Recognition Program

The National Public Safety Diver Recognition Program (NPSDRP) is a voluntary program for the recognition of Dive Teams that are trained, certified, and prepared for serving their community in the aquatic environment; whether it's recovery, rescue, swiftwater rescue, ice rescue, or underwater criminal investigation. The National Public Safety Diver Recognition Program brings national recognition to Public Safety Dive Teams for their commitment to safety, excellence, accountability, continuing education, high professional standards, and continued Team improvement. The NPSDRP is available to any Public Safety Dive Team or Water Rescue Team.

Recognition: is a benefit/reward for Teams on PSD Tracker that have met a set of training, certification, and equipment requirements that are maintained on PSD Tracker. Recognition recognizes a Team for their outstanding achievement in maintaining the highest standard of PSD readiness and safety. Recognition lets law enforcement agencies, fire departments, the community, etc, know that the team is qualified, trained, and prepared to conduct public safety diving or water rescue operations.

All Public Safety Dive Teams or Water Rescue Teams that are Recognized by the NPSDRP will be listed as Recognized Teams on PSD Tracker. The Teams will also have ratings to display their capabilities: DIVE, TECHNICAL DIVE, ICE, SURF, SWIFTWATER, etc.

Goals of the National Public Safety Diver Recognition Program are to:              

1.   Promote Qualified Public Safety Dive Teams to the general public and public safety agencies.   
2.   Promote overall safety and efficiency among PSD Teams across the U.S.      
3.   Recognize those dedicated Public Safety Dive Teams that have implemented and maintained their certifications, training, and equipment, and reporting standards.


1. Minimum 4 members. The Team and each member of the team must be registered on PSD Tracker.  

2. Every member on the team is CPR / First Aid Certified (minimum).    

3. Every Team Diver must have the following Certifications: Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver (or equivalent), Rescue Diver, Public  Safety Diver, and Public Safety Dive Tender.   

4. Personally own: mask, snorkel, fins, hood, gloves, cutting tools, weights, BCD, regulator, wet or dry suit, tank, depth/pressure gauge or computer, PFD.

5. All team and personal equipment must be properly serviced according to the manufacturer's recommendations and/or the industry standards: specifically regulators, tanks, and BCDs.     

6. Each team member must log at least 8 hours of  training per month (this can be team training).  
7. Divers and any In-Water Personnel: Pass and log a yearly Swim Test. Example: I.A.D.R.S. Annual Watermanship Test. The Team may use their own test, if submitted to and approved by NPSDAP.

8. Divers: Pass and log a yearly Scuba Skills Assessment / Safety Skills Assessment. Example: IADRS Basic Scuba Skills Eval. The team may use their own Assessment, if submitted to and approved by NPSDAP.

How the Recognition program works:     

1. The team registers on PSD Tracker; which is the tool for ensuring the PSD Team stays current on all certifications, training, and equipment maintenance. Teams must be active on PSD Tracker for a minimum of 6 months prior to submitting application for Recognition. The team has to be in existence for a minimum of 1 year.  

2. The Team Leader, Dive Officer, or OIC fills out an Recognition Application Form for the team.  

3. Application review and approval process by PSD Tracker.    
4. Review and approval of the Teams PSD Tracker account.    
5. The team submits a video of everyone on the team completing their swim test. The video must show the test from start to finish. (1st year only)     

6. The team has trained with and is approved by one of the NPSDRP Board Members, or the team submits a video of a training day. The video, at a minimum, must show in detail, divers and tenders setting up their equipment from start to finish, divers entering the water, divers in the water (even if it's only bubbles on the water) and divers exiting the water.     

7. The team must keep certifications, training, and equipment, current on PSD Tracker.  

8. The team must have a letter of recommendation from at least one active Police Chief, Fire Chief, or Sheriff. 

9. To keep the Recognition active, Teams are expected to keep certifications, training, and equipment maintenance current and logged on PSD Tracker.

