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SJSO officers take to water for training

LAPLACE — On some emergency calls patrol officers can end up in water, and without training to understand their own limitations, these potential rescuers could become victims.

To avoid officers becoming victims in water emergencies. as well as build their confidence while working in a maritime environment, St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre is requiring officers to participate in a basic water survival course.

Patrol officers have been reinforcing their swimming skills during basic water survival training being conducted this month at LARAYO and Belle Terre pools in LaPlace.

The training gives officers the opportunity to strengthen skills and learn techniques to survive in and on the water in the event of an unexpected immersion into the water.

The focus is on becoming proficient in water survival skills and increasing awareness on how to modify duty equipment to increase chances of survival.

Lt. Blane Rome Jr., left, leads officers in water survival training.

Officers are participating in swimming, treading and other drills in uniform, with body armor and a simulated duty belt. The water survival training is part of Tregre’s continuing education program to improve skills, increase professionalism and enhance overall job performance.

Exposure and testing are conducted by Lt. Chip Wale, Lt. Blane Rome Jr. and Deputy Darren DeSalvo.

Anita Hefler is conducting the instructional lessons.