I hope you had a great weekend. Here we are; its Monday again! It is “the first day” for hundreds of participants at the Florida Sea Base. We are that point of the season that the staff is getting a little worn and they can see the light and the end of the tunnel and most are ready to go home. But program is king and they will do everything possible to insure today’s crews and the rest of the 2012 crews get the same experience as the first crews of the season.
Some of you are going to grumble, but I am only the messenger. With that said, if you have any comments, grips, or concerns, please click on the comment button and send those directly to me, or email me at Steve.Willis@scouting.org or call my cell phone, 305-393-7373 with your concerns. Please DO NOT call the Florida Sea Base administrative office. I am in the doghouse for causing one of the occupants of that office “extra work” by having to answer questions raised by this post. Please contact me. Then if I can’t explain satisfactorily I will be happy to pass you up the chain.
Back to the potential grumbling. All units (we call them “crews”) attending the Florida Sea Base in 2013 and forever more will have to have at least one adult leader with a current certification in Wilderness First Aid. I know, I feel your pain. While discussing this with management from Northern Tier and Philmont Scout Ranch we received the following comments:
We are not having any serious issues and have been requiring WFA for the past two years. Also the BSA has done an exceptional job providing this training several times a year in local councils. A leader might have to go to a neighboring council but they can get certified. On a side note WFA for at least one crew advisor has really improved Northern Tiers management of accidents and illnesses in our backyard of 3 million acres of wilderness. I would think that it would also be a great benefit to Sea Base.
Kevin’s comments are right on. This is the fourth summer Philmont has required it, and the result has been a 15% drop in our Health Lodge cases. We do offer WFA courses in the fall and spring (the national office does through PTC). Also, make sure the Scouters are checking with Red Cross for WFA not WFR (Wilderness First Responder) courses. There is a big difference between the two.
The comment about WFA versus WFR is very important. The Wilderness First Aid course is usually a 16 hour course. It is educationally valid for all three National High Adventure Bases. Getting a sick or injured person to professional medical care in the Florida Keys in less than two hours is rare, VERY rare. If an incident happens on Sea Base property we are blessed to have a Fire/EMS station about two blocks away. If it happens on the reef it will take HOURS to get professional medical attention. Delayed professional care is the premise for WFA training. The Florida Sea Base is looking into offering WFA courses, but that will NOT happen in 2012. The first aid responsibility falls on the adult leadership because the captain of the vessel is very busy during a serious marine event with legally mandated Coast Guard notifications and trying to make arrangements to get to the nearest harbor our arrange a rendezvous.
If you are bringing a Troop or Crew to any of the National High Adventure facilities operated by the Boy Scouts of America, your group must have at one WFA certified adult per trek or adventure. It is a done deal. PLEASE don’t disappoint the kids by trying to sneak by without this required training. I will get further clarification, but I feel certain that, for the Florida Sea Base, it you are bringing a multiple crew (like 2 Coral Reef Sailing crews or one Sea Exploring crew and one Scuba Adventure crew) you will need one WFA certified adult PER CREW. That is because the crews will be on different vessels. This decision was made at BSA Headquarters. There is no one at the Florida Sea Base who is authorized to grant exceptions. If you want to complain to someone, please contact me. As I said, I will pass your complaint upstream or give you directions on who to contact next.
I weather news, TD7 had dissipated for now (but may regenerate) and Invest 93L is turning away.
Captain Dennis Wyatt is sorely missed. Much more than just a dive boat captain, Captain Dennis is a friend. I miss joking around with him and us sharing stories that Ellen dreaded hearing. It’s hard being left behind. Anyway, Captain Dennis sent the following comment yesterday:
I wrote lyrics to a country song I want to share with your readers:
I’m Fixing to Fix This Broken Love
She said, “Adam, I’m leaving if you don’t leave.”
“I’m fixing to fix our broken love, Eve”
I need a screw driver to ease the pain
I’ll screw that lawyer who drove us insane.
She said, “I need more. Got to change our song. ”
“I’m fixing to fix everything that’s wrong”
Got me a hammer and a saw from Home Depot
I’m busting a gut stopping this marriage repo.
She said, “You know the drill. Get on out.”
“But I’m fixing to fix our loving drought.”
I know I can nail it tonight.
Please don’t give me no red light.
We said, “We’re fixing. And loving. Ain’t life sweet?”
Captain Dennis is a bone fide, card carry member of MENSA who apparently is struggling with retirement. Does Ellen know you’re writing songs about Home Depot? [Inside joke.] They way you worked in all of the tools is extremely clever. I’m looking forward to you performing the song on the saw (Captain Dennis plays the saw) and singing this fine tune for me. Or get Ellen to record it on her iPhone and upload it to YouTube and we can share it with everyone! Move over Zac Brown.
I do not have ANYTHING to compete with Captain Dennis.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI CD #39713
Aboard S/V Escape