• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Minimum Training Standards for All Public Safety Divers?

Discussion in 'Ideas and Stories' started by scubadiver214, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. scubadiver214

    scubadiver214 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pennsylvania
    45
    1
    6
    Wouldn't it be nice if there was some type of federal or state legislated minimum training requirements for all public safety divers, both paid and volunteer types? I think that it would make things much safer for everyone involved. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Ahhhhhhhhhh, The perfect world.

    Yes it would.

    Way, way, way to many people think “Rescue Diver” is a PSD certification and try to use it as a tool for getting into PSD.

    Then we have the people that were “Sport” certified while in the service and try to pass that one off as being a military diver.

    There is such a mix of certifications, training levels, experience, lacking of just basic skills and mixture of equipment that it’s scary.

    Everyone needs to be on the same sheet of music. But it does need to be flexible to geographic location and possible dive conditions. It also needs to be broken down into several areas such as; Rescue, Recovery, Surface Support and Trainee. Only when a person can show that they have the knowledge and MENTAL STABILITY for the position should they be allowed to continue to the next step.

    One thing PSD should uniformly teach is that there is no constant except Murphy’s Law. Someone in a three-piece suit can design all the programs and computer models they want, but when it comes right down to it you need to be ready to explore new ways and ideas on how to get something done. Every situation is not in the book.

    Another consideration is restricting the SPORT level a PSD is allowed to obtain while they are a PSD. Becoming a Dive Con, DM and a few others are totally contradictory to the PSD style. One needs to dive one way all the time to be safe and consistent not switching back and forth.

    Great idea but I don’t see it in my lifetime.

    Gary D.
     
  3. StSomewhere

    StSomewhere Loggerhead Turtle

    1,783
    0
    0
    You're kidding right?

    10th Amendment not withstanding, the reality is that the federal standards tend to override the local authorities ability to set standards that make sense locally. Better to let local organizations voluntarily affiliate with whatever standards make sense in their geographical areas.

    Well meaning people who voluntarily invite DC bureaucrats to set standards usually live to regret that decision. Can you imagine a case where a volunteer firefighter/diver from Florida could be forced to certify for altitude diving, regardless that no where in Florida is there enough elevation to warrant that type of training?

    The most effective standards are the ones set by qualified professional organizations for their own members.
     
  4. scubadiver214

    scubadiver214 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pennsylvania
    45
    1
    6
    stsomewhere,

    Thanks for your comments, but I think your "are you kidding" comment might be a tad strong considering where I was going with my post. I think you'll see we're actually on the same page: I firmly agree public safety divers should be thoroughly trained for the specific type of diving they will be doing. The key to my thought process is wrapped up in the word I used to describe the suggested requirements: "minimum." I think you'll agree that commercial open water, advanced, and rescue courses don't adequately prepare someone to be a public safety diver. And there are skills common to all types of public safety diving that could be covered in an intermediate training program, parallel to what the Air Force has for its pilots and it is called Primary Flight Training (PFT). In PFT, all Air Force pilots learn the basic skills to fly jets, but each needs to go through another course to learn the specific type of aircraft each one is assigned. I think Gary D. said it perfectly in, " the perfect world." I used "wouldn't it be nice..." :wink:

    Best wishes,

    Scubadiver214
     
  5. Boater Dan

    Boater Dan Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western PA
    320
    2
    0
    And the regulating agency would provide the funding necessary for the volunteer organizations to provide the training, continued updates, and uniform equipment for the team??????????

    I certainly agree that there should be standards established. What I struggle with in PSD is the individual. There are mental factors involved that very well may not expose themselves during training. Training in a controlled situation under supervision is much different than knowing you are in zero viz, hung up on something that you cannot reach, and are ready to panic. Some will, some won't. How do you define the difference?

    I have and will continue to acknowledge that I am undertrained, underexperienced, yet confident in my abilities. My knowledge, life experiences, ability to think rationally, work through problems, and not panic, provide me with a solid basis for what we do. I have met other "trained" divers that I would not want to do a Carribean dive with, yet let alone depend on them to save me if something went wrong.

    I am in the process of trying to arrange for additional PSD specific training for our team. The same old 2 problems exist for us as it does for most: time and money. Let's solve those issues, and it will be closer to a perfect world.

    Dan
     
  6. BigJetDriver

    BigJetDriver Great White Rest in Peace

    3,412
    4
    0
    Gary,

    I almost always agree with your comments, and particularly with your statements above, with one minor exception.