National Public Safety Diver Recognition Program Advisory Board Members:

Robin Bashor (Technical Advisor): President of Deeper Blue Scuba Inc., which was formed in 1999 by Robin L. Bashor, to provide advanced technical diver training throughout Colorado. The business quickly expanded to the surrounding regions when Robin became a Regional Manager for International Training and several equipment manufacturers. His passion for training other divers has become a major part of the company. These programs have become well recognized and sought after by potential technical divers throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Whether he is teaching open circuit or closed circuit his students have come to know the importance of becoming "thinking divers".  His “discovery” approach to learning teaches his students “how” to think not what to think.  His students will tell you, they learn to respond to the myriad of potential problems they may encounter with a well thought out plan and a team approach to  their diving. The company was formed in 1999 however, Robin has been diving since 1980 and teaching since 1999.  He is a seasoned Instructor / Instructor Trainer with International Training [SDI/TDI] and IANTD providing technical diver and Instructor training from basic courses through advanced trimix Open Circuit and Advanced Mixed Gas Closed Circuit diving.

Mike Full-faceMike Berry is one of the world's leading trainers and authorities in Public Safety Diving and specializes in teaching others how to succeed and survive in this ever demanding and challenging profession. Mike is recognized internationally as a Master Underwater Criminal Investigator. PADI, the world's largest dive training agency has not only awarded him this title but has certified him as a Master Underwater Criminal Investigator Instructor based on his years of experience and his contributions to the profession of Public Safety Diving. Mike has been a Trooper with the Virginia State Police for over 30 years. He served 12 years on the road as a road Trooper, 10 years at theVirginia State Police Training Academy as an Academy Sergeant/Instructor and is currently a First Sergeant and Area Commander. He is a Graduate of the FBI National Academy and has been an active member of his department's search and recovery team for his entire career.  In 1987, after seeing the need for qualified professional training in Public Safety Diving, Mike founded Underwater Criminal Investigators® (UCI). He uses his 30 plus years of experience as a Virginia State Police diver, 25 years as the team's Operations Coordinator and instructor and over a thousand underwater criminal investigations as his training foundation.

Mike is the author of  "The Water's Edge", which is an in-depth manual on how to conduct underwater criminal investigations. He has published many articles relating to public safety diving and lectures throughout the United States and abroad on these same topics and others. Mike is a underwater investigation consultant and has assisted federal, state, and other police authorities in criminal investigations dealing in and around a water environment. Mike specializes in organizing and leading large multi-jurisdictional dive operations and has had the honor of being called upon to manage some of the largest and most dangerous underwater criminal investigations in the world. In the winter of 2002 and 2003, he was asked to lead the FBI's Anthrax diving operation in Frederick Maryland searching frozen ponds for evidence relating to that case. The operation became one of the country's largest and most dangerous public safety diving operations involving a terrorist act ever attempted due to the hazardous conditions and the size of the overall operation. As a result of his contributions, he received letters of commendation from the FBI as well as being awarded the Virginia State Police Superintendent's "Award of Merit."

Mike is a Master Instructor for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), a Master Underwater Criminal Investigator/Instructor, a certified personal physical fitness trainer, an Emergency Medical Technician, a Land Search and Rescue Instructor Trainer, a Ropes Rescue Instructor and a Swiftwater Rescue Instructor to name just a few of his qualifications. Mike is currently a First Sergeant with the Virginia State Police and serves as their Search and Recovery Team (SRT) Operations Coordinator and Head Diving Instructor.

Don KinneyDon Kinney is the owner of Edmonds Technical Diving (ETDS), Hoodsport’N Dive and Cylinder Training Services (CTS).  Don began recreational diving in 1985 in Colorado and took his first warm water vacation in Akumal Mexico. Don is a police officer who is certified in both Arizona and Washington. He began his public safety diving career in Arizona when he joined a public safety dive team in 1991 working in the waters of Lake Mohave and the Colorado River. While in Arizona he gained extensive experience in working swift water and near zero visibility in fresh water lakes. He took his first Underwater Investigation course from Robert Teather and has dedicated his life to Public safety diving and Underwater investigations.

In 1995 Don moved from the warm desert of Arizona to the cooler weather of Washington State. In Washington, Don continued his recreational diving career and became interested in Technical Diving. He moved from Advanced Nitrox to Trimix and took every class he could find to gain knowledge in this area. After completing his Advanced Trimix classes he decided to take the leap into the recreational / technical professional levels. He started off as a recreational dive instructor and over time became a Trimix instructor trainer.

