MAYPORT Florida —
of the busiest shops at the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) got a
surprise visit from the Department of Transportation (DOT) June 25, and the
inspector left with all smiles.
self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) shop inspects, hydrostatic tests, and
returns the air cylinders shipboard firefighters use to breathe clean air. The lives of these firefighters depend on the
proper operation of these cylinders. That
fact is not lost on the Sailors as they passed the DOT inspection with zero
violations and a 100 percent passing grade.
(Pearl) Greene was in the process of doing our quarterly self-assessment when
the inspector arrived, and of course, she was using their form,” said Damage
Controlman First Class(SW) Jose Espinal. “The inspector was surprised. He liked the organization and cleanliness of
our shop, and because we had an SOP (standard operating procedure) at each work
Espinal, DC1 Green as well as the Workcenter Supervisors DC1 (Jeffrey) Morris
and DC2 (Darnell) Catron ensure that we are doing our weekly training,” said
the shop’s leading chief petty officer, DCCS(SW) Carlton Garrett. “They execute the work packages as well as perform
proficiency training with the actual equipment.”
said it had been about three years since the last surprise inspection, which he
said is about the normal frequency of surprise inspections. The SERMC SCBA Shop maintains a high standard
of operational readiness for the sake of supporting the fleet while adhering to
the strict DOT standards, and part of that is training. SERMC trains beyond the requirements set
forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the document used to regulate
the certification, use, transportation and storage of cylinders containing
compressed gas. He said they conduct
extra training to make sure everyone in the shop becomes proficient in SCBA
handling procedures. Espinal said DOT
can levy fines to those in violation of DOT regulations.
DOT inspector, who works in the Office of Hazardous Materials and Safety Field
Operations, checked every aspect of SERMC’s operation from the time the shop
receives SCBA cylinders from the ships, to the time those cylinders are
returned. SERMC has already processed 271
SCBA bottles, 291 packs, and 25 Emergency Breathing Air Compressors (EBAC) so far this year.
looked at our admin paperwork, they inspected the way we look inside the
cylinders, how we inspect the threads, how they are marked, our special
permits, the calibration of our gauges, our hydrostatic
testing, everything,” Espinal said.
Garrett said just
because they won’t see another surprise inspection for a while doesn’t mean
it’s time to relax.
“We will continue to maintain our standards
with our training plan and will continue to execute our quarterly review,” he
said. “This helps the continuity for
when we crosstrain as well as when new personnel are assigned the SCBA shop.”