East Beth VFC Scuba Team
In 1957 a group of concerned and interested citizens of the community undertook a fundraising campaign to acquire sufficient funds to purchase SCUBA gear for the fire company. These people realized the potential for water related emergencies was acute with the geographical location of our township on the banks of the Mon River and Ten Mile Creek. Swimming pools were not as common as they are in 2012 and children and adults flocked to beaches in Millsboro, Newtown, Vestaburg, and East Millsboro to seek relief from the summer heat. As a result, drownings were a more frequent occurence. The fund raising campaign was a success, the SCUBA gear was acquired, and members of the fire company became trained as divers.
Since the inception of the dive team in 1957, the EBVFC has continued to maintain this unit. We continually upgrade the equipment and practice with it. New ideas and equipment are always being added to our repetoire. In 2011 we obtained dry suits and the specialized training in how to use them. These suits allow us to enter frigid waters, perform our dive, and we do not get wet. What a great advancement for us. An upcoming purchase will be for side scan sonar to mount on our radar equipped 24 ft. boat. This sonar will aid us in locating underwater objects. We also have Emma the certified cadaver search dog at our disposal.
To our knowledge our team has been in operation longer than any other in Washington Co. We are the designated dive team for Washington Co. In addition to recovery of drowning victims, we respond to alarms for submerged vehicles, boats, evidence from criminal activity, boating accidents, and water sports injuries. Current members of the dive team are: Nicholas Babko, Jim Starkey, Mike Hughes, Mark Giovanelli, John Hart, Jason Webeck, Dennis Doriguzzi, Nick Babko Jr., and Sam McRoberts.
The members of the EBVFC dive team and river rescue crew tip their hats to John Shaw (owner of the Riviera Restaurant & Lounge) and his staff for their efforts to raise money for the fire dept. by hosting the Bachelor Auction and Rockin on the Mon river concert. Their efforts epitomize those of the 1957 group who got us started in SCUBA and illustrate that community spirit and volunteerism are alive and well in Fredericktown.