TPWD News Release — July 22, 2014
AUSTIN —Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens are hosting a nationwide Train the Trainer Officer Water Survival (OWS) course for water safety enforcement officer trainers. Officers from Texas, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Alaska, New Mexico and Arizona will be attending the course taking place July 21-25 at the School for the Deaf pool facility.
This training is part of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program catalog of nationally credentialed courses.
“Texas game wardens like many of their counterparts from across the nation are the primary law enforcement officers on the state’s waters, an environment which brings its own hazards,” said Asst. Commander Cody Jones, Texas’ Boating Law Administrator. “In the course of their duty, game wardens wear gear including their duty belt and ballistics vest that add an additional 18 to 20 pounds of weight to them. It’s important that if they enter the water whether expectedly or unexpectedly they know their capabilities and how to survive.”
“Six Texas Game Wardens have drowned in the line of duty and that’s something we think about every day,” said Colonel Craig Hunter, TPWD Director of Law Enforcement. “Game wardens are routinely on the water in very demanding situations and this training will save lives.”
Eighteen officers from across the nation will be going through this five-day course, which includes skills in surviving a water entry in uniform, disengaging from an assailant while in the water, water extraction techniques, and other lifesaving water skills.
On Tuesday, July 22 from 1-5 p.m., news media is invited to attend the training, interview participants, and enter the water wearing game warden duty gear and see first-hand the issues faced by law enforcement officers. The Texas Game Warden Dive Team will be on hand to provide safety oversight and also to provide an underwater perspective of the training.
For more information and to coordinate participation in the media event contact Cody Jones.