SWBA debuts in New York, the home of SCBA!

Experts from NY State Police Special Operations became America’s first SWBA Specialists at the State’s world-leading swiftwater rescue training center today.

Four highly experienced swiftwater and dive rescue instructors from the largest and longest serving public safety dive team in the USA put the Swiftwater Breathing Apparatus (SWBA) through its paces. 

The new specialists remarked how it would add a greater level of safety to many of their operations, in particular air-boat operations at night time. They also commented that SWBA gave them confidence that they had time in stressful situations to make good decisions, which is consistent to Professor Mike Tipton’s (2010) research into emergency breathing systems used by aircrew.

The short-course following a 90 minute online learning module (with swiftwater technician and basic scuba diving certifications as prerequisites) culminated in specialists being able to being engulfed in fast moving water, but still able to carry out a cognitive skill such as tying numerous knots – something that would be near impossible to do without SWBA.

SWBA is shaping to redefine safe systems of work for swiftwater rescue, because you can’t breathe water.

Thank you to the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for making their SWFT training facility available for this historic occasion.


Instructor: Dr Steve Glassey

Team Lead: T/Sgt Neil Case, Chief URT, NY State Police