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Thread: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

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    Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    I am posting the resolutions that will be on the agenda of the January 13th NSS-CDS Board Meeting. If you agree, disagree, or have comments on them, please feel free to let me know, and the BOD's know as well or even better, attend the meeting.

    I'd also like to explain, that in a resolution, the 'Whereas' portion is thrown out after the vote. Even if the resolution is approved, the "Whereas' portion is all argument, and isn't 'adopted' - only the 'resolved' portion is adopted.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Title: Action Regarding Training Issues of the NSS-CDS

    Introduced by: David G. Schott, MBA

    Whereas, The National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section (NSS-CDS) is a membership organization; and

    Whereas, The NSS-CDS Board of Directors and Training Committee have suppressed the training standards and procedures (S&Pís) and Training Committee minutes from the membership; and

    Whereas, The NSS-CDS Training Chairman, has been actively involved in the inception and writing of the S&Pís for a new Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) Cave Course; and

    Whereas, Other training agencies have adequate certification courses for specific CCRís and other specialty courses beyond the mission of the NSS-CDS; and

    Whereas, While we recognize and applaud legitimate training needs, excessive proliferation of additional specialty training courses with redundant material may be more to the economic benefit of instructors than to serving the training needs of the members of the NSS-CDS; and

    Whereas, The membership of the NSS-CDS has not been included within the process nor asked for input on the CCR Cave Course S&Pís; and

    Whereas, The Training Committee has other pressing issues to concentrate on such as: editing a new cave manual with current issues and technologies, holding instructor training weekends introducing rebreathers and issues of mixed teams, bailout, etc., preparing an addendum to basic cave classes giving OC divers info about diving with rebreather buddies, fixing all the typos and inconsistencies in the entry level programs, and publishing useful info in UWS on CDS opinions on rebreather bailout in caves; and

    Whereas, it is not prudent to develop training standards without training materials or instructor guidelines for membership and instructors; and

    Whereas, There are very basic issues that have not been addressed such as: Can an instructor teach a mixed team of open circuit and closed circuit divers? Can an Optima Instructor teach rebreather divers who use a different model? Do divers carry long hoses on their bailout bottles (every time, only in a mixed team?) These issues are only the tip of the iceberg, but illustrate some of the liberties that instructors will certainly take because it is not laid out appropriately with supporting information, guidelines and standards; and

    Whereas, Rebreather information and guidelines need to land in basic level cave classes, for example, in the Apprentice/Full Cave level we should have lecture/information regarding diving with Rebreather Partners, basic mechanics of a rebreather, dive planning considerations, gas management and bailout, and emergency procedures, etc

    Whereas, The membership and the Board of Directors of the NSS-CDS have not been given the ability nor sufficient time to comment or receive input on the Cave CCR S&Pís; therefore be it

    RESOLVED, That Board of Directors not pass any motion regarding the Cave CCR Course S&Pís.
    Attached Files

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    Note that while the CDS apparently promised David that these resolutions would be considered at the meeting, it is, as of this time, not on the agenda for the public part of the meeting.

    In other words there is no intent to be honest, and it appears that whatever the CDS intends to do on the CCR Cave class/S&Ps is in fact going to happen "behind the backs" of the membership - whether cave and rebreather divers - and CDS members - like it or not!

    Folks, if you care about cave access on a CCR you need to CALL the CDS board, or, if you can, attend the meeting - it is this Saturday.

    Barring your active participation it is entirely possible that the this could affect YOU in the not-so-distant future, if you cave dive in the United States and use a CCR!

    The people to call are:

    Gene Melton, Chairman
    Home 904-794-7896

    Forrest Wilson, Vice Chairman
    home 404-292-5613

    Bill Rotella, Treasurer
    (386) 663-5163 Cell

    John Jones, Training Chairman
    HM 386 752-7529
    Cel 386 965-5233

    Richard Blackburn, Secretary
    Home: 770-815-7387


    Ralph DiPanfilo, Director at Large
    (386) 454-0690

    Kelly Jessop, Leadership Director
    229-924-2750


    Its past the time to talk on boards in this matter, nor is it appropriate to do anything that is not in public any longer. This is about transparency, and the only question remaining is whether or not the CDS is going to be held to account - and operate transparently - or not.

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    In addition to the RB course I was also told the CDS is looking to add a "Trimix Cave" course too. Since I already did my trimix course in a cave with my cave instructor, I'm wondering if they would like me to re-take it in a cave with a cave instructor so I can get the proper card....

