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USM Hosts Swift Water Training Course for State Law Enforcement

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 06:17am | By: Van Arnold

Law enforcement personnel from across the state recently completed the Mississippi Highway Patrol Public Safety Diving Course held at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus. The inaugural training program was conducted at the M.C. Johnson Natatorium inside USM’s Payne Center.

The week-long course was the first of its kind held at the state level and concluded with a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Sponsors included the USM School of Kinesiology’s Scuba Program, USM Campus Recreation and the Petal Fire Department.

Bill Powe, aquatics and outdoor programs coordinator for USM Campus Recreation, said the participants learned a variety of rescue techniques associated with swift water rescues.

“Participants are trained to operate in the capacity of rescuing individuals trapped in situations involving swift water, including those trapped in vehicles, or in a flood zone, as well as recovering deceased victims in water,” Powe said. “They also get training in forensics, they can now search underwater for evidence the same way they do on land,” including through use of underwater photography.

Powe said participants also earn lifeguard certification through the course, which also qualifies them to give presentations on water safety.

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