Why join DART?

For the most part, the waters in and around the Sacramento area are cold enough to apply the “Golden Hour” rule:

  • If a victim has been submerged for less than an hour, the victim is not dead until he/she is warm and dead. Hypothermia and the Mammalian Dive Reflex create a condition known as “Cold Water Near Drowning”.
  • If we can get to the victim within one hour of submersion, we may be able to save a life. The more divers on the team, the faster the response time, the better the chance of a rescue.  There is no other dive team to perform this service in Sacramento County.
  • If we can teach a potential victim how to avoid becoming a victim, we can save a life.
  • If we can continue to receive the grants and donations that we use each year, we can save thousands of local, state and federal tax dollars by volunteering our time. Be a part of helping to make your community a safer place.

To become a member of DART:

1. Attend 3 DART Meetings:

  • Dates: General Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month
  • Times: Meetings are at 1900 hours and may include some training at the end
  • Location: 2700 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento CA 95821.

2. Complete a Membership Application:

  • The Membership Committee will provide you with a Membership Application Packet that you will need to complete and return to the committee.
  • The application will be reviewed, references checked, and an appointment set up for you with an interview panel.
  • You will also be provided an application that DART will submit on your behalf to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
    • This consists of an application to join as a volunteer with the Sheriff’s Department, plus submission of a LiveScan (fingerprint) form to perform a background check.

3. Provide DART with a current physical:

  • You must have a current physical in order to be Operational on DART.
  • Divers must be certified by their doctor as being dive capable.

4. Be voted on to the team:

  • After your third meeting, you will be presented to the membership by the Membership Committee, and the team will vote to bring you in as a member.

For more information on becoming a member:

Contact the Vice President at a General Meeting, via email, or check out our contact page.



To become a diver for DART, you must:

 1. Be certified as an Open Water Diver by a nationally recognized certification agency.

2. Complete a scuba skills evaluation with one of our Dive Masters, including:

  • SCUBA equipment set-up, donning and buddy checks.
  • Giant stride.
  • Removal and replacement of weight belt on the surface.
  • Removal and replacement of BC on the surface.
  • Controlled descent.
  • Establishment of neutral buoyancy at depth.
  • Mask flood and clear at depth.
  • Mask removal and replacement at depth.
  • Removal and replacement of weight belt on the bottom.
  • Removal and replacement of BC on the bottom.
  • Buddy breathing at depth.
  • Buddy breathing to the surface.
  • Controlled out-of-air ascent.
  • Deep water exit.
  • Familiarization with the OTS Guardian full face mask.
  • Familiarization dive with OTS Guardian masks.
  • Removal and replacement of mask at depth.
  • Out of air simulation with OTS Guardian masks and Spare Air(remove mask, go to Spare Air, controlled ascent).
  • Out of air simulation with masks and safety diver’s secondary regulator.

3. Complete the local dive environment briefing.

4. Complete Black out mask training.

5. Complete dry suit training.


Duties include:

Search and Rescue: DART responds to all water related emergencies in Sacramento County Area, except swimming pool incidents. DART provides all underwater/dive search, rescue and recovery functions.

Investigations: DART searches for weapons, stolen property, vehicles, and other submerged objects that may have been used in a crime.

Safety Divers: Anytime a DART diver is in the water, we have a Safety Diver on standby, and, preferably a 3rd diver that is 90% ready

Water Safety: DART may be requested in advance by a local, city, county, state, or federal agency if there is a need for us to act as safety personnel during an event.

Training: DART provides specialized public safety dive training to certified divers. Training includes specialized equipment and procedures. DART hires an outside Public Safety Diving agency to teach and standardize our Black Water Dive training. Additional outside training with other dive teams has always been encouraged.




Duties include:

  • Driving vehicles and boats.
  • Equipment rigging.
  • Diver tending.
    • Line tending.
    • Upstream/Downstream safety personnel.
    • Interface with other agencies on scene.
    • Equipment maintenance.



To become operational and be able to respond to calls as a Shore Support Intern, you must:

1. Attend training that will teach you:

  • Incident command system and concepts of team work.
  • On scene behavior standards.
  • DART response procedures.
  • Where the DART vehicles are stationed, where the equipment is located in the rigs, and how to set up the equipment for the divers.

2. Submit your application for classification as Shore Support Intern to the Standards & Evaluation Committee and request an operations number from the Operations Officer.


We need people that can assist with public displays and water safety lectures:

  • Public Displays: Boat and sports shows, safety fairs, EMS fairs and more.
  • Water Safety Lectures: Schools, private and public organizations and anyone else that may benefit.
  • Speaking events: Some organizations want to know more about DART and how they can help.
  • Interfacing with members of the media.




DART has a Board of Directors and various voluntary positions that require different skills:

  • President:

    • Must be able to facilitate a Board meeting.
  • Vice President:
    • Must be able to handle the President’s job in the event of the President’s absence.
    • Also responsible for membership to the team.
  • Secretary:
    • Must be able to keep notes of all meetings of the Board and General meetings.
    • Responsible for keeping records.
  • Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer:
    • Must maintain the financial records.
    • Must provide documentation for yearly audit.
  • Logistician:
    • Responsible for all of DART’s facilities and equipment including vehicles, vessels, and gear.
  • Directors:
    • The team’s link to the Board of Directors.
  • Chief of Operations:
    • Responsible for all Operations on the team.
    • Approves classifications for members.
  • Training Coordinator:
    • Arranges for and tracks all training.
  • Safety Officer:
    • Responsible for all aspects of safety on the team, especially during calls and at trainings.
  • Standards and Evaluations:
    • Responsible for monitoring/verification of training.
    • Recommends members for advancement to higher classification levels.
  • Press, Fire, Coast Guard, CARDA and other Liaisons: Acts as liaison between DART and the various groups.