To give you an insight into just what is involved in our Survival training, we asked recent delegate, Roddy Cameron, Senior Electrical Dive Technician, to outline what he experienced while completing his OPITO Combined Further Offshore Emergency Training (FOET) with HUET, CA-EBS & EBS.
0730am – Arrival
As a driver, I left in plenty time to beat the Monday morning traffic and arrived at the training centre at 07:30am. When I arrived, I was pleased to see there were lots of parking spaces available in the car park. I then reported to reception, where I received my delegate badge from the friendly receptionist and was directed to wait in the canteen until the instructor for the day calls our group. This allowed me time to grab a quick coffee before a busy day of training – from experience I know I’ll need all the energy I can get for the Underwater Escape and Sea Survival training.
0800am – Enrolment
At 08:00am sharp we were greeted by Cameron, our instructor for the day, who took a quick register, gave us a safety briefing and a tour of the impressive Survivex training facility.
0830am – Fire Theory & Practical
We were all set to start training by 08:30am, and the day began with the Fire Theory & Practical module of the course. I’ve been working offshore for over 12 years now and although I was familiar with basic firefighting skills from the past FOETs I’ve completed, it was great to refresh these vital skills to ensure I’m prepared for the unexpected event of discovering a fire. Once Cameron had delivered the theoretical part of the module, we had a quick break and changed into our PPE. Once ready, we headed to the fire ground to learn practical skills such as using portable fire extinguishers and escaping from a smoke filled environment.
1125am – First Aid
After a quick change and a coffee break, we head back to the classroom to start our First Aid training. Cameron covers everything from bleeding to burns and CPR to the recovery position. After the in-depth refresher I once-again felt confident in administering basic first aid until the necessary trained personnel arrive.
1225pm – Lunch
The day had flown by and after a jam-packed morning of training I was ready for lunch. The Survivex canteen offers each delegate two courses and you can choose from a starter, main or a dessert. The selection was varied and they served food such as soup, baked potatoes, salad, chilli con carne and much more. It was a good hearty meal to set you up for the physical challenge ahead!
1310pm – Helicopter Escape Brief & Practical
This was the part I was looking forward to the most – I’ve completed around about four survival courses and each time I’ve enjoyed the physical challenge. A lot of people find this part quite daunting, but from experience I can reassure anyone who has any doubts or nerves that it is a truly enjoyable experience.
Before we got into the pool, our instructor Cameron began briefing us on the theory of the Helicopter Escape module. We then began the practical session by suiting up into our lifejackets and our instructor completed our aviation raft brief. Then we moved onto compressed air work and shallow water EBS training to prepare us for our underwater escape. The underwater escape training exercises consisted of 4 evacuations of a ditched helicopter. To complete this module we carried sea survival and winch training. Throughout the whole practical training, we were supported by the dive supports, Barry and Davy, who were on hand if we were finding any part of the training difficult.
1735pm – Norwegian Escape Chute
I also chose to complete a Norwegian Escape Chute training course while at Survivex to ensure I’ve got the correct certification for working on offshore installations and vessels in the Norwegian sector. After we completed our OPITO FOET, we finished off the day with this course.
Time to get changed! Once we’re out of our survival gear, we met our instructor for a debrief and we were given our certificates. It was an enjoyable, informative and energetic day – our instructor Cameron was knowledgeable and entertaining and each member of staff I met was very helpful. That’s it over for another 4 years, and I know for sure I will be back again with Survivex to complete my OPITO FOET once again.