Victoria — On February 11 and 12, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) game wardens are providing officer water survival (OWS) training in advance of the spring and summer water safety season. This training is part of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program catalog of nationally credentialed courses.
“Texas game wardens are by statute the primary law enforcement officers on the state’s waters and that environment brings its own hazards,” said Asst. Commander Cody Jones, Texas’ Boating Law Administrator. “In the course of their duty, game wardens wear gear including their duty belt and ballistics vest that add an additional 18 to 20 pounds of weight to them. It’s important that if they enter the water whether expectedly or unexpectedly they know their capabilities and how to survive.”
“Six of our game wardens have drowned in the line of duty and that’s something we think about every day,” said Colonel Craig Hunter, TPWD Director of Law Enforcement. “Game wardens are routinely on the water in very demanding situations and this training will save lives.”
Twenty game wardens will be going through this two-day course, which includes skills in surviving a water entry in uniform, disengaging from an assailant while in the water, water extraction techniques, and other lifesaving water skills.
On Wednesday Feb. 12 from 2 pm to 5 pm, Media is invited to attend the training, interview participants, and enter the water wearing game warden duty gear and see first-hand the issues faced by law enforcement officers. The Texas Game Warden Dive Team will be on hand to provide safety oversight and also to provide an underwater perspective of the training.
The Aquatic Center is located at 1006 Sam Houston Drive in Victoria. The V.I.S.D. website for the center is: http://www.visd.com/depart/athletics/aquatics.asp
Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department