Dive Rescue Team

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 Palatine Fire Department diver shows some of the equipment used by Public Safety Divers, including a full-face mask with hard-wired voice communications, an encapsulated rubber dry suit and a buoyancy control device.Dive Master (Team Coordinator): Lt. Chuck Zimmerman

Team Mission Statement
Our Team Mission is to provide the very best dive rescue and underwater recovery capabilities to all citizens within the Palatine and Palatine Rural jurisdictions.  We will provide underwater evidence search and maintenance duties as assigned. We support, attend, and respond to MABAS requests for the same. We provide outstanding service through proficient and safe underwater techniques developed by a first rate team training program.

Started in 1977, members of the Palatine Dive Rescue Team provide underwater rescue and recovery services in all areas protected by the Palatine Fire Department and the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District.  Under an automatic aid agreement, we also respond as the first-due water rescue unit to the City of Rolling Meadows.  Palatine has over 70 bodies of water within the village limits and the Palatine Rural District. The Dive Rescue Team currently has 18 members. Interested firefighters who are off probation and in good standing may apply for team membership. As openings on the team come up, new team members are selected from a list of interested personnel. Each member of the team must pass an annual swim test and obtain the following certifications:
  • Open Water Diver  Members of the Palatine Fire Department Dive Rescue Team practice a "shallow water crossing" technique, used for swiftwater and flood rescues.
  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Water Rescue Operations
  • Dive Rescue I / Public Safety Diver
  • Ice Rescue Diver
  • Swift Water / Flood Rescue
Many of our members go on obtain advanced training and certifications as well.  In addition, our members are trained to be boat operators, certified to the Watercraft Technician level. 

All members are required to maintain their dive status by obtaining monthly dive training, performing a minimum of 5 open water dives per year, 1 ice dive, an annual skills review, and an annual swim test. The annual swim test consists completing the following tasks: 
  • 500 m free swim
  • 800 m snorkel and mask swim
  • 100 m inert diver tow
  • Treading Water for 15 minutes with the last 2 minutes with hands out of the waterMember of the Palatine Fire Department Dive Rescue Team completes the 500 m swim portion of the annual Swim Test.

The Palatine Dive Team not only responds to incidents within Palatine, but also responds to other towns throughout the Chicagoland area through MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System). Palatine Divers participate in rescue, recovery and evidence recovery dives every year. Additionally, we train monthly, not only in-house, but also with our mutual aid partners. 
Boat 81 with two divers gets into position just prior to the swim portion of the Twin Lakes Triathlon.  Palatine Fire Department personnel annually provide safety coverage for this event.

Several of our members also serve on local, regional, and state committees and response teams.  This involvement better prepares our team and gives us even greater capabilities throughout a broader area.

In addition to emergency responses, the Palatine Dive Rescue Team also provides Palatine Fire Department diver surfaces from under the ice at a winter dive rescue training session.water rescue standby for planned water events in the community.  In a typical year, our team has surface rescuers and divers in place for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge and for the Twin Lakes Triathlon. 

Palatine's Dive Rescue unit, known as Dive 84.

Divers, shore support and command personnel discuss the plan of action prior to deploying to recover a vehicle that went into a pond in Palatine.

The Palatine Fire Department's Water Rescue Team also provides services to the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District and the City of Rolling Meadows.


Village Hall Regular Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
200 East Wood Street, Palatine, Illinois 60067 P. (847) 358-7500
Emergency:911 Non-Emergency: (847) 359-9000 Hours: 24 Hours
Police Headquarters 595 North Hicks Road, Palatine, Illinois 60067
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