LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Laurens County is preparing to roll out its Special Operations Rescue Team.

County Administrator Thomas Higgs told 7NEWS the team will be made up of law enforcement and volunteers.

They are expected to begin responding to emergency calls in 2023.

“They’ll be sent in to do some of the hardest jobs that really are challenging,” said Higgs.

The team will be sent to different types of emergencies, including “confined space, urban/rural search and rescue, and wilderness search and rescue,” said Higgs.

Higgs explained the team and its divers will be essential to the community.

“Just in dive team capabilities, we have over 200 miles of shoreline with Lake Greenwood,” he said. “They’re going to be trained at a level that far exceeds what an average scuba diver is trained at. They’re going to be a public safety diver.”

At this week’s meeting, Laurens County council voted to buy equipment for the dive team.

“They’re going to be in the murkiest swamps and things like that,” explained Higgs. “Whether it be evidence recovery or searching for a missing person, they’re going to have to do those things. They need the best tools for the job.”

The team is still training. But, their skills have already been put to use.

“We just trained a group of divers who were actually able to save someone’s life while they were out on the lake,” said Higgs. “A kayaker went out and was unable to swim. They weren’t wearing a life jacket, flipped over and some of our crew were there training and able to go out and save a life while out on the job training.”

The county is accepting volunteers for the team.

Anyone interested can contact Higgs at (864) 984-5484.