During the filming of Our Rivers: Yesterday and Today – The Monongahela River our crew was taken through a typical day’s activities for members of Pittsburgh River Rescue. Members of River Rescue serve on a rotational basis apart from their dedicated areas of service. Each member undergoes additional, extensive and ongoing training in their particular  expertise within river rescue operations.

(Left to Right)

Helmsman Ken Stevwing gave us a first hand look at the Pittsburgh Pool and a complete introduction to the River Rescue vehicles. Well versed in the history of the Pittsburgh River Rescue, he also provided historic photos of the origins of the services for the educational program. Ken also serves our region as a Pittsburgh Police Officer.

Crew Chief and Rescue Diver Brian Havaran provided a rundown of the onboard emergency equipment, diver training and the special considerations of river rescue operations. As a Master Diver, Brian was joined by Crew Chief John Soderberg (who served as our underwater photographer) on a training dive providing an up-close look at the diving conditions near the PNC Park River Rescue station. Brian also serves as a Pittsburgh Paramedic.

Crew Chief and Rescue Diver Mark Tomassi detailed daily operations, training and the many challenges Pittsburgh River Rescue face in keeping our waterways and boaters safe. Mark and Ken assisted during our training dive operation at the station. Mark also serves as a Pittsburgh Paramedic.

Thanks to everyone at Pittsburgh River Rescue for introducing students to the world of rescue operations on our rivers!

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