Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) has superb physical facilities available to accommodate diver training. The FKCC campus contains a five-acre Underwater Training Area(UTA) ideally suited for open water training in a sheltered environment. This area is bordered on three sides by landmass and on the fourth by several miles of sheltered bay. Two underwater work areas over 120 meters long and 25 meters wide reach a depth of almost 40 feet. Water temperature remains between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
A variety of underwater training aids are located within the UTA to accommodate simulation of public safety diving scenarios. Access to the UTA is via barge and/or four docks supported by sheltered platforms. Breathing air and air for pneumatic tools is plumbed directly to these four platforms, along with water and electricity. Shoreline access to the UTA also is available if desired for training purposes.
A heated pool over eight feet deep is available for diver training. The pool is large enough to accommodate at least 30 scuba divers in training and four surface-air-supplied (SAS) dive stations. Breathing air is plumbed to four separate locations poolside.
An environmentally - controlled (temperature and humidity) hanging locker adjacent to the pool and underwater training area contains sufficient scuba equipment (suits, BCs, regulators, etc.) to equip 30 divers. Additional space is available to hang personal gear for overnight drying. A multi-station equipment rinse area is located adjacent to the equipment areas. An adjacent tank room contains over 80 scuba cylinders. Two low-pressure and two high-pressure compressors and a 30,000 cubic foot air storage system provide air for breathing, tools, chamber operations and aeration of the UTA. This system is capable of filling 80 empty 80 cubic foot scuba cylinders in an hour or less, or supplying at least six surface-air-supplied stations to depths of at least 40 feet. A dive equipment workshop is separately located within the same building. Umbilical lines for six surface-air-supplied operations and additional tethers are stored in another building.
Marine Public Safety Training Annex
A recently completed half-million dollar Marine Public Safety Training Annex houses the helmets, masks, communications and television systems and other specialized equipment used for public safety diving. This annex also houses two double lock hyperbaric chambers capable of simultaneously compressing eight divers to an equivalent depth of over 132 feet.
Public Safety Building
A new Public Safety building contains office space for both full time and adjunct/visiting dive program staff. A dedicated dive program classroom can comfortably seat more than forty students. This classroom contains computers for student reference, as well as audiovisual systems including power point presentation capability. Several additional classrooms are available for break out sessions consistent with dive training schedules. A larger room is available to accommodate floor exercises such as emergency medical training. Personal lockers and showers also are located within this building.
Classrooms and Office Space
The Underwater Classroom