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PSD Questions??

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Militant83, May 21, 2014.

  1. Militant83

    Militant83 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ohio
    67
    3
    8
    Ok guys I have a couple questions here for you. I'm an LEO about to begin his diver certifications from OW-PSD. I have two guys with in 15 min from me that offer all the training needed.

    Instructor 1 teaches the SDI and ERDI program.
    Lots of experience with the small local dive team
    More of and old school approach to training and tactics

    Instructor 2 teached IDEA and PSDA
    Dives on two teams, 1 major city team and another small local team which he is the captain of.
    Has a more modern approach to training and tactics.

    Which Instructor should I choose?

    After some research here is what I would put together as a dive rig. Please let me know where I might need to make some changes or where I might be able to save some money by going with an alternative product that is equal in quality. I want this to be something I can grow into as I progress with my experience but also be my rec diving rig until I can afford to buy a dedicated rec rig. Any advice is greatly appriciated.

    Apeks XTX50 Regulator
    Apeks Egress Octo
    Aqua Lung Micro Mask
    Aqua Lung Impulse Dry Snorkle
    Guardian Full Face Mask
    Apeks Black Ice BCD or Aqua Lung Dimension i3
    Fins-????
    Suunto Cobra dive comp.
    Suit???
     
  2. Jared0425

    Jared0425 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    770
    359
    63
    What type of diving conditions are you going to be faced with? Clear quarry's or zero vis rivers and ponds? Are you going to be in a polluted environment or a HAZMAT situation? Many dive teams are trying to standardize their equipment. PSD BCD's, AGA with comms, Viking or heavy DUI suits, 80-120cu tanks with 19 ponys. Is your dive team new or been around to have this equipment for you.

    Now the gear that you mentioned below would be fine for OW dives and training. I would go with instructor 2 in my opinion if this is the diving you want to for psd.
     
  3. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
    1,198
    610
    113
    ERDI trains many of the top PSD teams in the country. The ERDI classes will cover a lot of ground that nobody goes thru. it will make you a better PSD AND a better diver.
    I have been in PSD for a very long time and have come to really appreciate ERDI. I am not employed by ERDI nor am I an ERDI instructor.
     
    TommyAHS likes this.
  4. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    3,225
    766
    113
    Are you planning on joining your department's team? Or are you joining a volunteer team? Honestly, yours is a bit of a different approach than what I usually see. Typically, you start with joining a team (or trying out for a team), then receive training. In fact, most of the training I've been to requires that you be an active PSD already on a team (even the entry level stuff). If you plan on trying out for your department team, you should be asking your unit commander, as he or she will definitely have their own requirements. I will allow anyone to try out for my team. They don't even have to be scuba certified, they just have to show that they are capable in the water, can handle the environment, and know how to think and be able to solve problems. If they have that, I can train the rest of the way.

    All four of those agencies are excellent, and honestly, if you stick with PSD, you will probably eventually train a bit with several agencies (I hold certs from all you mentioned but IDEA) . You want your team's training to be pretty much standard. PSD training differs substantially from recreational training. In many ways, your team will train you, and your certifications will supplement that.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "old school" or "modern", could you explain, please?

    Not even going to look at your gear list. Except: Burn your snorkel. Seriously. I would not even buy gear until I was on a team. Your gear is going to depend entirely on your team. I run a LE team, and my department pays for the divers' gear (except for fins, gloves, and cutting devices, these are divers' choice and are replaced at department (reasonable) expense if damaged/destroyed on a work dive). I do not allow my divers wear their personal gear for work or training, and I highly encourage them to use their department gear for personal dives (if I could REQUIRE they wear department gear for personal dives, I would*).

    And burn your snorkel. Seriously.


    *brings a funny image to mind. Imagine getting on a cattle boat in the keys in August, and seeing one or two of the divers in a drysuit, ffm, redundant gear and air :). For a couple of reef dives.
     
    Jim-SAR likes this.
  5. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
    307
    329
    63
    Hey Militant 83

