ERDI Public Safety Diver Training Courses

The professional life of the public safety diver naturally includes a whole range of diving environments that are dangerous, unpleasant, and require a substantial amount of specific training.

Public safety divers are the professionals that are called upon to retrieve deceased victims, submerged vehicles, criminal evidence, and to search for any of these things.

There is no substitute for proper dive training.

Who or what is ERDI?

ERDI, or Emergency Response Diving International, is a public safety diver training agency that falls under the Scuba Diving International (SDI)/ Technical Diving International (TDI) umbrella. Their primary purpose and goal is to provide all the necessary training for police and fire department dive teams to effectively accomplish their missions in every dive environment they may encounter.

As part of their curriculum, ERDI creates all their own programs with input from the experts in the field. All of these programs are National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) compliant, which adds an additional layer of comfort for both team leaders and administrations.

ERDI is also the only agency that has it’s own insurance and endorses it’s own standards.

ERDI Training Levels

Much like the NFPA, ERDI offers training courses in three levels: Awareness, Operations, and Technician.


Awareness-level ERDI training can often be completed online, through ERDI’s E-learning platform. This level of training is meant to expose students to the various aspects of a public safety dive operation. Despite being just an awareness course, completion of this course still provides a certification card.


The operations-level of an ERDI training course is the first level that provides a hands-on experience. Students will complete an academic portion followed by hands-on learning taught by a certified ERDI instructor. To complete the course, students need to demonstrate an acceptable mastery of the required tasks.


The technician level is the final level of any ERDI training course, and signifies that the student is able to participate as a full member in their dive operation. To complete an ERDI technician course, students will receive academic instruction, demonstrations, guidance, and multiple hands-on tests, all administered by an appropriately certified ERDI instructor.

ERDI Certification Courses available through Northeast Public Safety Divers

As a premiere ERDI training center, we offer a wide range of ERDI certification courses to any students who wish to improve their capabilities. All of our courses are taught by a talented staff of veteran public safety divers, who bring hard-earned experience to each and every student.

ERDI Courses


The dive tender is potentially the most important member of the public safety dive team. They assist divers in preparing equipment, getting dressed, setting up search patterns, entering and exiting the water, and executing the actual dive operation.

As the diver’s “above water eyes”, tenders also control the dive pattern. Through a series of line pull signals, or voice communications, the tender can tell the diver which direction to move during their search pattern. During more critical operations (like evidence recovery) these tenders are also responsible for written documentation, dive logs, sketching, and other written tasks.

Most importantly, the dive tender is the diver’s first and primary line of safety. The tender maintains the diver’s safety tether, and keeps a keen eye on any potential hazards the diver may encounter.


These two courses are the backbone of the ERDI training program. At the technician level, graduates learn all aspects of how to properly perform the tasks of a public safety diver.

They will receive direct training in search patterns, safe dive procedures, body recovery, basic evidence recovery, emergency procedures, basic contaminated water management, and hazard mitigation.

Graduates are certified to operate under the direct supervision of a qualified dive supervisor and will not exceed 60 feet of depth.

Contaminated Water

Public safety divers are more likely to operate in contaminated water than not. Many of the public safety diver’s missions will inherently involve contaminants to some degree. Submerged vehicles may leak oil and fuel, deceased victims or decomposing bodies can disperse biohazards, and many bodies of water contain heavy metals and industrial chemicals trapped in the silt.

This course teaches the student how to recognize, operate in, and decontaminate from the various contaminants they may encounter in the dive operation.

To complete the technician-level program, students will execute training dives, decontaminate divers, and be decontaminated themselves.

ERDI Drysuit

The drysuit is one of the primary items that prevents a public safety diver from becoming contaminated, or otherwise incapacitated, by the dive environment. Fully sealed, these suits will prevent a diver from become cold, wet, or exposed to anything in the water.

Full Face Mask

Full face masks are the complimentary component to the drysuit. The full face mask protects a diver’s critical vulnerabilities from exposure or contaminants. Mucinous membranes like the eyes, nose, and mouth, can all readily absorb contaminants from the surrounding water, so having a sealed mask around those entry points can be critical.

Ice Diver

Diving under ice requires a significant degree of safety planning and careful execution. Ice diving also requires special procedures to ensure that divers can return to their surface regardless of what happens.

The ERDI ice diver course focuses on these procedures, and relates them to a public safety diver’s purpose in being under the ice.

Night Operations

Public safety divers can be called to work at any time of day, even at night. Completing these necessary operations requires special considerations and procedures to cope with darkness.


The dive supervisor is the critical component that keeps the operation moving smoothly. ERDI supervisor candidates must become familiar with all applicable standards, and how to follow them during the dive operation.

Supervisors are also responsible for selecting the dive site, establishing safety zones, requesting additional resources, deploying divers, safety factors, and the overall safe execution of the entire operation.

Underwater Crime Scene Investigator

The trained and qualified underwater crime scene investigator sits at the peak of the public safety diving industry.

These divers are fully capable of carrying a criminal investigation into a body of water, in a way where their findings are acceptable and admissible in criminal court and can be used to prosecute wrong-doers.

The purpose of the ERDI Underwater Crime Scene Investigations program is to provide necessary skills and knowledge in performing underwater crime scene investigations, preservation and proper documentation for court ready testimony.

Hull Inspection

The hull of a ship is considered an overhead environment and hides many substantial risks to divers.

Regardless of the risk, public safety divers may be called upon to check the hull of a ship during a security screening, or to retrieve evidence.

Divers performing these tasks need to be properly trained on how to do so, safely.

Thin Ice Diving Operations

Operating on thin ice presents hazards not common to the emergency response diver and special training
is required.

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the diver with many of the hazards associated with
thin ice operations and how to plan and execute a thin ice dive. Thin is for the purpose of this program is
defined as less the 2” thick or in the thaw state.

Surface Supplied Air Operations

This course will train successful candidates in the basic skills necessary to participate in limited open water
public safety diving utilizing surface supplied air with a full face mask and/or Hard Hat.

This course is designed for Public Safety Divers and is not to be considered an adequate curriculum for commercial dive operations of any kind.

Confined Space Diving Operations

The ERDI Confined Space Diving Ops Component is designed to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for limited confined space diving operations in emergency response conditions.

This course complies with NFPA 1006 and 1670, OSHA, and FEMA for water rescue.

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Our Professional Training Cadre is 100% Mobile To You

Northeast Public Safety Divers is one of the best public safety dive training companies that offers a variety of SDI and ERDI certification courses to recreational and public safety divers, from basic all the way through Supervisor, with a large catalog of specialties. Our operation is mobile and we will bring an entire certification course to your department or area.

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