As another year and another decade draws to a close I was reflecting back on the history of the Board’s certification programs while jogging along the canal on a chilly (South Carolina chilly that is) Sunday afternoon.
Commercial Diving Center, Wilmington, California, hosted the first diver medic course back in 1975. The Board was formed and DMT certification introduced several years later, as we finally gave up on encouraging the National Registry of EMT’s to adopt a DMT category of medical first responder. The people at the Registry could never warm to the reality that a DMT might be practicing several hundred miles from a medical facility and several days from surfacing from a saturation treatment, before patient transport could even begin! To date, 2,665 diver medics have certified through the Board. The first CHT examination took place in San Diego, in 1991, with some 75 testing, including many of the hyperbaric technical ‘luminaries’ of the day. As of this month, there are 4,529 CHT’s. The CHRN program followed in 1996 and 1,321 RN’s have since certified. Next up was certification in veterinary hyperbaric technology, beginning in 2011. To date 35 veterinarians and veterinary techs have certified.
For the current calendar year, 52 diver medics, 33 RN’s and 88 techs have undergone certification testing. They have done so from across the US, and within Canada, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Overall, the first attempt pass rate was 74%. Eleven other individuals will test during the remainder of this month.
I will close by again expressing my gratitude to the Board’s directors and headquarters administrative staff for another successful year in support of diving and hyperbaric operational safety and quality.
Dick Clarke, President
National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology
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Updated December 9, 2019