    First of all let me say thank you for your service. I too being former Law Enforcement and Current Fire Fighter and EMT for my local EMS, know the sacrifice one gives for his community. As far as the Instructor question, I would ask the team you are joining and ask the other members who they recommend. Just like Scuba Board, word of mouth is a great resource for first person or hands on review. I myself learnt to dive at a very young age, and tend to lean more towards the old school ways of diving and training. But then again, the new age of training with new technology and the differences in comprehensive learning abilities, I have gradually started teaching differently than I have in the past. Ultimately the choice is yours (I know that does not help). Ideally if you had the resources and are financially capable, get training from both instructors. At the least you may possibly build a working relationship with both Instructors and that may open doors for you later on down the road. I currently run 3 dive teams in my area and not only am I an expert witness for court purposes, I am also an adviser for several other teams, all because I did not just limit my training to just one Instructor. I trained under several Instructors as I moved through the ranks (all being Public Servants as well), and they introduced me to the teams and departments that I assist with now. Now for gear question. This topic is a little more difficult to give you a straight answer on. I believe in using the appropriate gear for a giving task. Now with that being said, policies, procedures, SOG's, SOP's, Chiefs, insurance companies, state standards, and all others that effect what we do, tend to disagree. Dependent upon what your team states you must have or what they recommend, then that's what I would go with. I do like the idea of whatever you choose, dive with with it as much as possible. You should be so familiar with your equipment, that you could assemble and put it on with your eyes shut. When you reach the point that you feel like you have learned everything that there is to learn, just remember there is still more to learn. I try to take 1 to 2 classes a year (even as an Instructor) too not only refresh my skills, but to learn new ones. It's amazing the teams that I have trained and the members that I have trained that a year later, teach me new things during an operation or training exercise. Best of luck to you, and welcome to the world of Public Safety Diving.
     
  6. Militant83

    Militant83 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ohio
    67
    3
    8
    ReefGuy, My department does not have a team. Both teams are volunteer teams that are ran through their counties EMA department.

    When I said old school I guess what I meant was the first instructor has been teach PSD since the early years of PSD and still teaches the older ways and methods. While the 2nd is a younger guys who teaches the more evolved modern methods.

    Jared, we have the potential to be in all of those environments around here
     
  7. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
    1,198
    610
    113
    Militant83, the ERDI instructor should (actually MUST) follow ERDI's standards and procedures. These are modern, constantly refined and updated guidelines for training. If he deviates from the standards, the problem lies with the instructor. I know a number of great ERDI instructors in Ohio and would be happy to point you to them if you like.

    Equipment is often a departmental standard/choice. ERDI has guidelines for equipment that are augmented by local requirements.
     
  8. fiziks

    fiziks PADI Pro

    46
    17
    0
    I have to second the advice to talk to those teams you are interested in joining and find out what training they recommend, what equipment team members are expected to own, and what equipment is provided by the team (and if you can borrow it for outside training). And as someone else mentioned, most PSD courses require you to be on a team to take the training. PSD diving is not something you can practice on your own.
     
  9. Militant83

    Militant83 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ohio
    67
    3
    8
    That's the problem I'm having with the first team is finding anyone who is currently on it other than the instructor that teaches the course. Most teams have a website where you can get a little info on their team and they do not.

    I have talked to both instructors who are also on both teams and for the ERDI I just need my OW to begin dive training with the team or I can start tender training without it and join the team that way. The 2nd team is about the same but they require AOW as well before one can start PSD dive training through PSDA.


    All instructor and gear questions aside, when looking at ERDI and PSDA is one agency preferred over the other in the PSD community or are they about equal in the quality of their programs?
     
  10. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
    307
    329
    63
    Militant83, I'm going to give the best answer I can and try not to get into a rant over training agencies. Disclaimer, I'm in North Carolina, where there is no state standard as of yet, set forth by Emergency Management nor The North Carolina Rescue Association. As far as training agencies, ERDI (and for the record I am not an Instructor for, I teach PDIC / SEI / CMAS / PADI), is the going trend for Public Safety Dive Teams. Now if you polled all dive teams through out the US, then I would venture to say, it would be a mix up of agencies. I think marketing from SDI / TDI / ERDI, and from paid larger Departments, is the reason ERDI tends to be held as the KING OF TRAINING in public safety diving. Now if you lived here I would sell you on PADI or PDIC, most likely the PDIC Public Safety Diver and Under Water Criminal Investigation Course. But your question is on ERDI and PSDA. PSDA is a training agency that only focuses on Public Safety Diving, where as ERDI has a parent company so to speak that is much larger in comparison, and teaches all realms of diving. With that being said, the promotion of their product (training), tends to be more widely spread. I have taken training from both PSDA and ERDI, and like both programs very much. I have not made the jump yet to either agency for Instructor ratings, simply because I have enough on my plate as it stands now. If and when North Carolina adopts a state standard for Public Safety Dive Teams, I will probably go with the ERDI route, simply because as a shop owner I believe they would help me more with material and promotions (this is still a business to me). Also it is to be noted, a heads up from some big wigs here in North Carolina, let it slip to me that ERDI would be the only agency recognized for training in this field. A former shop that I taught for, the shop owner is an Instructor trainer for PSDA, and has been trying to crossover to ERDI for sometime now. When I asked him why, he stated it was strictly a business decision, and that it was not based on an opinion of one was better than the other. I really think that either program would work better for you, just keep in mind, it is not all about the agency but more on the Instructor. If it was me, i would sit down with each Instructor and interview them both. When you pay for a class, you are hiring the Instructor (an employee some would say). I always interview employees before I hire them. Just food for thought. Good luck in your decision.
     

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