    I find I am puzzled by your comments about PSD divers seeking further training. I find that I can't quite see how Divemaster training and practice which is designed to improve a diver's overall performance, could intrude on the work that he or she must do as a PSD.

    It is true that student training does not, of necessity, occur in black-water situations. I would have to say, however, that anything which tends to increase a diver's skill and comfort level in the water is, by definition, a benefit!

    Perhaps, howver, I am mis-reading your comment. Could you elucidate?

    BJD
     
  7. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    I'm not against further training at all. What I was aiming at is if you were to be a DM and be a PSD at the same time they are two different styles of diving. To reap the maximum benefit you can only set your goals towards one or the other.

    There are things you do as a PSD that a DM would never do. I'm just a firm believer that we should dive one style and not flip back and forth with two styles.

    Other than that, get all the training you can. But IMHO focus on either sport or PSD. There are enough PSD classes and re-certifications to keep one busy anyway.

    Gary D.
     
  8. Snowbear

    Snowbear NOK ScubaBoard Supporter

    7,059
    2
    0
    I'm certified as a PADI DM.
    Also LGS PSD (Black water, rapid deployment, FFM. The ice diver thing will happen this winter....)
    Also GUE Tech1.
    3 competely different, often conflicting "styles" of diving.
    The GUE training makes me a better DM (I hope?)
    When I don the rubber suit and FFM for a fire dept dive, DIR is out the window..... I'm a mud hog "dog on a leash" I wear a pony bottle. Most of the time can't even see an SPG, much less a depth guage. I figured out in a hurry that a couple pounds overweight is a good thing most of the time. Buddy? Oh... you mean the guy on the other end of the leash???

    As for federal standards.... I sure hope we don't get to that point. But that's probably just my own selfish anti-feds bias talking. I was fortunate in that the FD I work for decided a couple years ago to go with a nationally recognized agency with nationally recognized safety and training standards.

    The area I live in has a volunteer dive team that has asked me a couple of times to join. I fear they will need a member death to convince them they need to train and respond to any sort of national standard. So far I have had to turn them down. Not for fear of my own safety, but as I told the Chief in charge - because I don't want to be part of an operation that ends up killing a member. :frown:
     
  9. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    758
    5
    0
    But to agree with Gary you must flush all the skills that you learned from your GUE and PADI training and just dive one way do you not? Maybe I'm not understanding correctly but I will never use a pony or solo dive in any other form of diving other than the PSD stuff. Why? because having a competent buddy beside you is a better alternative when you can do it. Conversely, I will never use the long hose when doing PSD stuff because it is a liability.
    I use the pony for PSD. I use the long hose for tech diving. 2 completely different diving styles as you said and each for good reasons. I have not found a way to combine the 2 and if someone will suggest that I should pick one form of diving over the other the bystanders better run for cover :wink:. I'll just have to dive twice as much - no problem!

    As far as the standards go. In my province in Canada we are bound to follow the CSA standards for diving which is pretty thin but does begin to address diver competency and operations. I'd like to see them go a little further actually. These standards have really helped grease the wheels of our management to provide us with better equipment and procedures. I think that you guys could have a national standard that provides a frame work that wouldn't be all that restrictive - ours isn't. The NFPA's is a good start
     
  10. Snowbear

    Snowbear NOK ScubaBoard Supporter

    7,059
    2
    0
    Nope - I don't flush the other training at all. Well, maybe some of the PADI training got flushed when the GUE training took over :wink: When I dive with the PSD team, it's a completely different mindset as well as skillset.
    Being the dog on a leash by myself is, IMO in the mostly black water environments we dive in, WAY safer and more productive than having a buddy in the water. At the other end of the line is a tender. Next to the tender is a backup diver with the same PSD training and gear I have who is watching my bubbles, counting my breathing rate and is ready to get in the water if I have a problem. Why would I need a long hose if I don't have a buddy? That's who it's for isn't it? As you said - it would be a liability in the PSD diving I do. Same reason I don't have an "octo" but instead a short hose attached to a pony bottle and the reg bungied around my neck. I have no need for a pony bottle in recreational diving. In the black water environment, although I have an SPG, I can't see it. I rely on the guy on the surface to figure out how much gas I have left (they're pretty good at it too :wink:)
    So yeah - two different ways of doing things that are appropriate for the diving being done. As far as I can tell, they are not safely interchangeable, at least not here. I actually have not had any trouble differentiating which environment I'm in, so no, I'm not gonna pick one over the other - I'll keep doing both.
     

Share This Page