New Underwater Robot To Better Handle Water-Related Emergencies


UPDATED: Tuesday April 17, 2012 8:45 AM

The Ohio Department of Homeland Security Monday underwent training with new high-tech equipment to give its department a heads up in water-related emergencies.

Department officials said that the training would give its dive team Federal Emergency Management Agency One Team status for central Ohio.

“We have to be functionally able to take this equipment where it is needed,” said Jeff Sacksteder of the Ohio Department of Homeland Security.

New equipment includes a diving helmet and an underwater robot or ROV, 10TV’s Tanisha Mallett reported.

“We’ve got a color camera that is mounted on that ROV in the front and black and white camera on the back,” Sacksteder said.

Previously, during water rescues, teams would arrive and dive right in. Now, the ROV will go in and assess if there is any threat before the team dives, Mallett reported.

The ROV also can follow divers in the water and send back clear images to the rest of the team.

“These divers can talk to themselves, diver-to-diver, they can talk to the shore command post, and we can talk back with them, so we can coordinate a lot of activity inside that water,” Sacksteder said.

Department officials said that a $98,000 Urban Area Security Initiative Grant helped the department purchase the new equipment, Mallett reported.

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