Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

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The Dieselduck
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Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby The Dieselduck » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:55 pm

Some of you may be aware, but I believe quite a few people are unaware on some recent and upcoming changes in Transport Canada regulations regarding medicals and seafarer first aid.

Firstly- Your medical is now only valid for 2 years from date of issue. It was previously valid for 3 years if you were under 40, 2 years if over 40. If you are under 18 of years, then you need to have a medical done every year. The new rules as found in the certification of seafarers regulations (TP 2293 - available in full at TC and on the Training Page) were somewhat hard to find. So I have highlighted the passage in the pdf doc found here (http://www.dieselduck.ca/_bigbin/TP2293 ... rs%207.pdf). Further regulations on Seafarer Medical exams are found in the Marine Personnel Regulations, Part 2, Division 8 (http://www.tc.gc.ca/acts-regulations/GE ... .htm#DIV_8) which talks about all sorts of stuff, but strangely fails to clearly identify the validity of the actual medical certificate.

Right at the beginning of the division, they refer to the International Labour Organization (ILO) which stipulates that a marine examination should be conducted at least once every two years. Yearly if you are under 18. They also make a mention that there is varying class of medicals, one for pre employment (before you start your career) which is done once and is meant to be more rigorous, and a regular seafarer one which is meant to be more routine. You can find this into here (http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialo ... #Heading19).

So to recap, as of 2008 (coming into force of the CSA2001)...
Seafarer's Medical Certificate is valid for 2 years if you are over 18
Seafarer's Medical Certificate is valid for 1 years if you are under 18
Provisional Seafarer's Medical Certificate is valid for 6 months, extendable to 1 year

Secondly...

There is talk of changing the seafarer first aid training standards. I spoke with a TC inspector and he mentions that the proposed changes are in the works but probably wont happen within 6-12 months from now. The new standards have not been forwarded to the training establishments yet.

This is a significant change for us as the course syllabus will require 40 hrs to complete (full week) rather than the current 16 hrs Advance Marine First Aid course. The new course will be called something like Marine Medical Care. I am not sure of the duration of the tickets validity, but the current first aid course is valid for 3 years at which point the course needs to be re done. As part of the licensing requirement, failure to have a current first aid course could technically render your license invalid.

I don't know about you but a full week in a classroom every couple of years is bound to have some pretty serious impact to our already regulation heavy profession. I am interested in finding out more about this if anyone knows more.
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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby Matthias » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:01 pm

Just had a look on St. John's website and the Marine Advanced First Aid course is now 40 hours. What a great way to spend some time at home, doing courses.

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby Matthias » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:57 pm

If anyone has an expiring Marine Advanced First Aid Class, good luck finding a place to take it. St. Johns Ambulance won't be offering the course for a while due to a lack of instructors... I've been trying to track down some clear regulations to see if I need to actually take the course right now. Martin, are you sure that if your medical course is expired it actually invalidates a COC? It would make sense that it would but how many of the licensed engineers have been keeping up with their first aid courses unless they were going for their next ticket?

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:17 am

Yeah I was hoping to sneak in and get that ticket out of the way now. Since it was good for three years and shooting for the next license before then, but alas I was too late, no one in BC is offering it, citing lack of instructors as well. Great ! Not only do we have to waste time becoming a paramedic, which will never really use, or by the time we use it, well have forgotten all about it, but we can even find a course now.

I guess that's what mr harpers is all happy about, economic stimulus, for the first aid training business maybe, as I don't really see any real benefit to us, any more than what was required before. I would be curious to find out why exactly compelled TC to adopt this new standard, but its hard enough to get straight, consistent answers as it is on simple things, so I better not hold my breath. I can almost guarantee that no one else in the world seafaring community is having to go through the same course.
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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby JK » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:05 pm

TC seems to be a beehive of confusion these days.

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby electrotech » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:09 pm

I just signed up for the basic. I'm glad I could get the time off work.

I'm kind of irked by the whole system. WorksafeBC and TC don't recognize each other's credentials... at all. Since I'm only part-time on the marine side, it means I have to keep up both tickets to keep doing land-based work. Not too big a deal for the OFA #1 vs. Marine Basic... but gets stupid for OFA #3 vs. Marine Advanced.

