1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wheaton IL

    Default Annual Fitness Tests

    Are any teams doing an annual swimming and skills test for your guys?
    We are considering starting a basic swimming and skills test to stay active with the regional team. Any info would help.

    Also do you know of any Public Safety deaths (or close calls) that were contributed to poor watermanship or equipment use.

    Again thank you.

  2. #2
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    St Paul, MN


    I like the skills portion, but I would recommend replacing the swimming test with a "drown proofing" skills set. Basically the ability to maintain you surface boyancy with failed equipment- especially the BC.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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  3. #3
    Forum Member
    BladesRobinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Indian River County, Florida

    Default NFPA, IADRS and Annual Physical Fitness . . .

    The National Fire Protection Association recommends an Annual SCUBA Skills Review and a Watermanship Test. To meet the NFPA requirement, the International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists, a non-profit organization dedicated to diver safety, developed two forms so PSD team members could meet the NFPA requirements. Our department (Indian River County Fire Rescue) uses the IADRS forms and they can be downloaded at no charge at the following URL:


    As it relates to the question on public safety diver fatalities, there have been 51 public safety diver fatalities in North America since 1960 (none in 2003!). At least three of these were directly attributed to medical conditions ("metabolic acidosis" in NC, Coronary Aneurysm in PN, and possible heart attack in CA). An incident in IL (June 2000) is probably related to poor physical fitness and there are others where stress/panic resulted in fatalities. Because of the panic state is directly related to the adrenalin induced heart rate, we know that good physical fitness will lower the stress threshold, and it for this reason that the NFPA recommends a "watermanship evaluation."

    We also know that stress can be caused by poor SCUBA skills and that is another reason why NFPA recommends the Annual SCUBA Skills Review.

    The International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists will be hosting their next annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL in November 2004. At this conference, an eight hour session will be dedicated to Public Safety Diver Survival with four hours of discussion and four hours of in-water skills. Leaders in the PSD industry will use the four hour discussion session to explain the relationship between physical fitness, stress and panic. It is too much to explain the science online but it is accepted fact by many public safety diver educators that good SCUBA skills and good physical fitness are two of the easiest ways to prevent public safety diver fatalities.

    For more information on the IADRS' 2004 International Water Rescue Conference where PSD Survival, Homeland Security in Ports and Waterways, and other programs are discussed, call 800-IADRS-911.


  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Camden SC


    Our department has an annual skills requirement that each diver must complete. It includes basic skills such as donning and doffing gear underwater, flooding mask, buddy breathing, 220 yard surface swim, 20 yds. underwater swim, recover 5 lbs weight from 12 feet - free style, 10 min thread water and practice of basic rope skills underwater, use of dry suits and underwater communications.

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Wonder Lake

    Default YES!

    I agree with Blades, our team and MABAS Div is adopting this and will impliment the IADRS watermanship review. I recently had to give an example of why swim skills are important. I asked a diver to tow another the lenght of the pool, wasn't able, hence why swim skill are important.

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