Zrece can finally be proud of a first group of firemen who are also divers. Their training took place this summer, and they have been successfully trained by Swimming Club Slovenske Konjice (PKSK), which acquired this right through the Diving Association IAHD Adriatic, best known for training divers with disabilities and later through recreational diving with them.
PKSK is in the valley of river Dravinja known mainly due to the work with disabled divers, and less on other activities that are carried out tirelessly by a handful of club members. The club has since 2002 successfully organized four triathlons, which were rather resounding, but unfortunately this activity later died because of a lack of interest. The club still organizes the annual international day without a wheelchair in Slovenske Konjice city pool. The meeting is a unique event in Europe. At this day the swimming pool becomes a meeting point for disabled people who are interested in diving, and one of many experienced disabled divers can take them below the surface of the pool, if desired. An important piece in the mosaic of events is also a Festival Walking beneath the sea, by the club successfully prepared and organized for almost ten years. The festival has also become an event that helps to erase the boundaries between the world of people with disabilities and the “normal world” of the others.
All these events and the statement of the Mayor of Zrece Joze Kosir, that the valley does not need more than one swimming club, obliges us to share the knowledge we obtained, with everyone in the valley. Consequently the club almost every year organizes diving courses for people with disabilities, and free diving courses for fire fighters, thereby returning something to local communities and justify its existence and functioning in the public interest. Swimming club has in the past successfully trained fire fighters of Tepanje, Draza Vas, Slovenske Konjice and, as stated above, this year also fire fighters of Zrece.
Slovenske Konjice city pool in August hosted members of PGD Zrece, who attended the intensive diving course according to the program C.M.A.S. On the course for category P1 (diver with one star) have signed four fire fighters, members of PGD Zrece and after the initial testing; only two of them remained. Dejan Kotnik and Bostjan Pogorevc. The course consisted of gaining theoretical and practical knowledge and work in the pool and in open water. Due to a short-season of the city pool the course was very intensive. Most of the program has been carried out from the beginning of August to 4th of September, when the students performed their sixth dive in the sea.
The diving course does not fit into a group of newly emerged weekend courses, nowadays unfortunately organized by the majority of diving associations, which are, on top of that carried out in a entirely unsuitable environment, but belongs to the classic diving courses where students can learn physics and physiology of diving, and handling of diving equipment in all conditions . The course lasts six months and at the end of it divers are capable of diving to the maximum depth of 20 meters in the sea, rivers and lakes in all seasons. Most importantly, after the end of the training they are trained for diving with disabled divers and in this way a fire-fighter diver who is in addition also a rescue diver, contributes to the socialization of persons with disabilities in the local community, not to mention the educational significance of socializing of young people with disabled people.
It is still ongoing as a multi-levelled process, because at the course fire fighters, divers and disabled divers are trained. Students are, after completing the course successfully, qualified for initial and advanced categories, recreational and professional diving categories and categories allowing them to work with the disabled, by the program of C.M.A.S. The course for fire fighters is carried out under the leadership of Alenka Fidler, C.M.A.S. Instructor M1. She is one of the few women with international experiences, because she was diving worldwide, and in all possible conditions, undoubtedly the most difficult ones were when she dived under the ice, and represent an accomplishment, which is a privilege, and exception rather than the rule, for male population of divers also.
Zrece, in addition to Slovenske Konjice, Tepanje and Draza vas, became a member of the network of villages in the valley of Dravinja, where divers also fire fighters, can bring added value to the communities. Until now, this was a privilege only for some fire brigades. First two Zrece fireman divers become an important part of the network, which could help instructors of Swimming Club Slovenske Konjice, to take all its inhabitants below the waterline, if in the future they wish to do so.
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