TF-1 Dive Division

The The Loveland-Symmes Fire Department (LSFD) began providing dive rescue and underwater recovery services in 1981. In 1987, the Hamilton County Sheriff (Simon Leis Jr.) requested that the LSFD assist his office with dive team development. During this training opportunity, it was soon realized that combining services using these fire service and law enforcement professionals would prove valuable and more economical. As this regional opportunity began to grow, additional agencies including Clermont and Butler County Sheriff’s Offices soon joined and over the years, TF-1 has become what it is known for today.

Dive Division Structure

Each agency appoints a commanding officer who has years of experience in public safety diving and oversees the staff assigned by their agency. TF-1 has provides dive rescue and recovery services throughout southwestern Ohio and across state lines.


While public safety diver equipment technologies continue to improve, TF-1 has remains on the forefront of providing the very best for its divers. Today, helmet diving using the Kirby Morgan KM77 stainless steel helmet is standard for operations. Air supply is provided from the surface using DSI Diver Control System.

Safety Measures & Procedures

During diving operations, following a risk management safety plan, TF-1 uses a 2:1 safety rule. For each diver operating underwater, 2 safety divers remain in a ready state to deploy in the event a diver emergency. Divers are protected from cold contaminated waters using a dry suit with thermal wear. The diver’s helmet or AGA mask offers full face protection with a clear lens for visibility, which enables the diver to remain comfortable at cold temperatures. Divers communicate with surface personnel through a hard wired communications line configured as part of the air supply umbilical.

Enhancing Diver Safety

TF-1 currently operates a Marine Sonic Technology 900KHz Side Scanning Sonar to view underwater images. Eliminating a search of what’s unknown and keeping divers out of the water unless necessary contributes to improving safety and enhancing efficiency. The sonar fish pings a signal through the water from either side or both simultaneously as its travels through the water behind a boat approximately 12 inches above the bottom.

Images are returned to a computer where the operator analysis them to determine if it is the target. The computer software is capable of measuring targets and plotting the coordinates of the images being viewed. These precise locating tools enable divers to descend and recover targets without countless hours of searching.