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Volume 2, Number 16, Page 2

 

June 2000

EQUIVALENCY CLARIFIED

Non-NOAA employees that have completed the requirements for working or scientific diver equivalent certifications may participate in NOAA diving activities if they comply with NDP standards. Such standards require an approved diving physical on file at the Dive Center and meeting the dive proficiency requirements. Many of these same individuals also dive with other, Non-NOAA organizations and have been representing themselves as NOAA divers to gain access to these other organizations and institutions. The NOAA equivalent certification was created to allow Non-NOAA personnel to participate in NOAA diving activities, not other outside agencies. However, the fact remains that many Non-NOAA organizations are accepting the equivalent certification and therefore, clarification of NOAA’s stance on this issue is in order.

Non-NOAA employees, possessing a NOAA equivalent diving certification, may use their certifications as proof of initial completion of certification requirements. The certification should not be misconstrued to mean that these individuals are on active diving status with the NDP, are NOAA employees, or are covered under NOAA’s Federal Employees Compensation Act (unless they are employed by another federal agency). If, on the other hand, these individuals maintain certification requirements with the NDP, including submission of monthly dive logs, they may indicate that they are on active status with the NDP. However, they should also make it clear to the other organization that they are not NOAA employees nor are they covered by NOAA’s workman’s compensation or health insurance programs. If they are not on active status, as documented in the NDC diver database, they are not considered NOAA certified and thus, cannot claim NOAA certification.

LT. Mike Hoshlyk has developed a standardized letter that can be sent from NDC indicating whether or not an individual is on active status with NOAA. Once completed, a person desiring to dive with a Non-NOAA organization can call the Dive Office and request the letter be sent to the organization that is requesting verification of active status. End of Article

 
ELDER VALVE TEST KIT

NDC has distributed four Elder Valve test kits throughout NOAA’s diving units. After receiving the kit, follow the instructions enclosed to perform a simple test on the oxygen kit’s Elder valve. After the test is completed, forward the results to NDC and the kit to the next unit on the enclosed Federal Express Mailer. After contact with the manufacturer and repair facility for the oxygen delivery equipment, NDC was instructed to perform periodic tests on the equipment. All Elder valves not meeting the required performance specifications will be scheduled for service. Instructions during the test are corrected, the gauge tolerance range is 32-48 mm Hg. Values found within this threshold range do not require service. End of Article

UDS WEBSITE

Improvements to the Diving Supervisor web page have recently been made. The site now includes the current version of the NOAA Diving Regulations and updated forms organized into packets specific to training and certification activity. Under FAQ’s additional online resources have been provided for career paths, other diving and training organizations, as well as links to lodging and transportation in the Seattle area. If units require a hard copy of the UDS manual, the information available on the website may be printed out and organized into a similar presentation. After review of the site at http://www.ndc.noaa.gov/uds, supervisors are requested to contact NDC with any comments or suggestions regarding additional features/information. End of Article

TRI AIR TESTING

SCUBA and SCBA compressor air test kits will be sent to units in July. Complete the required tests immediately and return the kits to TRI. If you can not complete the test promptly contact Laurie at (206) 526-6695 or laurie.barber@noaa.gov, as delays in the process result in additional charges. NOAA Compressors are currently scheduled for purity testing every six months. Kits are typically mailed in January and July, unless you are on an alternate plan. Contact NDC, in advance, if you are unable to test at designated times. More information about TRI air testing program may be found at http://texasresearchintl.com/env/compressed.htm. End of Article



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