USCG Auxiliarists Spearhead Police Marine Training

Monday, February 24, 2014

 

Auxiliarist Joe Heslin instructs a PAPD Officer on charts. Photo by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

Auxiliarist Joe Heslin instructs a Port Authority Police Department Officer on charts. Photo by Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Staff.

NEW YORK  – On November 21, 2013, Joe Heslin, 1st Southern Region Division 12 Commander, received an urgent request from Lieutenant Lomonco of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD).

The PAPD needed 25 Police Officers stationed out of John F. Kennedy Airport to be trained in a special search and rescue boating safety course. The training had to be completed by the end of the year, but only two of the police officers had extensive boating experience.  With just less than six weeks remaining in the year, Heslin accepted the challenge to help transform twenty five police officers into professional marine lifesavers.

By Auxiliarists Rudy Bier and James Chin

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Officers practice charting during Division 12's training session. The training turned novice boaters into professionals ready to save lives. Photo by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

PAPD Officers practice charting during Division 12’s training session. The training turned novice boaters into professionals ready to save lives. Photo by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

This was not the first time that the Auxiliary was asked to help train PAPD Police Officers. In December 2012, the PAPD sent a request to Commodore Hal Marschall, 2012 District Commodore of the First Southern Region, to teach 25 police officers about boating safety. However, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s “About Boating Safety” course was designed for beginner boaters. The PAPD Officers had to be trusted to save and protect lives with their boating skills.  As a result, a new special boating course needed to be crafted.

The mission came down to Auxiliarist Michael Price. He was tasked with designing a course to train the PAPD officers. The course had to teach the officers a thorough knowledge of boat handling, knot tying, navigation, and electronic systems such as marine radio, radar, and global positioning systems. Furthermore, the officers also had to know more advanced night navigation, survival suit donning/swimming, life raft deployment, and search pattern execution skills. After much planning, Price succeeded in preparing a curriculum which fully encompassed the required skills in a full week of classroom instruction.

Price then proceeded to screen twenty qualified Coast Guard Auxiliary instructors from the First Southern District Region to be instructors for the special course. He selected the top five to teach the special course: Joe Heslin, Walter Bier, Harold Star, and Robert Swartz. Price would serve as the head instructor. In the Spring of 2013, the Auxiliary team successfully trained the PAPD officers stationed at La Guardia Airport.

Auxiliarist Lorraine Bier demonstrates proper charting techniques to PAPD Officers. Photo by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

Auxiliarist Lorraine Bier demonstrates proper charting techniques to PAPD Officers. Photo by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

Due to being requested on short notice, the November 2013 class did not have as much time for preparation as the earlier class. Heslin had to quickly prepare all of the previous instructors for the new mission. Unfortunately, Price was unavailable to instruct so Heslin stepped up to take over as head instructor. In addition, Swartz was replaced by Auxiliarist Lorraine Bier.  The new instructor team had to also contend with textbook delivery delays due to Thanksgiving. They scrambled to gather enough books from a variety of sources to get all of the books in time for the start of classes.

With materials and instructors finally ready, the team trained the PAPD nautical novices into professional sailors. The instructors taught eight hour classes for five straight days to accomplish their mission. A tight deadline, shortage of books, and student inexperience were no match for the Auxiliary teaching team. The police officers passed the classroom course with flying colors. Moreover, the Auxiliary team looks forward to teaching the PAPD’s next class of maritime guardians.

PAPD Officers pass the class with flying colors and receive a certificate at the end. Photos by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

PAPD Officers pass the class with flying colors and receive a well deserved certificate at the end. Photos by Port Authority of NY & NJ Staff.

Pictures for this article were provided by and with permission from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey through the work of Auxiliarist Luis Rodriguez, Public Affairs Staff Officer. This article was originally published in Division 12 First Southern Region’s Searchlight Magazine – Winter 2014. See the entire electronic version of the magazine at: http://joom.ag/f3hX

Tags: , , ,

 

Comments


  1. g Raymond Handel says:

    As a former USCG HSC, rescue swimmer, and diver, I have participated in, a wide variety of means of pulling someone out of the water. All the grace and skill of a pig on ice. Would like to suggest using a short double figure of 8 knot to make foot stirrups passing the line in front of the person who would hold on the line and be pulled up and over. be gladd to demo. Almost any FIRE FIGHTER can demo this double figure 8 knot and it is quickly tied. Just a suggestion.

  2. joe romaniello says:

    I would like to take a course in marine radar can you suggest where in new jersey I may be able to do so, thank you.


Leave a Comment

Click here to cancel reply.




We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at http://www.uscg.mil/global/mail/

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/global/disclaim.asp

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.