The NSS STC wants to help cavers to be safer and smarter in their choices when going underground. The purpose of this website is to help cavers everywhere to develop a better understanding of safe caving. By using safety equipment, such as a helmet and headlamp, properly decontaminating your gear, and improving techniques, everyone can learn to cave softly.
Please use the tools here to help further educate yourself and advance your skills.
Your feedback and input to this vital topic and will always be appreciated. If you have thoughts, ideas and suggestions or would like to become involved with this committee's programs please contact the STC chair.
Former NSS Education Division Chief
The Safety & Techniques Committee Board of Govenors' Directive (40KB pdf)
I. The Safety and Techniques Committee is a committee within the Education Division, which is under the Department of the Administrative Vice President.
II.The goal of the Safety and Techniques Committee is "Safety Through Knowledge". Activities of the Committee include analyzing and reporting accidents and near accidents, equipment study and testing, and development of safe caving techniques. (Act 91-330)
III.The Safety and Techniques Committee of the NSS should be the repository for all information relating to caving safety, techniques, and equipment and is charged with the following activities and responsibilities:
(1) Provide assistance to internal organizations in regard to caving techniques, equipment, and safety considerations as requested, and in the establishment of grotto safety committees and educational programs.
(2) Upon request provide assistance and advice to other Society committees, activities, and programs in regard to caving techniques, equipment, and safety considerations.
(3) Prepare short articles on various caving techniques and/or equipment for distribution to the NSS membership; such activity should be coordinated through the Caving Information Series.
(4) Prepare slide show programs on various caving equipment, techniques, first aid, and safety considerations, with distribution to be cooridinated through the Audio-Visual Aids Committee.
(5) Provide information concerning caving techniques, equipment, safety, and safety education to the membership upon request and through the NSS NEWS.
(6) Conduct valuations on existing and new equipment used in caving and report these evaluations in a clear, objective, and precise manner to the membership via the NSS NEWS.
(7) Collect, catalog, and evaluate reports of caving accidents, equipment failures, and similar phenomena; provide non-anonymous information to the Editor for publication in AMERICAN CAVING ACCIDENTS; and, at the discretion of the Safety and Techniques Committee Chairman, report or publish such information through other outlets.
(8) Maintain and develop a repository of knowledge and information concerned with caving safety, techniques, and equipment, and conduct research on the improvement of existing caving equipment and the development of new caving techniques and educational methods.
(9) Work with equipment manufacturers and distributors to mitigate or eliminate safety hazards of equipment.
The Role of the Safety & Techniques Committee Advisory Group (24 KB pdf)
The intended purpose of the ad hoc STC Advisory Group is to provide feedback on STC efforts to promote the development and use of techniques that support safe caving. The STC Chair, Aaron Bird, requests the following of volunteers on the ad hoc STC Advisory Group:
I. Provide suggestions for areas where the STC should focus.
II. Consider whether STC efforts are useful to cavers and consistent with the charge of the committee as defined in the NSS BOG Directives for the STC.
III. Provide feedback in the form of expressed support or expressed opposition to a particular STC project. This can be very simply in the form of "This is a good idea and should be pursued," or in the case of opposition, "This effort is not a good idea and should not be pursued."
IV. Help to disseminate information about STC activities and products.
Safety & Techniques Committee Past Chairs
Arthur Lembeck 1939-40
Jean Williams 1941-42
Herbert Vincent 1943-44
Elton Brown 1945-47
George Dare 1948
John D. Parker 1949-55
Ida Mallory 1956
Rane L. Curl 1957-62
Don F. Black 1962-63
Marlin S. Werner 1963-65
Rane L. Curl 1965-69
Steve Hudson 1973
Donna Mroczkowski 1974-75
Don Davison, Jr. 1976-79
Alan Padgett 1980-83
Mike Fischesser 1984-89
Bill Storage 1989-1996
Bill Cuddington 1996-2000
Dan McConnell 2000-2003
Anmar Mirza 2003-2005
Rebecca Jones 2005-2006
Kurt Waldron 2006-2010
Aaron Byrd 2011-2013
Scott McCrea 2014-present
The National Speleological Society
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