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Health and Environmental Effects Research

GED To Host EPA National Diver Training Program

During the week of May 16, 2011, the NHEERL Gulf Ecology Division (GED) will host the EPA National Diver Training Program to train EPA scientists and divers from Federal, State, and local agencies in scientific diving techniques. Training will include participants from the Office of Water’s Safety Health and Environmental Management Division; EPA Regions 1,2,3,4,6,9, and 10; NHEERL’s Atlantic, Western, and Gulf Ecology Divisions; diving physician Ernest Campbell; local first responders; and other diving experts from across the country.

The week-long, physically and mentally challenging diver training program enables divers to safely and professionally perform research and other duties underwater. Some of the areas covered include diving accident management, oxygen administration, oxygen-enriched air diving (“Nitrox”), principles of scientific diving, surface supply diving, drysuit diving, polluted water diving, decontamination procedures, divemaster and operations management, compressed gas handling, underwater to surface communications, and underwater video and photography.

GED’s unique location provides access to clear, warm, shallow marine water, easy access to areas of deep, clear open water, immediate access to waters of extremely limited visibility, a state-of-the-art onsite training facility, docks to enable in-water training directly from the facility, cutting-edge equipment, and a fleet of vessels for both inshore and open water training. Since the inception of EPA’s diving program in 1984, more than 600 divers have been trained at GED and have recorded more than 30,000 scientific dives with no serious injuries.

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