A frequently asked question is, "How can I become a member of the Chamber Crew?" We want our crew members to have a diverse and thorough knowledge of diving theory and diving accident management; more than what is taught in general scuba classes (even Master and Leadership level certifications). This gives the crew a broader base of knowledge to draw from in working to understand what is happening during the treatment of a diver and what might have been the causes of the diving accident.
The following is the progression of steps required to become a Full member of the Chamber Crew:
Acceptance into the Chamber Operations course and completion of the 30 day internship does not automatically guarantee acceptance into the Chamber Crew. Potential crew members will be continually trained and evaluated during the internship. Any applicant that is unable to perform all the duties required of a crew member will not be accepted on crew. Since the crew members live and work together closely while they are on call, the ability of the applicant to get along with the rest of the crew will also be used as a criteria of acceptance.
Scheduled crew time may be served in blocks as short as 48 hours (i.e. Friday night to Sunday night) or as much as a month straight. Crew time can be scheduling on-line or by calling in the times you want to volunteer. Crew sign-up for shifts are usually based on a first come basis.
In general, when an intern or crew member is on call they stay in the Chamber Crew Apartment (Apt. 110) at the lab (other housing arrangements can be made for additional charges). The apartment has a single bedroom with two queen sized bunk beds which easily sleep four individuals. If there is a mixed gender Crew a dorm room will be made available. The apartment has a full kitchen, stereo, Satellite TV, Blue Ray, DVD, VCR, and even a Laser Disk player (yes, there are some Laser Disks in the Crew movie library). Keeping Apt. 110 clean and orderly is the responsibility of the Crew.
Meals are your responsibility while on-call. Most crew members bring their own food to prepare their meals in the Crew Apartment. Some crew members opt to eat in the WMSC cafeteria, if it is open. On-Call Activities:
The Crew also assists with the Chamber Classes and at various events like the Avalon Underwater Clean-Up, Chamber Day, Diver Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Gold Star Dive in Avalon, and the annual Scuba Show in Long Beach.
Every year the Chamber has Wash-Down Party weekend where the Chamber's fire supression system is tested at 6 ATA (165 fsw / 50 msw). The Chamber is stripped of anything we do not want to get wet, the Crew suits up in their wetsuits, "dives" to depth, and sets off the sprinklers and and fire hoses (see video below).
The Chamber Crew has their own apartment at WMSC. There is no charge for Chamber Crew Volunteers staying in the Crew apartment. Alternate housing at the lab may be available at a reasonable rate for Chamber Crew Volunteers who opt not to stay in the Crew apartment.
Most Chamber Crew Volunteers bring their own food. If you eat at the cafeteria the cost is up to $27 per day and is paid to WMSC.
Your Chamber Operations class tuition covers the cost of Commuter Books for your travel for the first ten trips of your Internship. Once you move to Full Crew additional commuter books will be provided as long as you are signed up for four or more future Crew shifts.
Parking at the Catalina Express Terminal in San Pedro is covered by rotating parking card keys.
Some Crew Members are able to utilize the USC School Boat (Miss Christi) out of the Southern California Marine Institute on Terminal Island. The Miss Christi schedule is available on the Crew webpages. There is no charge for riding on the SCMI boat, but reservations need to be made with the WMSC Office. Free parking is available for crew members on the street.
(Video by Luke Peterson)