Get Trained For The Unknown
Life in Antarctica is quite different from life in other continents. As such, expeditioners embarking on trips must be properly trained as to how to ensure their safety when in the continent. As a result, a thorough training program is organised by the Australian Antarctic Division for expeditioners before they go on such trips. Some of these training are still given when they eventually get to Antarctica. Through these training programs, expeditions learn various safety and personal and general management skills needed for their jobs on the continent.
Some of these training programs are general and required for all expeditioners. However, some are specific to the areas or fields of the expeditioner. For one, there is a pre-departure training expected to be undertaken by all expeditioners who will be staying in Antarctica for more than two weeks. These training are quite mandatory and may lead to an expedition from being prevented from embarking on such trips.
There are training specific to the means of transportation through which an expeditioner will get to Antarctica. For instance, those travelling by ship are to undergo voyage training and briefings before the trip. This is to familiarise potential travellers with all they need for successful travel and safety on the water, en route Antarctica.
Also, expeditioners travelling by air are to undergo flight training briefings. Specific training includes survival and safety on air, as well as environmental and other compliance information.
As mentioned above, specific training about the areas of expertise or the work expeditioners will be doing in Antarctica. For this purpose, expeditioners are grouped into three major categories to undergo this training.
The first group are those who are employed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). Such include the researchers directly employed by the AAD, the station leaders, medical personnel, chefs and other facilitators.
Then some expeditioners will be part of projects based on Service Level Agreements (SLA) with the Australian Antarctic Division. Finally, some expeditioners are employees of the Australian Bureau of Metrology, who go to Antarctica to carry out metrological research.
Furthermore, field training is geared at equipping expeditioners with the skills needed for survival in Antarctica. These training programs continue when expeditioners get to Antarctica. Specifics include training on such things as navigation, self-rescue, radio use, camping rules, GPS navigation, amongst others.
There are also on-site training given to expeditions in each work division on safety and survival skills pertinent to their work line.
As we have mentioned already, all the training programs are compulsory to be undertaken by all expeditioners, and failure to attend may warrant disqualification. However, there are instances under which expeditioners may be exempted from training. For instance, experience based on previous travels and work with the AAD may qualify expeditioners for exemptions.