Thread: SCUBA Diving

  1. #1
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    HVFD65LRS372's Avatar
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    Question SCUBA Diving

    My rescue squad has a dive team that is a part of the county's SAR. I'm on the dive team as a "auxillary" member (I guess that's what you would call it). The squad's bylaws states that they won't pay for any dive team training until after the individual has been a member of the squad for at least 1 year. So January of next year I will be eligible. The squad purchasing equipment is debatable.

    My questions are should I be trying to go ahead a learn to dive before I go take the class? And in the case that the squad won't pay for gear what brand/type/etc gear should I be looking at? I know I will need mask, fins, snorkel, and boots for the class and that rental of the other equipment is included w/ the price of the class. I live in SW Virginia. What are the basics/necessities for gear that I will need to dive? I know BCD, tank, regulators etc. I know that I'll need a wetsuit also because of the water temperatures.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

  2. #2
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    MEck51's Avatar
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    "My questions are should I be trying to go ahead a learn to dive before I go take the class?"

    I would suggest taking up recreational diving first to
    1. see if you actualy enjoy it
    2. see if you are able to do it pyshicaly. you need to be able to equalize and swim at least half way decent, along with other pyshical demands.
    3. see if you can at least learn the basics before a team shells out some coin for advanced training.

    I will also let you know that public safety diving is no trip to the keys looking at pretty fish. It is usaly dark or murky waters with very limited visibility, which will add to the stress level. It is usaly a bad day, they ought to call it recovery diving. But none the less it is a high stress job due to the limited visibility and what it is that you are going to be looking for. Add to the fact that in many areas there are moderate to sever underwater hazards and currents. Oh, did I mention the hazardous materials from oil and fuels in the water. I'll stick to my trips to the keys, you can keep rescue diving.

    "And in the case that the squad won't pay for gear what brand/type/etc gear should I be looking at? "

    Don't get any gear yet. Rent what you need for the classes. When and if you get on the team, review equipment with the team leaders.
    1. you don't want to spend money on items you don't need because they may be supplied by the team (and more than likely are)
    2. you don't want to purchase items that you flat out can not use due to interoperability concerns.
    I realize you realy want to get into this, but throttle back a little and learn the ropes a little before you go overboard, no pun intended, all right it was.

    "I know that I'll need a wetsuit also because of the water temperatures."

    Wrong for the reasons above.
    1. see what they give you
    2. you need a dry suit for most public diving venues, it keeps the hazardous materials that I mentioned off of you.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Smile Beginning SCUBA

    Definately go ahead and take a recreational OW course and any other rec classes you can get before joining the team. Most of the good points have already been stated..... another good one is it may show other team members that you truly have an interest.
    It is definately true... the Open Water and other recreational courses won't make you a PSD, however, the skills learned are part of the most important foundation for continuing your training. The more proficient you become with basic skills, the easier it will be once an apropriate PSD training service starts introducing new skills to you.
    Yep... it is murky yucky and quite hazardous for PSD but don't leave your recreational fun behind you. I still encourage my students to go have fun, head to Florida, dive in the ocean, checkout the springs, head to the lake. In short, stay wet. Your future PSD skills will enhance your recreational time as well. I have found that the more fun trips we have, the more the group stays motivated and commits to time needed for PSD training. Go Dive!
    As for equipment... don't worry about the details of equipment, you should probably focus on saving some money to purchase equipment after you take training....
    Good Luck

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