Saturday, July 10, 2010
Emergency Response Diving International™ (ERDI) Veteran Instructor
prepares Cousteau and CNN Reporter to DIVE UNDER THE SPILL
ERDI Contaminated Water Ops Training selected for important mission
The result of dedication and weeks of hard work and special ERDI™ training where there for everyone to see as CNN reporter Amber Lyons did a back roll into the gulf waters affected by the DeepHorizon disaster. But this time the reporter did it correctly following appropriate contaminated water training and protocols from ERDI; and protected by the right equipment.
Ms. Lyons was accompanied by Philippe Cousteau, who she and CNN had convinced to return to check on the current status of the undersea environment in the Gulf. Cousteau had visited the waters earlier but by his own admission was far less prepared. The ardent environmentalist was one of the first to dive into the affected Gulf waters after the drilling rig explosion and resultant leak, to evaluate first-hand the extent of the damage. The Cousteau name is synonymous with the sea but Philippe, grandson of diving icon Jacques Cousteau, has forged his own reputation as a staunch protector and spokesman for environmental protection.
Buck Buchanan, a senior ERDI Instructor-Trainer based out of Atlanta, Georgia, worked with CNN’s Amber Lyons and Philippe Cousteau in preparation for the televised report which was broadcast live on Friday, July 9. The three of them can be seen as they discuss their plan for the dive ahead of them.
Buchanan’s role in the broadcast was to prepare the two divers to function in the harsh conditions found in water contaminated by oil. All contaminated waters present serious health risks to those divers compelled to work in them, but none with more potential for post-dive complications and long-term threats to their well-being. This preparation consisted of Contaminated Water Ops Awareness and Technician-level certification, setting up a full decontamination station on the surface, and supplying trained personnel to “clean the divers up when they were back on the surface,” without presenting further damage to the environment, divers or any member of the surface support team.
For a quick overview of the whole operation, take a minute to view these links to see ERDI training being put to good use by Ms Lyons and Cousteau.
It what seemed an odd twist of events just weeks prior to the Deephorizons catastrophe ERDI had launched its Contaminated Water Ops (CWO) program. The highlight of this launch was the onLine Contaminated Water Operations Awareness segment. In compliance with National Fire Protection Agency ERDI’s Contaminated Water Awareness Program is presented in Three (3) Levels: Awareness (open to all PSD personnel including non-diving team members) as well as Operations and Technician levels. The introduction of Awareness training helped to insure the maximum level of safety for PSD teams who are called on to dive in any type of contamination from oil to storm run-off, chemical pollutants or waste.
A generous educational grant just shy of $200,000 was given by ERDI to PSD Teams around the nation.
“Who knew what was coming next” stated Brian Carney, President of Maine-based ERDI, “had we known what was about to unfold we could have directed the major portion of our educational grant to the Gulf states.”
Carney mentioned that ERDI is working on ways to extend new grant money to allocate special CWO training to the area, “since we know that the fallout from this disaster has a real potential to play havoc with PSD teams in the Gulf Region for many many years to come.”
Public Safety Divers have no choice when it comes to picking a dive site; they are compelled to dive wherever and in whatever the circumstances require. Often this translates to conducting dive operations in contaminated waters. “While we have just about exhausted our CWO educational grant I’m just pleased that we are in a position to be able to educate the Public Safety Teams and the community at large for that matter how to handle contaminated environments, via our onLine CWO Awareness program,” Carney stated.
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July 10, 2010
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