    So now this opens up:

    1) Rebreather Cave
    2) Trimix Rebreather cave
    3) DPV RB cave
    4) DPV TX RB cave
    5) Stage RB cave
    5) etc, etc, etc.

    For reasons like this I support the NACD.

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff h  View Original Post
    In addition to the RB course I was also told the CDS is looking to add a "Trimix Cave" course too. Since I already did my trimix course in a cave with my cave instructor, I'm wondering if they would like me to re-take it in a cave with a cave instructor so I can get the proper card....

    So now this opens up:

    1) Rebreather Cave
    2) Trimix Rebreather cave
    3) DPV RB cave
    4) DPV TX RB cave
    5) Stage RB cave
    5) etc, etc, etc.

    For reasons like this I support the NACD.
    Please be aware that the CDS, along with the other agencies, in fact set what amount to laws in Florida's State Parks and, likely, elsewhere.

    For example, Cheryl is being opened to diving (on the Wakulla State Park property.) I was instrumental in breaking the logjam that got that going.

    BUT - the agenices drafted the "diving protocol" for that park, including the CDS. It includes not only full cave but also full trimix as required certs, even though one can do a "mainline" dive there to well past 1000' of penetration without going deeper than 130ish.

    While, quite obviously, trimix is a darn good idea beyond that point, what if I just want to take a dive up the mainline for a thousand feet or so? Why should I be required to have a certification that I do not need to safely execute that dive?

    And since this is a state park, these certifications are not suggestions - they have the force of law.

    Never mind the property that the CDS owns and thus can set whatever rules for they'd like (e.g. Cow)

    Making laws "in the dark" is bad public policy guys and gals. Whether you "support" one agency or not, if you cave-dive, you need to get involved to stop this agency from expanding its reach without doing so in public, or your ability to dive - especially on a CCR - in Florida and perhaps elsewhere is likely to be imperiled!

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis  View Original Post
    Making laws "in the dark" is bad public policy guys and gals. Whether you "support" one agency or not, if you cave-dive, you need to get involved to stop this agency from expanding its reach without doing so in public, or your ability to dive - especially on a CCR - in Florida and perhaps elsewhere is likely to be imperiled!
    I agree. There should be full disclosure of what the CDS is intending to do.
    I have been watching this resolution develop from Dave for a few months now, and it DOES appear that the CDS is trying to keep this whole idea "closed for discussion."
    As a CDS Life Member, and Meg diver with a OC-Full Cave Cert, I do have concerns on exactly what the board's intentions are. It appears as if their current training director has done little to help the CDS evolve and move forward.
    I was actively involved last year with the CDS, and at the time it was promised that new course materials were going to be produced/developed. The "Basic" program would get a whole new look and a CCR class was being developed. What has happened over the past year? Has the training committee been meeting??? Have any of the CDS instructors taken part in discussing the issues on the table???
    We should know what is going on before it is too late.
    Whether you are CDS or NACD...the bottom line is this could affect YOU!

    I think it is a good idea as Genesis said for CCR Divers to contact the board this week and express there concern for Dave's transparency issues.

    Excuse me why I call Gene Melton now!


    Louis

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    The CDS is a MEMBERSHIP organization. The BOD is elected to represent the MEMBERS. It is impossible for the members to make their feelings known to their elected representatives if we are unaware of the issues at hand. Opearting in secrecy HAS TO STOP.

    I'll reiterate- CALL THE BOD and make your feelings known. Better yet- BE AT THE MEETING, Brian and I will be.

    Heather

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    Quote Originally Posted by hchoat  View Original Post
    The CDS is a MEMBERSHIP organization. The BOD is elected to represent the MEMBERS.
    That's not how it was explained to me. I just did a quick review of the CDS Constitution and By-Laws and couldn't find anything to that affect. Maybe you could point me in the right direction.

    Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society

    Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society

    What I did find was:

    "ARTICLE II: The purpose of the organization shall be the same as that of the National Speleological Society (hereafter referred to as NSS), with the additional purpose of organizing NSS members who are interested in cave diving so that they may better promote the objectives of the NSS. These objectives include 1) promotion of the conservation, exploration, and study of underwater caves; and 2) education for increased awareness, safety, and skill in cave diving."

    and

    "ARTICLE IV: Duties and Operation of the Board of Directors

    A. The Board of Directors shall have the power to conduct all legal business of the CDS Section, including, but not limited to:
    1. The assessment and collection of dues.
    2. Conducting workshops, seminars, and similar programs including specifically a Spring Workshop.
    3. Publishing, selling, and distributing of books, booklets, information matter, and other items.
    4. The purchase of equipment and services, which shall become the property of the CDS.
    5. The adoption of policies that shall be binding on the membership as they relate to the goals and objectives of the CDS.
    6. The donation and expenditure of funds for purposes consistent with the goals of the CDS.
    7. Acceptance of cash, property, and/or equipment related to the purpose of the CDS.
    8. Promoting the purposes and objectives of the CDS and the NSS to the membership, and encouraging the membership to act in a manner consistent with said purposes and objectives."
    Not that these are bad objectives but it has nothing to do with representing its members.

