The lack of standards in training and equipment can be hazardous for divers plus their team members, as can the idea of recreational instructors teaching public safety teams. Many recreational scuba instructors will teach recreational rescue courses, and many divers will go on a call for a public safety team with a false sense of security. The problem is that the class is meant to train divers in recreational diving conditions, with visibility. True no-visibility diving is a very dangerous and complicated dive, and should be undertaken with certain precautions, training, and equipment to safely send every diver home each time they enter the water.


I dive for the Ottawa County Sheriff's Underwater Response Team, and I am the diving safety officer/instructor for the Team. I am a PSDA/PADI Instructor, PADI Course Director (Instructor Trainer). I have 15 years of public safety diving experience, on Lake Erie, rivers and ponds around the state of Ohio and Michigan. I consider Public Safety Diving to be of such an important part of law enforcement and fire fighting that I have spent many years studying this type of diving to give the best possible training to you and your departments.


We just don't teach it, we get out there and do it!

Patrix's  Scuba is a full service dive rescue training company tailoring a lot of its activities to Public Safety Diving. Recreational classes are offered, but our primary mission is to teach, train, equip, and help maintain teams that do this dangerous work. We offer training from surface tender to Instructor, and also offer Ice technician, Fullface mask, Drysuit, and Public Safety Diving consultation. All instructors with Patrix's Scuba are certified Public Safety Divers, and are functioning members of an area Dive Rescue or Recovery Team.
We don't just talk it, we dive it!

Public Safety Diving certifications are issued through the Public Safety Diving Association of Florida and PADI. PSDA issues each card with a continuing education requirement attached to it, and they must be renewed each year. This keeps a diver trained with the needed skills, educated with the latest techniques, and sharp enough to operate safely. All dive classes are done with safety being paramount for each student, and students learn to operate in a manner that protects themselves and the members of the team in the real world.

Hi, my name is Patrix S. Heschel, and I formed Patrix's SCUBA  LLC to provide quality training for Public Safety Divers in the midwest. The lack of standards and continuity in training and equipment can hazardous for divers, as can the idea of recreational instructors teaching blackwater techniques. Many recreational SCUBA instructors will teach a basic search and recovery class, and many divers will enter true blackwater with that card to fall back on. The problem is, that class is meant to train divers to recover items in friendly water, with visibility. True no-visibility diving is a very dangerous and complicated dive, and should undertaken with certain precautions, training, and equipment to safely send a diver home each time they enter the water.


PADI Public Safety Diver Course

Public Safety Diver Course

Public Safety Diver MaterialsPublic Safety Diver Specialty CoursePADI PSD


PADI Americas, working in conjunction with several PADI Members who are respected and experienced in the public safety diving field, has produced the PADI Standardized Public Safety Diving program. Public safety divers, conduct a variety of important and potentially stressful underwater tasks - including rescue, evidence and body recovery, underwater inspections and more - for local communities. Public safety divers are typically in the police department, fire department or emergency services and couple their job experience with specialized dive training to carry out these underwater activities in a safe, efficient manner.

The new PADI Public Safety Diving course is designed to familiarize divers with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques and hazards of public safety diving. The course covers several key topics that include:

  • specialized public safety diving equipment
  • scene handling
  • communication procedures
  • search patterns
  • witness handling
  • victim and self rescue techniques

Water skills include a variety of common, useful search patterns as well as team diving roles as primary diver, safety diver, tender, 90 percent diver and supervisor. The program uses proven field techniques and both meets and addresses important National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines found in NFPA 1006 and 1670. 


Public Safety Diving Prerequisites Finalized

The new PADI Public Safety Diver Specialty course is available and the diver and instructor prerequisites are now available. Below are the prerequisite requirements for the PADI Public Safety Diver Instructor and Public Safety Diver (participant) programs. If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact us.

PSD Instructor Prerequisites

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
PADI Dry Suit Specialty Instructor
PADI Full-Face Mask Distinctive Specialty Instructor
Any (3)  three of these PADI Specialty Instructor ratings:
Current Emergency First Response Instructor (or qualifying rating)
Medically evaluated and cleared for diving by a physician within 12 months
Proof of affiliation/employment with a public safety team (law enforcement, fire, paramedic, EMT, dive rescue team, etc.)
One year public safety diving experience with:
Proof of Incident Command Training Level 200 (or regional equivalent).

*Missions may include simulations or dive team exercises.

PSD Diver Prerequisites

*You may also need to conduct ancillary programs (PADI Dry Suit Diver or a Distinctive Specialty program on full-face mask, for example) to fully prepare divers to carry out public safety diving operations in your region's conditions.

The PADI Public Safety Diver Instructor program is for PADI Members with a need to train local personnel for rescue, recovery and evidence collection. Currently Patrix's Scuba has current Public Safety Diver Instructors who have been training various local Law Enforcement Agencies for many years.  We also have experience with being on the Ottawa County Sheriff's Underwater Response team for law enforcement.  If you are a PADI Instructor or professional who is interested in becoming a PSD Instructor, please contact us to discuss your needs and the requirements that will be needed to attend this specialty program.
Please note that only individuals employed in fields such as law enforcement, fire and emergency services are qualified to take the PSD Specialty program. The PADI Public Safety Diver program will lay an excellent foundation for  dive team members with little or no experience but will also work well for experienced divers wanting to refresh basic skills and learn new public safety diving techniques. The first step is to train up to the PADI Rescue Diver level. This is the minimum prerequisite certification required and meets important NFPA criteria, but it also establishes a solid foundation for public safety diver training. The PADI Search and Recovery Diver course is also beneficial as it will help divers with some of the search and recovery techniques used extensively in public safety diver training and in the field.

In addition, ancillary programs, such as PADI Dry Suit Diver or a PADI Distinctive Specialty program on full face mask diving, may be conducted to ensure divers have any specific skills pertinent to the region in which they will be operating.

For more information on the program and qualification requirements, contact us.
If your Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Fire Department or Dive Team would like additional information or be contacted or reserve your spot, don't delay,
e-mail us or call 419-341-2102.