This week at the station

This week at Davis: 14 December 2012

Fire training

Antarctica is the driest continent on earth and there is also no fire brigade to call on, so fire is a real danger. The crew are suitably trained by the Tasmanian Fire Brigade to be able to combat fires and rescue each other should that need ever arise.  Training consists of learning how to use a fire hose, work the water pump, use a breathing apparatus, conduct building rescues and how to deal with dangerous goods. The training goes for seven days after which a fire chief is selected who is then responsible for ongoing training at station.

A large fire ball comes out of a gas tank during fire fighting training at Kingston
Real life training means real life fire
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Expeditioners entering a burning building
Learning fire rescue techniques
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Two tired expeditioners pose smiling in full fire fighting gear
Fire fighting can be hard work - Mal & Aaron
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Fire fighting team posing for a photo
The class of 2012 - Davis Fire Team
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)

Boating training

Most winter expeditioners and selected science crew must all complete the competent crewman course. Here everyone is taught basic boating skills and survival techniques. This three day course is very popular, even if the weather is foul. Inflatable rubber rafts are a common mode of transport during the summer at Davis. They also provide an excellent opportunity to do those midnight berg cruises.
Four expeditioners in boat
Expeditioner on a boating training excerise
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Expedtioner having lunch on a beach
After a hard days boating - lunch on a isolated beach
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Expeditioner holding a extra large dry suit
Dry suits come in all sizes, Trish just could find her size
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Expeditioner in boat
One size fits all, Trish in her well fitting dry suit

Lay surgical training

In the event the station doctor be required to perform a medical procedure, he or she would require expert help. As there are no nurses on station, four expeditioners are selected from the winter crew to train for two weeks at the Royal Hobart Hospital.  Here they are taught basic lay surgical skills to assist the doctor, should there be a need. The expeditioners trained this year included a carpenter, a mechanic, a plumber and a communication technician. Plenty of skills there!

Davis lay surgical team with hospital staff.
Davis lay surgical team with hospital staff
Expedtioner with surgical tools
Different types of tools to what Dieso Aaron is used too!
Two expeditioners practising putting a syringe into a dummy
Paul & Aaron, where is that vein?
Expedtioner practising with a medical dummy
Richard, you sure it was really only a medical dummy?

Quad training

Quads are one of the main modes of transport in Antarctica and learning how to ride them properly is a must. Each expeditioner must participate in a full induction and training course. An expeditioner cannot ride a quad on the ice, or anywhere in Antarctica for that matter, unless they pass this course. Further Antarctic-specific quad training is provided at Davis station.
Expeditioners practising on quad bikes in muddy conditions (Tasmania)
Everyone that winters requires quad training
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
An expeditioner on a quad bike
Gavin in full flight
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)

Search & rescue training (SAR)

A very large component of Antarctic training is the ability to self-rescue. Although a lot of this training is done in the Antarctic, many of the basics can be taught in Tasmania before departure. By the end of summer, Davis station will have trained up a very strong and capable SAR team.

Search & rescue equipment laid out
What do we do with all this stuff?
(Photo: Biil DeBruyn)
Search & rescue training at Hobart - expeditioners use a blue plastic sheet in place of ice
The blue sheet is filling in for blue ice, allowing expeditioners to…

Confined space training

Expedtioner lowered into a confined space for training
Dieso Jeff being lowered into a confined space
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
Expeditioner at the bottom of a confined space
Only one way out now!
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)

Classroom training

Instructor demonstrating use of survival clothing
Mike W. instructing expeditioners on how to get best use out of…
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)
A penguin doll used to demonstrate environmental issues
"How far do we have to stay away from the wildlife?" asks…

What to pack?

After months of training, it's finally time to go but we are faced with the dilemma, what does one take for a year in the Antarctic?

Expeditioner with his winter bound luggage
Aaron didn't know what to take but in the end, the solution…
(Photo: Bill DeBruyn)