Volume 2, Number 2, Page 2


March 1999


The scheduled EMT and DMT dates are an attempt to best accommodate schedules. The upcoming DMT training may also involve a 3-day refresher training. In order to attend the DMT as a refresher, current DMT’s must document twenty-four of recent clinical experience. If they are unable to attain this level, then they do not qualify for refresher training, but rather should attend the 5-day Basic DMT, provided EMT certification is current. It is difficult for NDC to arrange the required clinical hours with limited number of emergency room training slots. Please inform NDC as to your status and intentions if you are considering attending this training.End of Article


Technical diving is gradually becoming accepted as a viable method for in-situ work at depths between 130 and 300 feet. For those unfamiliar with “tech diving”, it entails using different breathing gas mixtures at different depths to mitigate effects of narcosis, oxygen toxicity and optimize decompression. Divers carry three types of breathing media; trimix (a bottom mix composed of oxygen, nitrogen and helium), nitrox (the travel mix for intermediate depths), and oxygen (the shallow water deco gas).

In August 1998, the NMFS Honolulu Lab implemented tech diving to study the foraging habitat of the endangered monk seal. Annual diver surveys until this point were restricted to the shallows, near the remote atoll of French Frigate Shoals, where seals were assumed to be primarily foraging. Recent video studies, however, indicated that seals were also foraging on deeper slopes. Fish counts made by divers, when compared to video footage indicated the latter did not fully represent the community present. The observations, made by using this new tool, improved researchers understanding of the target habitat. Despite this success, it is important to understand, that tech diving must be cost and time effective to be of much scientific value. Low overhead, high yield operations are the goal of any scientific program – a goal further challenged by operations in remote areas.End of Article


Annual dive locker inspection results are now due. Please take the time to do a thorough inventory and assessment of the preparedness of your support equipment for the new year. Submit inspection reports to your respective LODO.End of Article


The following organizations have reciprocity at the Working Diver level for 1999: The National Park Service (NPS), U.S. EPA, U.S. Navy, NURC/University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The colleges, universities and organizations that are current members of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) have reciprocity at the Scientific level. Reciprocity divers must meet current certification criteria from sponsoring agencies and have status verified by sponsoring agencies Diving Safety Officer (DSO). They must produce a copy of the reciprocity agreement and have completed a dive within 6 weeks of NOAA operations. Reciprocity divers may dive from NOAA owned or contract vessels and may complete tasks at the level of reciprocity (Scientific or Working). Divers must follow NOAA Diving Safety Rules.End of Article


Oxygen as a prescription medicine for therapeutic uses cannot be dispensed or used unless under the direction of a licensed health provider with prescriptive authority. The FDA, however, recognizes the role oxygen plays in medical emergencies, when there is no time to obtain a prescription. FDA’s position is that medical oxygen cylinders affixed with the following statement can be filled: “For emergency use only when administered by properly trained personnel for oxygen deficiency and resuscitation. For all other medical applications -CAUTION– Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription.” In order to comply with the requirements of 21CFR 353(b)(4), stickers should be affixed to each medical oxygen cylinder. Contact NDC with the number of stickers required by your unit.End of Article

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