The new Dive Team comprised of members of the Geary County Sheriff's Department and Junction City Fire Department received merit pins during a ceremony Monday at the Geary County Office Building. The team is now fully mission capable and trained in both dive rescue and dive recovery.
Sheriff Daniel Jackson expected the team to become fully mission capable next spring but it actually occurred this past Oct. 27th. "The only reason this happened was because of the significant efforts of Ted Hayden ( YMCA Director ) and Jeff Freeborn and Flint Hills Scuba."
The 12-member team is comprised of volunteers, explained Jackson. "In a profession which is already dangerous these firefighters and sheriff's deputies all volunteered for the additional duty of dive rescue and recovery divers, and the inherent dangers that go with that."
In addition to working at Milford Lake, the team is deployable statewide. Sheriff's Department Lt. Thad Jones is the Dive Team Commander. The other members are from the Sheriff's Department, Sgt. Shawn Weeks, Sgt. Kirt Nichols, Deputy James Regalado, Detectives Jason Everson and Clint Arnold. From the Junction City Fire Department they include Fire fighters Jason Lankas, John Shepek, Todd Bogenhagen, Yeriela Bell and Paul Rabek.