Dive personal protectection from exposure
Has any one seen any kind of regulation or standard that might help me in the research that shows the hazards or needs for more than wet suits for PPE for recue diving? Our dive team seems to be given the low bid equipment even when it comes to personal protective equipment. If we are to be exposed to blood on a medical call they freak out but, yet they have no hesitations on sending us into a water contaminated with blood or other hazards with only a wet suit. If any one has information on where I might be able to search for more info please let me know. I have already tried with OSHA and dive rescue international with no luck. You would think a department of more than 450 personnel would care a little more about their employees.
Resources to help justify Dry Suits and protective equipment.
I noticed that you also are from Florida and I used to have the same problems that you are experiencing. Call me if I can help you with your budget request as I have "been there, done that."
You can call me on duty at 561-231-6493 (C-shift, work 24/48, on duty on 2/3/02) or drop me an e-mail.
There are several resources that you should have at your disposal:
"Diving In Polluted Environments" is available through Dive Rescue International by calling 800-248-3483, ext 12. This book is THE AUTHORITY for divers who work in contaminated environments.
Our team (Indian River County) uses Positive Pressure AGA/Interspiro masks and Viking Dry Suits (also available through Dive Rescue International). This was determined to be appropriate protection as evidenced by the EPA at the following web site:
http://www.epa.gov/r10earth/offices/...qip.htm#Viking Drysuit with AGA Divator MK II Full-Face Mask
Also, print the information from this site to help you justify dry suits and AGA masks. It relates to the pfiestria toxin. The site states, "Preliminary evidence suggests that exposure to waters where toxic forms of Pfiesteria are active may cause memory loss, confusion, and a variety of other symptoms including respiratory, skin, and gastro-intestinal problems. It has been shown that similar human health effects can be caused by exposure to Pfiesteria toxins in a laboratory setting." Fishermen and inland divers in North Carolina have been complining of these symptoms for a while and their illnesses are being investigated.
Take a visit to this site for information on diving in polluted environments. A lot of this information comes directly from the DIVING IN POLLUTED ENVIRONMENTS book:
These sites and others have been discussed at the SAR DIVER Discussion forum and are bookmarked there (that's how I was able to quickly find this information). All public safety divers should consider joining the FREE forum.
This free forum is moderated and restricted to professionals in the public safety diving industry.
One last resource is the International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists. The IADRS publishes SEARCHLINES where these and other topics related to water rescue and recovery are discussed. More information is available at:
Best of luck!
Blades Robinson, Lt
Indian River County (FL) Fire Rescue