Teammate remembers Volunteer Diver - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Teammate remembers Volunteer Diver

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A Volunteer Diver died after injuries he sustained during a training exercise last week.

Sioux Falls Emergency Management Director said this is a very uncommon situation.

The dive team has been around for about 40 years, and no one has ever been hospitalized from injuries on the job.

The victim's teammate said this was very shocking.

Last Thursday a Volunteer Sioux Falls Diver was injured while training.

"We had a lot of great people working out there together and the training session turned to reality on us," said volunteer dive member Douglas Brockhouse.

Jeff Alan Thumma passed away Sunday night.

"Always willing to help and be part of the team, I'd call him Johnny on the Spot, he was always there to lend a helping hand," Brockhouse continued.

He was at the training the night Thumma was injured.

"There's no way you can expect it. You can never expect it, but that's what we train for every single day. That's the reason why we train, we train, train, train and you never expect it to happen but you have to have a plan when it does happen," he explained.

He said Thumma was a graduate of American Baptist Seminary and knew a number of languages.

"He never wore that on his sleeve. His focus and his attention was strictly on what we were doing and he was never there to try to impress anybody, he was there to be part of the team," said Brockhouse.

Not only did the divers lose a teammate, but also a friend.

"It's a team of about 12 people and we're all very close and we're a pretty a tight family," Brockhouse said.

He added they'll start again in the pool, before moving back to the lake.

The team spoke with counselors about the situation and how to handle it moving forward.


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