While expanding his recreational and technical instructor levels, he continued to be employed as a public safety diver. He was placed in charge of his police dive team in 1997 and holds this position to this day. During his time as the team leader, Don has developed the team’s Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) manual, as well as, the manual on operation of the public safety boat.

In 2001, while working in Hoodsport, Washington on the Hood Canal, Don started teaching commercial harvest divers in open water diving and then teamed up with Ron Ault and began a full service instruction program of Surface Supplied Air (SSA) diving. The training program expanded and went from the Hood Canal area to the broader area of western Washington. ETDS and Hoodsport’N Dive have the privilege of training members of many Northwest tribes including: Skokomish, Tulalip, Swinomish and Squaxin. Most recently Don has expanded the SSA training to not only include commercial harvesters, but to other people and teams using surface supplied equipment.

In 2006 Don took the next step of becoming a partner in a dive store, Hoodsport’N Dive. With his partner, Ron Ault, Hoodsport’N Dive moved from a tiny single compressor shop with one employee to a two compressor shop employing 5 people. As of 2013 Don became the sole owner of Hoodsport’N Dive with 10 employees who cover both the retail store and a mobile sales team dealing with commercial harvesters.

Don transferred his years of public safety diving experience into his knowledge as an Emergency Response Diving Instructor with ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International). He has trained numerous teams resulting in the improved competency of each diver, as well as, improving overall team safety. One of his greatest accomplishments was training a team of Public Safety divers in Indonesia. His skills helped a young dive team become more comfortable in the water and safer as divers. Since that experience he has been contacted numerous times to help train other dive teams around the world.

In 2011 Don was honored by being asked to participate as an advisor for SDI/TDI/ERDI. As part of the Training Advisory Panel (TAP) Don consults with the development and maintenance of standards and materials. He assists with quality assurance investigations, reviews and outcomes; and he consults during the reviews of “unique” specialties submitted by instructors.

Don has had the privilege of working closely with William High, the developer of Professional Scuba Inspectors (PSI). During his time with PSI, Don developed training programs for their Fire Fighter SCBA program and the training program for Eddy Current devices. He has taken this knowledge and trained numerous organizations including: NASA, Bellagio Cirque Du Soleil divers, FBI Dive team members, and Army special forces units. In 2013 Don started his own cylinder training company, Cylinder Training Services (CTS). CTS was designed for anyone dealing with a high pressure cylinder. The company not only teaches safe cylinder handling and inspections, it has developed a number of cylinder inspection tools it sells over the internet and during classes.

Don prides himself on his unique diving experiences and the ability to take those experiences to train others. He understands that not every diver learns the same way, but each person has unique qualities and strengths. Those qualities and strengths can be used to improve both an individual’s diving skills and their participation as a diving team member.

Shane Weinreis: Owner of U.S. Water Rescue LLC, which specializes in helping agencies across the world meet the challenges of the aquatic environment by providing them with the equipment and training they need to do the job safely.  Shane began recreational diving in 1986. He became a PADI IDC Staff Instructor in 1995. During his 6 years of service in the USMC, Shane served as an EMT, Helicopter Rope Suspension Training Master, and a Rescue Swimmer. 

Shane loved teaching in the warm tropical waters of Japan, but soon learned that the DEEP waters were ever so enticing (even if they were cold and dark), so along with commercial diving he began his extensive journey into deep technical diving on open-circuit and rebreathers.

Shane has been in Law Enforcement for 17 years.  In 1997 he began to focus on Public Safety Diving. Soon after, he realized the need for a highly qualified and trained Dive Rescue/Recovery Team in his local area. It didn’t take long before the team was being requested not only in Shane’s local area, but requests for assistance were being made by local and state authorities, FBI, BIA, and others across the state and neighboring states.

US Water Rescue Dive Team (USWRDT) not only provides dive rescue and recovery services in the most challenging
aquatic environments, but they also provide a highly trained Swiftwater Rescue Team. Over the years Shane has led the team on numerous missions, including body recoveries, vehicle recoveries, evidence recoveries, underwater crime scene investigations, evidence recoveries, live rescues, flood rescues, and stand-by water rescue missions.  Shane’s goal is to help other teams succeed with a 100% safety record, whether it is training or live missions. His passion is reducing the number of water related incidents and helping families find closure in their greatest time of need.