats, Lifting Equipment, Specialized Recovery Equipment, and Transport Equipment) All of these items are needed to make the team efficient and effective.
The team would be happy to accept donations from LaGrange County Residents that are interested in supporting the dive team. Anyone interested in making monetary donations or donations of equipment to be utilized by the team should contact any participating agency or the Dive Team Leadership.