volunteering - IUCRR

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If you would like to volunteer to be an active member of the IUCRR, please read on!  (If you don't want to be a participating member, but would like to support the IUCRR, click here.)

Note:  There is no such thing as "automatic IUCRR membership."  If you are willing to volunteer your time and expertise, meet the minimum requirements, agree to the by-laws and rules, make yourself available for call-outs, and complete the RRSOM training and (optionally, but highly recommended) in-water training, you still are not automatically an IUCRR member. Everyone voluteering has to be vetted and approved by their Regional Coordinator before they are granted IUCRR membership.


* Experience

Minimum experience requirement:  100 significant cave dives after becoming certified as full-cave.  Must be actively diving (minimum 10 significant dives per year).

* Training

Must agree to attend the RRSOM (Rescue/Recovery Surface Operations Management) course as soon as possible after joining.  Must also agree to attend seminars and training provided by the Regional Coordinator whenever provided, including a refresher RRSOM class every 2-3 years.

Note:  In-water training is encouraged, but is not a requirement.

* Commitment

Must commit to checking email at least once a day for a call-out, and/or have an active cell phone with the phone number to it available to the IUCRR (regional coordinator, assistant director, and director).

This commitment also means that you will strictly adhere to all rules and by-laws of the organization, never mis-represent the IUCRR, must not speak to anyone on behalf of the IUCRR (exception: if you are the Surface Operation Manager, you are permitted to speak to the attending LEO), and will always maintain a professional, detached demeanor when acting as a representative of the IUCRR.

If, on any given call-out, you decide to exercise your role in the IUCRR (see below), then you must fully commit to the entire process, from beginning to end, which must include -- 100% of the time -- a written report to be provided to the Regional Coordinator within 48-72 hours after the conclusion of the rescue/recovery.

Exercising your role in the IUCRR

The IUCRR recognizes that, as a volunteer, it is likely you have a full-time job and family responsibilities, at the very least.  Consequently, we do not require that you always activate yourself when there is a call-out.  Your involvement can be at any level, for any given call-out, such as:

  • no involvement at all

  • limited to offering resources (e.g., your time to make phone calls, material resources such as tanks, etc.)

  • a support person (e.g. setting up tents, table, chairs, etc.)

  • a surface-operations-manager (SOM)

  • in-water support diver

  • a recovery diver

  • or any other level you so choose

Only you can make the decision about how involved you become for any particular call-out.  It is expected that you provide as much as is possible given your particular situation, at that time.

As an IUCRR volunteer, you must be an active cave-diver, which means you probably can be ready to provide in-water support within a fairly short time-frame.  In-water support does not necessarily mean a recovery diver; you may be needed, as an example, only in the basin/sinkhole to assist other divers.

If you volunteer to act as the Surface Operations Manager, you must be ready to follow all of the guidelines you learned in the RRSOM class, and will be the central IUCRR representative during the rescue/recovery.  Your primary responsibility will be to provide support to the LEO Officer-in-charge, in whatever way he/she sees fit.  Frequent and accurate communications with the OIC is critical.

Whatever role you may choose or end up in, it is critical that you stay in that role until the very end, unless circumstances require you to pass it on to someone else.  You must communicate this need to the Surface Operations Manager.  (If you are the SOM, you will of course be communicating with the OIC.)

If you are interested in becoming an IUCRR member, please contact your Regional Coordinator.

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