It is snowing and the thermostat on your wall reads 6 degrees outside. Unless you have a trip to Bonaire coming up, or a group of enthused divers to take your ice diving course, it is going to get a little difficult to round up your “warm weather divers” into the pool, followed by some open water dives. This may be one of the bigger challenges that dive centers located in regions with a long winter may face. How do I fill up that classroom?
There is no reason to put your business on hold during the winter months. SDI, TDI and ERDI have several courses that can help maintain a full classroom without ever having to get your students in the cold water. Courses like nitrox, CPROX 1st AED and gas blender do not require any underwater skills and are primarily theory based, with some practical work for completion. ERDI’s Diver 1m Tender and Contaminated Water each have awareness level ratings that allow the non-diver to learn more about what the teams’ training may involve.
SDI’s Computer Nitrox and TDI’s Basic Nitrox are two of the most popular courses in continued education. Because they are based on theory regarding gas mixtures, there is really no underwater skill set that can be made a requirement for course completion. The key elements are to know your gas mixture and plan your dive based on maximum operating depth and time. If you and your dive center have any trips down to warmer weather late in the winter or in the beginning of spring, now is the time to offer this course to your customers. To make things even easier, both of these courses are available online.
CPROX 1st AED is a course that is not specific to diving and everyone should take. Invite your customers to bring in the non-diving family members and friends to take this course as well. Exposure, at one time or another, to some kind of first aid training can benefit everyone, not just divers. CPORX1st AED has training that could be invaluable in a case of an emergency at home, in the work place, or on the street. The course is Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Oxygen administration combined into one program. Your students will learn how to use what is at their disposal to treat and stabilize victims until medically trained professionals arrive.
There are also wide arrays for courses that focus on gas mixing, as well as equipment maintenance. TDI’s Gas and Advanced Gas Blender teach the art of blending gas mixes from basic nitrox to gases used in technical dives that include helium, and safety around oxygen and different blending methods. O2 Service Technician, Equipment Specialist and VIP (Visual Inspection Procedures) are courses that basically assist people in the maintenance, handling and care of scuba equipment and tanks. These courses are really terrific for those that want to go beyond the diving portion of the sport and understand how things really work.
ERDI as an agency focused on the safety and standardization of Public Safety Dive Teams that go into perilous situations to rescue and recover. Though most courses focus on dive training, ERDI has an awareness program intended for the non-diver member of the teams to understand the theory of the training. Invite your local police and/or fire departments to take part of the awareness programs so they can have a better understanding of what challenges their teams, both divers and the non-divers, face while performing a Surface Ice Rescue.
But business is also about getting those fair weather divers reacquainted with the sport and reinvigorated to get out there and dive. Use the Inactive Diver Program to get them ready for the season. Though pool work is required, this is the perfect course to get those people that have been out of the water for some time back into the mix. Plenty of divers are looking for something to do. Why not introduce them back into the sport with a refresher of theory and skills to get them excited again.
So just because it is snowing outside, it does not mean you need to allow the Ski Store across the street to take all the hobbyists as your potential customers. There is still plenty to do in the world of scuba! Run a trip someplace warm and encourage online training, or offer the non-diving courses to further educate your customers in the winter months while keeping your doors open for business.
Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
If you would like more information, please contact our World Headquarters or your Regional Office.