In the public and Hollywood perception, the hero is the lone Officer, Firefighter or Good Samaritan that saves the day and carries the child or kitten to safety. And though we may be either volunteer or career divers it was not by our efforts alone that the mission was completed. How many times in training do we see tasks performed well by individuals yet the objective is missed, done poorly, or needs to be timed with a sundial? Every member has a function to perform within the team and that can only be done in an all-inclusive program. The ERDI training curriculum and experienced instructors give the dive team and its members the knowledge and skills to complete the mission, not just the task.
It starts at the top and is refined with trial. Every consistently good team begins “on the beach” and before it even gets wet the team sets the command structure for the town, county, state and/or national response that meets the local area. This means knowing and using the Incident Management System or I.M.S. For a new team the consideration is: who is in charge and what is the jurisdiction having authority or J.H.A? What are your standard operating guidelines or procedures and when should it be a guideline or not? Does it conflict with OSHA or NFPA standards? Will it stand up in court? Did you over-reach our training abilities or qualifications? ERDI Professionals are members of existing teams and have acted as trainers, divers and many even hold command staff positions.
With the ERDI curriculum and guidance of an ERDI Instructor, the roles of Team Leader (Incident command), Assistant Team Leader, Operations and Training, are clearly defined. There are the behind the scenes personnel that keep the team functioning and are ready to respond as equipment, medical, records, and public relations coordinators; and of course the shore and line tender technicians, primary and safety divers. Your team may require Specialty Technicians in lifting, crime scene, confined space or decontamination to name a few. Also, most team members work in several of the roles as needed to make a cohesive team and to cover absences or illness.
What really sets ERDI apart is the dive team’s ability to select the type and amount of training as time, money and local conditions permit. Following NFPA and OSHA standards for Awareness, Operations and Technician level training is the hallmark of our agency. Even within a team, different levels of training are expected and continually change with experience and team needs.
ERDI certification is not withdrawn for failure to pay continual fees to a corporate agency but is continued with consistent and documented training on your part. We strive to help you keep your team viable, safe and ready to serve. It might be in your team’s best interest to have ERDI-trained Divemasters and/or Assistant Instructors as part of your ongoing program. That is what ERDI is all about and your ERDI Instructor is a team asset.