Commissioner of Finance Bruce Zagers visited the recently refurbished Hyperbaric Chamber of Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) at Fort Bay. This writes the Daily Herald. During the visit Zagers met with Marine Park Manager Kai Wulf and hyperbaric chamber engineer from Germany Frank Güssow. Güssow, who spent several days on the island, is a chamber expert with years of experience in the construction, installation and maintenance of hyperbaric facilities. The hyperbaric chamber expert was on the island to complete the work necessary to bring the chamber back in operation.
The chamber is now up to standard, which meets Divers Alert Network (DAN) certification standards and can once again accommodate divers, once there are sufficient persons trained as drivers and tenders. As part of his work to make the chamber operational, Güssow also provided driver training for SCF and dive shop personnel.
The driver is the person responsible for operating a chamber for persons suffering from decompression sickness. However, when a person is being treated, there also needs to be another person with them. This person is the tender, and there are currently not enough tenders on the island to fully staff the chamber.
During his visit to the chamber, Commissioner Zagers was able to view the chamber in operation as Güssow led the participants through a training exercise. “It is satisfying to see the chamber in operation once again. A hyperbaric facility is seen by many as a necessity for the island’s diving industry to provide emergency care in the event of a scuba diving-related incident, which ensures the competiveness of the industry within the region,” said Zagers.
Now that the project is complete, SCF will hand over the responsibility for management and operations of the hyperbaric facility to a dedicated entity. Options are being explored at this time. During the second quarter budget amendments for 2012, the Executive Council made a proposal to approve a US $50,000 grant to SCF to assist with the repairs of the chamber. This proposal received unanimous support from the Island Council.