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Cold-water dive part of firefighter training

Capt. Jim Schmeidler is suited up and ready for a cold-water dive, Jan. 31 at Big Bend, a private lake south of Great Bend.

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The temperature at Big Bend lake was close to freezing in late January when several of Great Bend’s firefighters decided to go for a dive. It’s all part of their training, according to Capt. Jim Schmeidler, leader of the GBFD Dive Team.

The team consists of eight certified divers who can help with underwater searches or rescues throughout Barton County. That means there are usually a couple of divers on any shift.

"We usually try to do a cold-water dive once a year to get acclimated to the cold water," Schmeidler said. Big Bend is a private ...

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