Location: Field Training Course, Derbyshire, UK
Many people that work for BAS have an interest in outdoor activities, be it either rock climbing, hillwalking or any other such pursuit. However the Antarctic can spring surprises on even the most wary and knowledgeable person, so familiarity with equipment and techniques is vital for the safety of yourself and your colleagues. In parallel with the field training, all scientists will undergo some form of science-related training on specific aspects of their job.
Those who undertake scientific work on the decks of either RRS James Clark Ross or RRS Ernest Shackletonneed to undergo personal sea survival training. This one day course covers entering the sea from a great height, gaining access to life rafts, getting into lifebelts and helping colleagues in the water. The session ends with a simulated abandonment of a ship with (very!) cold water sprays to add a touch of realism!!
The structures at BAS research stations are made predominantly of wood. This coupled with the very dry atmosphere means that fire is a very real and potential hazard – you don’t want your accommodation to burn down – especially in the middle of an Antarctic winter! Therefore BAS provides breathing apparatus training in conjunction with the Cambridgeshire Fire Service. This ensures that people on station are able to safely and competently use breathing apparatus should the need arise.
BAS deploys personnel into “the field”, which means they live away from the station in a tent. Most people who go to the Antarctic get the opportunity to spend at least one night camping away from the station. Before departure therefore, it is important that some training is given on such things as how to erect a pyramid tent and general camp craft.
You will also receive some basic climbing/rope work training which could come in useful during your time in the Antarctic. If a member of your team falls into a crevasse, you need to know how to help get them out. Whilst fun, this kind of training could save a life!
So, you have attended all the briefings, completed your training and been issued with your clothes. Now on this virtual tour you have the choice of deciding how you would like to depart from the UK. It is usual for people to fly, unless they are directly involved with the shipboard science on the way down. However, we give you the opportunity to sail……
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