The Larimer County Dive Rescue Team (LCDRT) was founded in 1972 by a core of scuba divers and public safety officials. It is because of their hard work and vision that the LCDRT exists today. The techniques, theories, equipment and mind set were developed by Steve Linton, Ed Rupert, Damon Rust and many others right here in Larimer County. The International Association of Dive Rescue Specialist was also founded by the same group of people. The principles and ideas utilized today are a product of these creators and more importantly they were the seeds of modern public safety diving world wide.
The team’s primary mission is the rescue and/or recovery of people and property involved in water related accidents. Over the years, the LCDRT has worked hand in hand with Larimer County Emergency Medical Services, Larimer County Sheriffs Department, Poudre Fire Authority and many other emergency agencies in Larimer County. It is also not uncommon that the LCDRT will receive requests from other agencies throughout Colorado to assist with water related incidents. With a reputation for professionalism, expertise, experience and unsurpassed training of its members, the LCDRT has proven to be a VITAL part of the community it serves. Often the LCDRT is mistakenly associated with the Search and Rescue Team by the media. It should be known that even though the LCDRT works closely with many organizations here in Larimer County, they are an independent, NON-PROFIT organization. The team is composed of civilians as well as personnel from various emergency response agencies located in Larimer County. All of which are volunteer. There are no paid positions on the LCDRT. The members of the LCDRT donate thousands of man hours each year and are considered to be one of the top water rescue teams in the nation.
Larimer County contains nearly 2,700 square miles of response area. ‘Within that response area there are nearly 21,000 acres of water. In addition there are over 350 miles of large river, including: The Cache La Poudre, North Fork Poudre, South Fork Poudre, Larimer, Big Thompson and the Little Thompson. Of these notable rivers, the Cache La Poudre ranks as the eighth largest white water river in the state, according to the Colorado White Water Association. With a base population around 216,000 near these waters, it greatly increases the likelihood of water related accidents. Couple these statistics with the other factors of kayakers, rafters and commercial rafting companies that come to enjoy the rivers from around the state and you quickly begin to see the opportunity for accidents increases. The odds are further increased during spring runoffs. The flood dangers increase as do the needs for emergency response agencies. The LCDRT meets those needs.