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Brian Luke Community Blogger, WGRZ-TV

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE SAFETY ADVISORY

ALCOAST 335/11 COMDTNOTE 5100 SUBJ: PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE SAFETY ADVISORY A. RESCUE AND SURVIVAL SYSTEMS MANUAL, COMDTINST M10470.10(SERIES) B. COAST GUARD AVIATION LIFE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT (ALSE) MANUAL, COMDTINST M13520.1(SERIES) C. SHIPBOARD-HELICOPTER OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES MANUAL, COMDTINST M3710.2(SERIES) D. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 152252Z NOV 10/ALCOAST 554/10 E. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 172146Z DEC 10/ALCOAST 597/10 1. DESPITE OUR BEST EFFORTS TO MITIGATE THE RISKS INHERENT IN OUR OPERATIONS, WE EXPERIENCED 34 MISHAPS IN THE PAST YEAR THAT INVOLVED CG PERSONS IN THE WATER. THE SAFETY OF OUR MEMBERS IS A SERVICE WIDE IMPERATIVE - INVOLVING ALL HANDS FROM THE COMMANDANT TO THOSE ON THE DECK PLATES. OPERATING SAFELY IS PARAMOUNT AND DIRECTLY SUPPORTS THE COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF HONORING OUR PROFESSION AND RESPECTING OUR SHIPMATES. THIS ALCOAST IS INTENDED TO AFFIRM THE NEED FOR ENGAGEMENT AT ALL LEVELS TO IMPROVE OUR SAFETY RECORD AND PARTICULARLY TO REEMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY MAINTAINING, MANAGING AND WEARING PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (PFDS) 2. DISCUSSION: A. SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT. PROGRAM MANAGERS, COMMANDS, TEAM LEADS, UNIT RESCUE AND SURVIVAL SYSTEMS MANAGERS, AND ULTIMATELY EVERY COAST GUARD MEMBER SHARES IN THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ASSURING THAT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) IS PROPERLY USED AND IN GOOD WORKING CONDITION. PROPER USE OF PPE REQUIRES A TEAM EFFORT AND FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PPE CAN RESULT IN MISSION FAILURE AND LOSS OF LIFE. B. PFDS ARE AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF PPE AND THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE FOR POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO RISK IN ANY HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT INVOLVING WORKING ON OR OVER THE WATER. IT IS CRITICAL THAT PFDS ARE PROPERLY MANAGED BY EACH UNIT, TO INCLUDE SEGREGATING OUT OF SERVICE PFDS TO PREVENT INADVERTENT USE. AUTHORIZED EQUIPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF PFDS ARE DESCRIBED IN REFS A THRU C. ADDITIONAL RECENT PFD GUIDANCE IS PROVIDED IN REFS D AND E. ALL PFDS REQUIRE RIGOROUS INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE TO ENSURE GOOD WORKING CONDITION. 3. ACTION: ALL UNITS THAT USE PFDS SHALL: A. NLT 7 AUG 2011, COMPLETE A VISUAL INSPECTION OF ALL PFDS IAW REFS B THRU D AND VERIFY THE BUILD UP/ACCEPTANCE INSPECTION ON ALL PFDS UNDER THEIR CONTROL IAW THE APPLICABLE MAINTENANCE PROCEDURE CARD/MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS. THE CURRENT MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE FOUND AT IN TMAPS AND ON THE BOAT FORCES INTRANET SITE. FOR INFLATABLE PFDS, CONDUCT THE APPLICABLE QUARTERLY OR SEMI-ANNUAL INSPECTION, INCLUDING THE LEAK TEST PORTION OF THE INSPECTION. DOCUMENT THE INSPECTION IAW CURRENT PROCEDURES. REPORT ANY DISCREPANCIES WITH THE INFLATION ASSEMBLY TO: (1) AVIATION UNITS: COMDT(CG-711) ASTCM DAVE HOOVER, DAVID.A.HOOVER(AT)USCG.MIL (2) CUTTERS: COMDT(CG-751) CWO ROGER ASHLEY, ROGER.D.ASHLEY(AT)USCG.MIL (3) ALL OTHERS: COMDT(CG-731) CWO DON SLOWIK, DONALD.J.SLOWIK(AT)USCG.MIL B. ANY PFD THAT DOES NOT PASS THE ABOVE INSPECTIONS OR SUBSEQUENT INSPECTIONS SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM SERVICE AND CLEARLY TAGGED AND/OR PHYSICALLY SEGREGATED FROM IN-SERVICE PFDS UNTIL MADE SERVICEABLE. WHERE OUT OF SERVICE PFDS CAN NOT BE LOCKED IN A SEPARATE STORAGE AREA, STORAGE AREAS SHALL BE CLEARLY MARKED AS TO PFD CONDITION (I.E., IN-SERVICE OR OUT OF SERVICE). C. IMPLEMENT UNIT LEVEL CONTROLS (PQS, SAFETY BRIEFS, REFRESHER TRAINING, ETC.) TO ENSURE ALL PERSONNEL ARE PROPERLY TRAINED ON PFD WEAR AND USE, INCLUDING EMERGENCY PROCEDURES, BEFORE BEING AUTHORIZED TO ENGAGE IN OPERATIONS WHERE PFDS ARE REQUIRED. D. ENCOURAGE THE USE OF SELF-CHECKS AND SHIPMATE-CHECKS OF PPE PRIOR TO ALL EVOLUTIONS, AND INCORPORATE THESE CHECKS INTO PRE-EVOLUTION BRIEFINGS AND/OR OPERATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS. 4. NEXT STEPS A. DCMS AND DCO PLAN TO CONDUCT A JOINT REVIEW OF THE VARIOUS PROGRAMS AND POLICY DOCUMENTS THAT GOVERN THE USE OF PFD AND OTHER PPE, LOOKING TO IMPROVE ADEQUACY OF GUIDANCE AND CONSISTENCY OF POLICY ACROSS COMMUNITIES. B. DCMS AND DCO WILL ALSO JOINTLY REVIEW ALTERNATIVES TO IMPROVE SERVICE-WIDE PPE MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT TO THE FIELD TO MAKE IT EASIER TO MEET SAFETY STANDARDS AND PROTECT OUR SHIPMATES. 5. POCS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: A. AFLOAT SAFETY COMDT(CG-113): CWO TOM DARDIS, THOMAS.J.DARDIS(AT)USCG.MIL, (202)475-5208. B. RESCUE AND SURVIVAL SYSTEMS: CWO DON SLOWIK, DONALD.J.SLOWIK(AT)USCG.MIL, (202) 372-2459. C. AVIATION FORCES: ASTCM DAVE HOOVER, DAVID.A.HOOVER(AT)USCG.MIL, (202) 372-2219. 6. VADM J. P. CURRIER, DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR MISSION SUPPORT AND VADM BRIAN M. SALERNO, DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR OPERATIONS, SEND. 7. INTERNET RELEASE AUTHORIZED.

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