When an emergency happens at sea, the method of handling a challenging situation and confidence of response is key.

An industry standard and prerequisite for anyone working on board a vessel over 24 metres, the International Maritime Organisation Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) BST (Basic Safety Training) provides essential knowledge and training, which enables crew and professional onboard operators to confidently handle any emergency situation, no matter their ranking.

STCW BST answers questions such as; When should I sound the alarm? How can I safely douse a fire, and, How do we abandon ship?

Whether a cruise liner, workboat, superyacht, commercial  vessel or ferry, anyone operating offshore on a vessel over 24 metres are only permitted to do so once they have completed their basic STCW Course.

Regarded as the industry leader in STCW training, Fire Aid Academy has delivered over 500 maritime-focused safety courses since the 27-year-old company moved to its new headquarters three years ago.

Fire Aid’s courses are delivered by professional instructors who have the relevant experience and qualifications to fully train the course participants.

The STCW Course run by Fire Aid is available in individual modules, however is best as a five-day course located from Fire Aid’s purpose-built facilities in Southampton, which also offers accommodation.

The elementary first aid section of STCW BST is course run over a day, that provides participants with the knowledge and understanding of first aid techniques; which is achieved using a combination of instructor-led training together with practical training sessions.

The one-day personal survival technique element of the course gives participants the skills to survive at sea in the event of abandoning ship. This includes theoretical and in-water pool-based sessions which uses a life-raft, immersion suit, life jacket and other survival equipment.

Personal safety and responsibility is also catered for within the STCW BST, which gives delegates a day discovering correct safety practices, pollution responsibilities, together with workshops regarding how to live onboard and harmoniously co-exist with fellow crewmembers.

The fire prevention and fire fighting sessions are always particularly well received and bring an element of fun into the training as participants learn to extinguish fires, rescue casualties using breathing apparatus, firefighter protective clothing and fire fighting equipment.

“Having first attended my first Fire Aid course in 2011, I now send all my crew to them, as well as recommend them to everyone requiring training, as Fire Aid’s prices are rarely beaten, even when factoring in a flight from the Mediterranean. Fire Aid’s exceptional levels of training, plus their constant willingness to accommodate, along with their unrivalled efficiency, keeps me coming back again and again. I am also constantly impressed by Fire Aid constantly striving to improve what is already an excellent academy.” SD, M/Y Nerissa

Individuals are assessed on each of these elements, which can be taken as single modules or as the five day course. All courses are delivered by ex or currently serving fire safety officers or medical professionals,

Those who attend the five day course are automatically offered the option of taking the proficiency in security awareness half day course, which enables participants to develop their knowledge and awareness of how to handle sensitive security risks on board a vessel.

Chris Rowley, MD and senior trainer at Fire Aid Academy, comments, “Not only does the Fire Aid STCW course provide an excellent foundation in onboard emergency preparedness, it also results in the participant walking away with key life skills, applicable to all aspects of their normal lives.”

Contact Fire Aid for further information regarding this essential course, which is held both globally and also at its Southampton (UK) head office, on +44(0)1425 674390 or email sales@fireaid.com.