At the same time it has made a move in a very different direction with Public Safety Diver (PSD), a new entry-level diver and instructor programme for divers in those parts of the world where such volunteer activity is encouraged.
Snorkelling is a family activity without requiring commitment to a multi-day full scuba course or the equipment involved, says RAID, making it ideal for non-diving partners and friends and a potential gateway to the agency’s Open Water 20 programme.
The course covers equipment, buoyancy and water movement, finning and movement basics, personal safety, planning and practical experience. Applicants for RAID Snorkel Diver can register here and visit the agency’s FREe-Learning Centre to read the course material before deciding whether or not to purchase the course through their local dive-centre.
Public Safety Diver marks a departure for the agency, says RAID. “Our members have been asking us to expand into PSD, and we’re very pleased to support those members who are currently operating or are planning to operate a public safety dive team the RAID way,” says CEO Sabatino Bianco.
In the USA and other parts of the world, “public safety diving” means diving carried out by law-enforcement and fire-department officers and professional security teams but which is also open to suitably qualified recreational or technical diving volunteers.
Operations can include search, rescue and recovery; evidence recovery, and site assessment and recording data for use in court proceedings.
PSDs are always on call and might have little or no control over the environmental conditions in which they are required to dive, including zero visibility and exposure to biohazards.
The course is open to divers of 18 and above who are certified as a RAID Explorer 30, Advanced 35 or equivalent diver. They must also be part of a public safety organisation or a volunteer member of a team under the direct supervision of an agency.
The training makes use of experienced PSD team-leaders, says RAID, and complies with the USA’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) regulations that govern PSD activities. Again, applicants are requested to find their nearest RAID dive-centre.