If you dive in contaminated water, and most public safety divers will, then you must be aware of the procedures to be followed for decontamination, i.e., the cleaning of the diver and his gear following a dive.
Recruiting for a dive team can be difficult, and in many cases your candidate pickings may be slim, but do not just accept members to fill seats.
In the old world of public safety diving, instructors were often experienced divers who used common sense to establish educational practices.
If you are forming, or plan to form a new dive team, I wish you luck. Even when taking on this task, ask for help and learn how others have been successful.
A core standard for training public safety divers is essential. Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) has worked to develop a set of training protocols where equipment, safety planning, and operational activities are pre-designed to follow NFPA and OSHA guidelines.
Diver safety is paramount when considering temperature and how it may affect a diver’s health.
If you are in the public safety community and you have never had the chance to attend FDIC, you should make the effort.
Over the past year or so, I have been on a mission to figure out what the health risks are to public safety divers, what is causing injuries, why they are dying, and what ERDI can do to help prevent these accidents from happening.
Diving in bodies of water known to hold contaminants can be dangerous and problematic. Planning must go into operations of this type and all parties should look for potential hazards and risks to mitigate problems.
The truth about ice diving operations is that they are very similar to standard public safety dives, with the addition of problematic factors.