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Rescue Squad Assists with Meads Quarry Dive, Cleanup

On Saturday, May 16, the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad conducted a dive training exercise and cleanup of Meads Quarry in South Knoxville as part of a project to assist Ijams Nature Center. Ijams Nature Center offers a variety of recreational activities at the Quarry, and the cleanup will make the area safer for paddleboarders, canoers and kayakers.

The cleanup also paves the way for Ijams Nature Center to possibly open a limited swimming area at the quarry later this season.

Meads Quarry is part of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, an area which continues to grow in popularity regionally and has garnered the city national attention for its innovative use of greenspace. In past summer seasons, Ijams worked with River Sports Outfitters to offer paddleboard, canoe and kayak rentals at Meads Quarry, with great success.

KVERS divers have used the quarry as a training area numerous times in recent years.

“We want to make sure the quarry is clear of any dangerous debris or trash as the season really starts ramping up,” said Matt Jenkins of KVERS. “This cleanup gives us the opportunity to help Ijams and also give our people some valuable dive training.”

The squad’s water rescue team members respond to drowning and boating accidents, reports of vehicle or plane crashes in the water, and swift water rescue for flooding. The team assists law enforcement with evidence recovery and underwater investigation of crime scenes, and assists citizens with items lost underwater. It also serves as rescue stand-by for large community events like Eskimo Escapades, Boomsday, and Dragon Boat Races. Members consist of divers, boat operators, medical responders, sonar operators, dive tenders, swift water technicians, under water robot and camera operators.