    So if board feels introducing a "Rebreather Cave" course supports its objectives then so be it. My understanding is that the members support the CDS being an enforcing presence in the community and having a BoD that makes these types of decisions for them.

    I could have this all wrong so if anyone knows better please correct me. I’m not trying to start an argument, just looking for a good explanation of how the CDS is run and how it actually supports its members.
    Last edited by jeff h; 10th January 2007 at 15:22.

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    Megladon

    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff h  View Original Post
    That's not how it was explained to me. I just did a quick review of the CDS Constitution and By-Laws and couldn't find anything to that affect. Maybe you could point me in the right direction.

    Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society

    Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society

    What I did find was:

    "ARTICLE II: The purpose of the organization shall be the same as that of the National Speleological Society (hereafter referred to as NSS), with the additional purpose of organizing NSS members who are interested in cave diving so that they may better promote the objectives of the NSS. These objectives include 1) promotion of the conservation, exploration, and study of underwater caves; and 2) education for increased awareness, safety, and skill in cave diving."

    and

    "ARTICLE IV:
    Duties and Operation of the Board of Directors

    A. The Board of Directors shall have the power to conduct all legal business of the CDS Section, including, but not limited to:
    1. The assessment and collection of dues.
    2. Conducting workshops, seminars, and similar programs including specifically a Spring Workshop.
    3. Publishing, selling, and distributing of books, booklets, information matter, and other items.
    4. The purchase of equipment and services, which shall become the property of the CDS.
    5. The adoption of policies that shall be binding on the membership as they relate to the goals and objectives of the CDS.
    6. The donation and expenditure of funds for purposes consistent with the goals of the CDS.
    7. Acceptance of cash, property, and/or equipment related to the purpose of the CDS.
    8. Promoting the purposes and objectives of the CDS and the NSS to the membership, and encouraging the membership to act in a manner consistent with said purposes and objectives."
    Not that these are bad objectives but it has nothing to do with representing its members.

    So if board feels introducing a "Rebreather Cave" course supports its objectives then so be it. My understanding is that the members support the CDS being an enforcing presence in the community and having a BoD that makes these types of decisions for them.

    I could have this all wrong so if anyone knows better please correct me. I’m not trying to start an argument, just looking for a good explanation of how the CDS is run and how it actually supports its members.
    Obviously my opinion of how member based organizations and BOD's work differs from yours.

    Personally, I feel that if I support the organization monetarily and have the right to vote on its officials, then those officials have a duty to take my opinions into consideration, as I am ther constituency, and that through that representation I, as a member, have a voice in the governing of the organization. If you are happy to let the BOD act "in your best interest" as it were, without voiceing your opinions, then so be it. I am not.

    Heather

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    Quote Originally Posted by hchoat  View Original Post
    Obviously my opinion of how member based organizations and BOD's work differs from yours.

    If you are happy to let the BOD act "in your best interest" as it were, without voiceing your opinions, then so be it. I am not.
    Heather,

    That is not what I was saying nor is it my opinion. That is simply how I understand the CDS operates and I don't agree with it either.

    So since I don't want the CDS making decisions for me, I "choose" not to be a member and support this ativity.

    If you want the CDS to be a membership based organization as you described it there would have to be major changes in the by-laws and constitution. The way it is now the Board of Directors makes all of the decisions and the only right that the members have is to vote for the BoD.

    Good luck with your endeavors. I really do hope it works out. Please let the rest of us non-members know if the BoD actually listens to you. If they do I would consider being a member again (but very unlikely).

    -Jeff

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    Re: Action Regarding Training Issues (Cave CCR Course) of the NSS-CDS: Resolution

    It is important to keep in mind, whether you're a member or not, that the CDS does a lot of things that affect ALL cave divers - Yes...That includes those who are NOT members. I would assume that the BOD would want to hear non-member concerns for a number of reasons. I sure would if I were a Board member. I am a member and will be at the meeting. If I wasn't a member, I'd let the BOD know how I feel based on the fact that if changes were made, a lot of non-members may become members and that these changes affect you as a non-member as well.
    Last edited by dgschott; 10th January 2007 at 16:03.

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