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Screening process for new members

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers' started by ThePipingSheriff, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. ThePipingSheriff

    ThePipingSheriff Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tennessee
    19
    0
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    I'd like to get some opinions if possible on whether or not you feel you can identify someone that might make a good diver through an interview process and limited pool work.

    I'm in law enforcement and our team does body and evidence recovery, but not rescue. Back when I joined the minimum standard was 50 dives with experience in limited visibility preferred. Several years later that minimum standard was dropped to 25 dives with experience in limited visibility.

    Recently we considered opening up membership to individuals that are not certified. Personally I would like to see us draw our members from experienced divers, but it's not totally my call.

    Out thought process is to have an interview to try and identify good candidates. A basic swim test and maybe a Try SCUBA session. During the Try SCUBA session we talked about having the candidate don a blackout mask and see how this affects their comfort level. They might even be asked to complete a fairly simple task.

    I'm sure that trying to take someone from being non certified to a competent functioning member is a crap shoot, but I was wondering what your ideas might be as far as an initial screening process.

    Thank you!
     
  2. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    1,195
    605
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    wow. going from non-diver to PSD is a tough one. I've always looked at people who meet some basic rec dive levels. AOW, rescue, nitrox or some combo. Even better with some specialities or tec ratings. And even better with some ERDI or DRI work behind them.
    I'd start with looking for people with a passion. I have several LEOs here that approached me privately to certify because they want to eventually apply to the PSD team. That kind of drive counts in a big way.
    Some of these guys will not make it as a PSD.....they do not have the comfort level and skills they will need.....yet. A few of the guys took to scuba like a fish to water. I see them as perfect candidates. Comfortable in and on the water, the skills were like second nature. i know these guys will make it.

    i'd be curious how it goes for you
     
    northernone and ThePipingSheriff like this.
  3. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
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    As far as recognizing someone who may or may not be adequate for a dive team, my answer would be absolutely I could. That is what I do. I am very fortunate to run 3 of the 7 dive teams in my area. Also being the one that trains at least 80% of all the Public Safety Divers for those teams, I routinely cut people or accept them onto those teams. Each team has its own requirements per the policies and procedures set forth by those departments, but the tryout process is slightly different for each. The 3 teams that I am directly associated with, have a pretty simple tryout. It actually takes place during the new diver's training. Like I said, I am 8 out of 10 times the Instructor that teaches them. We have prerequisites one must have before making actual operational dives, however, we encourage all to train and dive during training sessions. This means the new diver who was just certified can train side by side with the seasoned Public Safety Diver, but they can only operate as a Diver once those prerequisites have been met. With that being said, each team member has a role, even if it is not in the diver role. There are some incidences where a new diver, or even someone who is in Rescue Diver Training, is allowed to operate as a diver, when the operation is substantially at minimum risk. An example is this coming weekend, 1 of our teams will be providing divers for our annual Polar Bear Plunge, for the North Carolina Special Olympics. This is a great way to transition a newer diver into the realm of Public Safety Diving. Rescue Students get a up close and personal example of panic at the surface, when a plunger freezes up after jumping into the water. Now of course we have other rescue personnel in at the surface and on the docks for medical purposes, but it lets them get a taste of what panic can be. Training is very important when it comes to any type of diving especially Public Safety Diving. Now with all this being said, there are occasions when a non Public Safety Diver is allowed to dive. Reason being, well sometimes you have to do the best with what you got. Message me and I will give you a run down on some try out options you can implement in the pool that will help you weed out the ones that would not suit your team.
     
    northernone and ThePipingSheriff like this.
  4. fwfd601

    fwfd601 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northeast Indiana
    13
    0
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    Could you send me some information on interview questions for new team members?
     
  5. jencks23

    jencks23 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Connecticut
    36
    2
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    Our team is fire service based and has strict requirements. Potential divers have to be recommended by their chief, then interviewed by the teams leadership and finally pass the IADRIS watermanship test before they are even allowed to take basic SCUBA. Thing progress from there following a specific path. Members arent allowed to dive on an actual emergency till after they have passed their PSD class and have been evaluated by the teams leadership. Unlike most fire service based dive teams who's members may or may not do their only diving during training, our divers dive just about every weekend. The team has "informal" team dives like our Turkey, fathers, new years day dives and several charters sponsored (team members pay but the trip is organized by the team or local shop) by the team or local shop. The past few years several of us have taken a trip to the Saint Lawrence Seaway with a group of divers from the local shop.
     
    northernone likes this.
  6. Doogie38

    Doogie38 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NY
    10
    3
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    Physical test prior is key, were volley but weed a lot of people out by some quick tests.

    20- laps in pool in dry suite
    2 - mile swim in drysuite or swim to boat in current. This gets rid of 40%
    Drown proofing get rid of another 10%

    After that people tend to stay, water time is key. People sound amazing on land throw them in black water, they that's another story.
     
  7. Resqdivemedic

    Resqdivemedic Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: chepachet, RI USA
    238
    104
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    Our team requires OW Certification with a minimum of 25 logged dives. Candidates are then required to pass the IADRS swim test and basic SCUBA review. Once these requirements are satisfied, probationary divers can participated in monthly training but are not allowed to function at the technician level on team activations until they obtain public safety diver certification for dive ops as well as swiftwater and surface ice rescue technician certification.
     
  8. Doogie38

    Doogie38 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NY
    10
    3
    3
    I do like the idea of having OW and logged dives, but some of the best PSD I know didn't start out diving/ have any scuba experience prior.

    Besides pool work all training done with us has been in black water. People who were certified and had years experience in crystal clear during rec dives. They were the ones who passed through overly cocky, when it came time to Dive black water they freak out or can't get use to it. I believe OW prior can wash out some good potential divers.

    It's like FF some people do great book wise, then when they are thrown in the $h1t they freeze and realize then it's not for them.
     
    northernone likes this.
  9. Resqdivemedic

    Resqdivemedic Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: chepachet, RI USA
    238
    104
    43
    I can see your point, but I would like to have a diver with basic scuba knowledge and expand on it. If they freak out and quit due to poor vis then so be it, nothing against them. Most PSD training programs require OW as a prerequisite.
     
  10. Jared0425

    Jared0425 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    651
    267
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    That's a little extreme is it not? Even when I was on my HS swim team I could not pull that off, and I was in league with the best in distance swimming. If the current is bad, be heavy and hug the bottom, you should always be attached to a tender via com line or rope. Being attached to a tender only allows you to swim so far and that is standard in PSD.
     

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