US Coast Guard required drill conductor courses and more are available starting in January through the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, with details and registration information available on the association website, www.amsea.org
The complete list of courses ranges from drill conductor, mariner’s first aid and CPR to marine safety instructor training, with the last being offered in Seward, Alaska, and Abbeville, Louisiana.
The list so far also includes courses at Sitka, King Salmon, Juneau, Kodiak, Metlakatla, and Wrangell, Alaska.
Executive director Jerry Dzugan, who has served in that capacity since 1987, notes that in an average year AMSEA trains some 6,000 to 6,500 people in various aspects of marine safety. The courses offered are directed at commercial harvesters, recreational boaters, youth and educators, so that the educators, in turn, can train more people.
The educator workshops teach a variety of skills, from how to recognize signs of hypothermia to cold water survival, basic navigation and how to don an immersion suit. There is also a cold water safety and survival for educators course taught online through the University of Alaska Southeast.
AMSEA got its start in Kodiak and Sitka back in the 1970s, but the name AMSEA didn’t come into being until 1985.
Course fees cover only a percentage of the cost of the AMSEA program, which has for years been offering courses all over the United States. Other funding sources include the Alaska Legislature, a federal contract with the US Coast Guard, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Detailed information on courses available, the instructors and how to become an AMSEA member are on the website. Membership fees help support the programs of this non-profit organization.