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Board Members

 Eric Halbach – President

I am a Sergeant with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office.  I have been with the Sheriff Office for 15 years.  In 2009 I join the Fond du Lac County Sheriff Office’s Dive Team. 

In 2014 I join a group of other Public Safety Divers around the state of Wisconsin to form the Midwest Public Safety Divers.  After the MWPSDA was incorporation I was elected to the Board of Directors and served as Vice-President.  After the 2016 Conference I step down from the MWPSDA Board of Directors.  At the January 2017 Board meeting I was selected to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors and was elected as President.

 Bill Destache – Board Member 

Bill Destache is a master diver and volunteer with the Washington County (MN) Sheriff’s Office, Water Recovery Unit, a member of the unit since 2007 and a recreational diver since 1988.  In this role, Mr. Destache has the opportunity to work on a team consisting of nearly a dozen divers and additional tenders and support personnel.  The team is responsible for the underwater search and recovery operations that have been directed or requested by the Sheriff. The Recovery Unit is a regional asset, is a joint team with St Croix County, Wisconsin, and is frequently called upon for operations through out the Twin Cities, and across Eastern Minnesota & Western Wisconsin.  Dive operations range from river recoveries to deep lake diving and thin ice incident. As a primary response service, the Recovery Unit is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Mr. Destache and the team are trained in and equipped following public safety diver standards and Lifeguard Systems recovery protocols, and is supplemented by modern technology including towed-sonar arrays, remote operated vehicles (ROV), underwater cameras and lighting. He and the team also have extensive training in operating more than a dozen boats and other equipment, allowing them to respond to any situation on the water or under the ice.  In 2010 the team completed underwater explosives investigation training and met the FEMA type I, II, III, and IV criteria. The unit is also a trained as radiological emergency response workers to respond should a catastrophe occur at one of the state's nuclear power plants.
 Damian Ballantine – Board Member 

I am a Correctional Officer for the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Dept. I have been there for 17 years. As of 2012, the Sheriff opened the Dive Team up to Corrections and I was able to join the team in 2013. With that we also have changed from an all Law Enforcement team to a Mutual Aid Dive Team. We are now MABAS 113. We have 5 volunteer fire depts that assist in all dive calls.

Due to my enthusiasm, I was put in charge of all equipment maintenance. My first year was quite a blur of getting certified in many areas in the technician field.

In the spring of 2014, I attended my first MPSDA meeting. I saw the passion of Public Safety Diving that was being displayed by the current board and wanted to be part of it. Later that fall there was an opening and I got voted on the board. Since then I have been very involved with the association. From getting vinyl advertisement, member cards to even the pint glasses. Getting this association up and going has been quite an adventure of meetings and emails. I am proud to be part of this great group of divers. If you haven’t been to a conference yet, I really suggest you do. It’s a great time networking and seeing the same passion from other people in this not really known special team.
 Bill Nichols – Board Member 

Bill has been an active certified diver since 1995. Bill started diving with the City of Schofield’s Fire Department Dive Team in 1995. He continued to pursue his diving education through advanced certifications and diving specialties. In 1999 Bill received his PADI Dive Master Certification, and in 2000 went on to earn his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Certification through Dixie Divers in Key Largo Florida.

In May of 2000 Bill opened Timber Bay Sport and Dive Center in Woodruff WI. Bill continued broadening his diving education by receiving certifications through a variety of training agencies, such as IANTD, SDI and TDI, soon after Bill earned his Instructor Trainer ratings in Recreational, Technical and Public Safety Diving.  In 2007 Bill was hired by Oneida County as a Dive Team Leader in which his first task was to form the Oneida County Public Safety Dive Team. The dive team consists of fourteen sworn and non-sworn personnel who are equipped and trained as a rapid response / recovery dive team.

Bill is also a full time Detective with the Town of Woodruff Police Department serving as a Sworn Officer with the Town of Woodruff since 2001.

Bill has a long history of serving in public safety. Bill has actively served as an Emergency Medical Technician a State Certified Firefighter a Public Safety Diver and a Police Officer.  Bill remains active in his field by teaching Underwater Evidence Collection. He also assists as an Instructor with the State of Wisconsin Crime Lab Evidence Technician Schools.
Timothy Dexter – Board Member 

I have been employed with the Washington County Sheriffs Department, WI since February 2010. I am currently assigned to dayshift patrol division.

I started with the Sheriffs Department Dive Team in 2012. The team is is a multi-jurisdictional unit comprised of Sheriff Deputies, Correctional Officers, and Firefighters from Kewaskum, Slinger, West Bend, and Richfield Fire Departments. The team was founded in 2002 and is also known as "Michael's Angels" in remembrance of Michael Mann. We owe much of the Dive Team's success to the Mann family and their continued support of the Dive Teams mission.

As well as being on the county Dive Team, I am also assigned to the Washington County Crash Reconstruction Unit.