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Water Extrication Team (WET team)

May contain: vessel, dinghy, transportation, boat, watercraft, and vehicle

With the growing rise in automobile submersion fatalities in Florida and the East Lake Community, East Lake Fire Rescue has recently developed a state of the art Water Extrication Team. This team is like no other in the area. Traditional dive teams are slow to deploy and often act as a recovery team. The WET Team is a rapidly deployed team of two to four divers using rapid extrication SCUBA equipment. This specialty scuba equipment is designed to allow rescuers to rapidly don the gear in under 20 seconds and enter the water to rescue victims from sub-surface water environments.

Firefighters  have access to this low profile equipment on every fire engine so there is no need to call for dive units which are often 30 minutes or more away. The WET Team is available to neighboring communities when needed.  We believe in arming our Firefighters with the best tools available to keep them safe and successful!

May contain: water, human, person, outdoors, sports, and sport


Our WET Team concept was developed by Lt.  Gary Hurlbut, an 11 year member of East Lake  Fire Rescue and a 22 year PADI Master Scuba  Diver Trainer(MSDT). Under Lt. Hurlbut's  supervision, select firefighters undergo an  extensive training program to including Open  Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, Full Face Mask, and Rapid Diver-Public Safety Diver  certifications.

May contain: label, text, sticker, trademark, symbol, logo, and badge

In the news

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) & Center for Disease Control (CDC)  Over 500 Vehicle Submersion Deaths occur annually in Florida. Automobile engineering has made cars water -tight allowing victims to breath from trapped air pockets.  This gives rescuers a chance to rescue occupants.

For more information on the WET Team, please contact Chief Matt Wirth at

Special Duty Pay Sheet