Public Safety Drysuit Diving


Public Safety Drysuit Diving Program

Drysuits are the exposure suit of choice for public safety teams who often dive in contaminated and cold water. Drysuits offer the protection needed for both these hazards. Learning how to properly rapidly dress, maintain, and dive drysuits is imperative for diver safety and suit longevity.

There are several potentially dangerous myths continuously perpetuated in manufacturer training manuals or many training programs. These include, “divers need more weight when diving dry than when diving wet.” ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE! Have you ever heard, “Drysuit divers do not need to wear buoyancy compensators.” ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE! Another dangerous fallacy is, “Do not put air in your buoyancy compensator when drysuit diving, rather add air in your drysuit.” And how about the myth, “If your drysuit starts self-inflating, simply reach up and pull open the neck seal to rapidly dump the air.” What world are they diving in? – one without thick gloves, hoods, and carotid sinus reflexes.

The mission of this program is to teach the diver and tender, procedures necessary for divers to safely dive drysuits in a rapid deployment mode, in such a way that the suits will function properly for many years to come.

Course hours: 20-24 hours during two and a half days.

Prerequisites: Entry Level Diving Certification for divers, Tender Certification for Tenders.

Minimum age: 18 or 16 with permission of instructor and guardian

Maximum number of students: 20 divers, 5 tenders

Maximum Depth: 50 feet

Minimum number of dives per diver: 3

Course Set-up & costs:

Course Fee $2,600 plus two hotel rooms for two people each for two nights (FD bunk rooms, etc., may suffice). Please note: Some staff travel expenses may need to be added to the course fee, depending on location. This includes:

* Diver Certification Card
* Wall Certificate for each diver and tender
* Handouts for each student
* State CEU credit where applicable

Day One: 1-2 hour lecture and rapid dressing techniques and  three hours in pool

Lecture

* Safe drysuit diving procedures
* Suit maintenance procedures
* Proper donning and rapid donning techniques
* Safe weighting for drysuit diving

Pool

* How to move in a suit that is fully inflated, how to right yourself and swim
* Proper weighting
* Develop rapid and reflexive suit inflator hose disconnect skills with suit self-inflating
* Air dumping procedures – reflexive contingency
* Upside-down self-inflating self rescue procedures
* Suit flooding contingency procedures

Day Two and Three – 8 to 10 hours on openwater site

* Openwater -every diver must complete a minimum of three successful dives, with each dive having its own drysuit related objectives.
* Classroom – one hour on day three: written examination and debriefing