Sunday, 12 April 2009

Intern Log 04.12.2009 Fremont Maritime Services, Basic Safety Training

This entry will be lengthy due to the immense amount of material I was subjected to over the last week. There will be a lot of acronyms. This can scarcely be avoided due to the vast numbers of organizations and certifications I will be referencing. My apologies. However, to help you and me, this post will be broken into distinct parts and a table of contents put at the beginning; simply scroll to the sections that are interesting to you.

Table of Contents
Basic Safety Training
Why BST?
Fremont Maritime Services
First Aid
Survival Training
Fire Fighting
Related Links

Basic Safety Training
According to the United States Coast Guard's website, Basic Safety Training (BST) is a course containing "basic fire fighting, elementary first aid, personal survival techniques, and personal safety and social responsibility."(1) Fremont Maritime Services (FMS), the organization that trained me, defines BST as:
  1. 8-Hour Elementary First Aid
  2. 12-Hour Personal Survival
  3. 4-Hour Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  4. 16-Hour Basic Firefighting
Why BST?
Basic Safety Training is required for mariners seeking a certification, such as an Able-Bodied Seaman (AB). I want to work my way to a Masters license and this certification is one of the very first steps. (2)

Most mariners are, essentially, regulated by the United Nations (U.N.). The U.N. formed the International Maritime Organization (I.M.O.) at the Geneva convention after World War II. This convention established international regulations on global shipping, as well as safety and environmental standards. Understandably, the I.M.O.'s mission statement reads: "Safe, Secure and Efficient Shipping on Clean Oceans." They developed the Standards in Training and Certification of Watchkeeping (STCWs) which have been adopted by the U.N. member countries.

In the case of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security enforces these regulations through the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG has the National Maritime Center (NMC) which issues Merchant Mariner Documents (MMDs) from their Regional Exam Centers (RECs). MMDs are something you must have to sail aboard a U.S. flagged ship. Long story short, BST is required for an Able-Bodied Seaman MMD, which is something I want.

Fremont Maritime Services
The institution that I went through to get my BST certification was Fremont Maritime Services (FMS). Located on the north side of Queen Anne hill, FMS is tucked away next to Foss Maritime's shipyard. FMS offers Coast Guard approved STCW courses, and they support the Schooner Adventuress, which is how I got this training in the first place.

Fremont Maritime recruits some of the best EMTs, Firefighters, and Merchant Mariners from the Seattle-area as their instructors. Each had their own style, but they all simultaneously commanded our respect while staying aware of our needs and concerns. Dave Tait, Kyle Higgins, Tom Bliss, and Corey Caulk; They have my utmost respect and I would trust my life with these men. I shouldn't forget that during our breaks, we were well taken care of by the front staff. Coffee was always at the ready, and smiles abundant.

First Aid
Our first day was spent on CPR and basic first aid. My first impression of our instructor Dave, to be perfectly blunt, was, "this guy is going to be an asshole." As it turns out, Dave was far from that impression.

The man exudes strength, both mentally and physically, while maintaining a great sense of humor. His face is carved by lines of deep contemplation, absolute determination, and perhaps of sadness. His physique is wholly impressive; it gave me the sense that he is a man who has seen the frailties of man, and does not want to fall victim to them.

His aura was backed by experience. For nearly ever lesson he taught, there was usually a related personal story, whether that was for emesis, or the hazards of adrenaline pumped old ladies. For very important material, he would kick the desk or pound the wall as a signal for us to pay attention.

There were a few key things that Dave wanted us to remember:
  1. Safety (Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), size up the situation, get crowd away)
  2. Call for Help (911)
  3. ABC's (Airway, Breathing, Circulation... Defibrillation)
  4. Stop the Bleeding
  5. Protect the Spine
We learned about everything from stroke and seizures, to anaphylaxis and hypothermia. The lesson was intense, fast-paced, but thorough. Thank you Dave.

Survival Training
Taught by Tom Bliss, this lesson held so much information. I think that they main points to Tom's lesson were: think ahead, have the appropriate equipment, and drill, drill, drill! Tom lesson was partly in-class instruction, be we also went outside for hands-on experience.

This is where a major part of the on-board safety was taught.


Related Links
(1) USCG History of STCW
(2) The New Hawsepipe

Fremont Maritime
United Nations

No comments:

Post a Comment