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby EL » Tue May 19, 2009 4:52 pm

You are always eligible to renew a training certificate in Marine First Aid. What has changed is the course content of the Marine Advanced First Aid(MAFA) and Marine Basic First Aid (MBFA). As a result of the course content change the course length was changed to effect these changes. The length of a MAFA now being a minimum of 31 hours and a MBFA being 16 hours. When a mariner completes a course they will be issued appropriate certificate. A mariner does not need to hold a valid FA certificate to maintain the validity of their certificate of competency. They only require a valid FA certificate for first issuance of their CoC. The vessel however must meet the requirements of the MPR with regards to FA and as always the ship-owner/company may require all employees to hold a valid FA certificate.

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby The Dieselduck » Wed May 20, 2009 1:26 pm

Where did you get this quote from El ? Thanks for posting the info.
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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby EL » Mon May 25, 2009 8:56 am

The quote was taken from an email forwarded to me by one of my friends, who was enquiring about First Aid course in TC.

So this is legit info.

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby SARdean » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:56 am

What happened is...

- TC did away with the (1-day) Marine Basic FA certificate. (WorkSafe BC OFA Level 1 and RC/SJA Emergency FA are also 1-day courses - essentially CPR, shock, choking and bleeding treatment)

- The old Marine Advanced FA ticket was 2-days of training; this has now been renamed as Marine Basic FA. This is what I have been taking / renewing periodically.

- There's also now the 1-week Marine Advanced FA, which is something like a 'first responder' ticket like what firemen take at the Justice Institute.

- Then there's Marine Medical Care, which is even longer to qualify for.

Depending on the type of work, it comes under federal and/or provincial labour legislation. Since the marine, rail and aviation industries are all federally regulated workplaces in Canada, employers/employees must meet the federal requirements for, among other things, first aid training standards. If you are a sport fishing guide at a fishing lodge in the Queen Charlottes, then you have to have federal Marine Emergency Duties and, say, also provincial first aid, depending on your job function.

First aid in the work place is provincially determined for non-federal industries (e.g. construction, forestry) so BC is different from AB is different from ON, etc.

SO AS A RESULT, the various requirements and training standards are not /cannot be identical / uniform / transferable / across the country / between provinces / between industries.

The marine FA training syllabus is supposed to better prepare you for injuries that can occur at sea whereas the aviation FA certificate (for flight attendants, commercial pilots) is more geared to things that can happen while flying.

It is really tough to try and get your head around what TC is thinking / doing and why.

Part of the reason for the many changes (not just to first aid) is to bring Canada in line with relatively new (like over the past 15 years) worldwide standards. So it's that 'globalization' thing once again.

The above is the domestic view. There is also the international standard for first aid under the STCW convention for sea farers working non-domestically (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping).

Clear as mud ?! :shock:

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby JK » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:06 pm

Excellent overview, thank you.

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby SkyHawk » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:53 pm

Not long ago TC put out a bulletin that Marine First Aid both MAFA and MBFA are now 5 years. Same if you get the Marine Medical Care. So at least now you won't be in school every other year upgrading...lol

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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby The Dieselduck » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:05 am

Here is the aforementioned Ship Safety Bulletin regarding the new standards for Marine Advance First Aid.
Attachments
ssb-03-2009e.pdf
Ship Safety Bulletin regarding the new standards for Marine Advance First Aid
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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby The Dieselduck » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:42 pm

By the way, I thought I would highlight some of the new material in the course, compared to some of the older courses. I just finished it last week.

- AED (defibrillator) training, although this has been creeping in for some time now. But really, its pretty straight forward.
- Drug administration. How to inject, where and dosing. Of course, this is only done upon doctors advice, but now you can administer Narcan or the likes to the cook when hes overdosing on heroin. Dont laugh, I have been there, well on a ship with that problem.
- Taking of blood pressure. Cuff and stethoscope
- New protocols for CPR, but these were also creeping in
- Another big change, was the course certificate is issued on Transport Canada forms, and is valid for five years

The rest is pretty routine, if you have taken previous advance first aid course.
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Re: Seafarer Medical and Marine First Aid

Postby JollyJack » Wed May 19, 2010 8:29 am

The changes are driven by Canada's compliance with STCW. Requirements for Marine Advanced First Aid and Marine Medical Care are in STCW VI/4, tables 1 and 2 respectively. The MAFA courses approved and presented by St John Ambulance and Red Cross are over 4 or 5 days, the training Certificate is valid for 5 years, if issued after October 2008. You don't need MAFA to renew a Certificate, (ref Marine Personnel Regulations, 107 for Engineers) but you do need a Marine Medical from an approved Doctor. To upgrade a Certificate, ie a new Certificate will be issued, you must have all the required training and that includes MAFA for Officers and MBFA for ratings. (Marine Personnel Regulations, 144 to 147 for Engineers)
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