N.S. safety training ‘unique’

Dartmouth’s Survival Systems sees more export possibilities in latest technology

A $5-million expansion to the Survival Systems Training Ltd. facility in Dartmouth is so sophisticated that the company is still pondering the implications, CEO John Swain said Thursday.

“We have a collection of training technologies here that is unique to the industry in the Americas,” Swain said in an interview before the official opening of the facility.

“It is very rewarding to be involved in providing critical safety training for the many men and women working today in ocean environments.”

He said the mix of technologies at the new facility are advanced enough to attract international attention and potentially add export capabilities to the company’s portfolio.

The new marine aviation survival training facility at Survival Systems will allow the 18-year-old company to build on the safety training it provides to the oil and gas, aviation and marine sectors.

The facility at 40 Mount Hope Ave. employs about 25 people.

Swain said it has been operational for only a few weeks and has already garnered industry attention around the world.

“With our new facility, we’ll develop new training programs and advance our (research and development), simulation design and production,” he said.

The facility is designed to create extreme real-life conditions within a controlled environment for safe and effective water survival, underwater egress training and advanced marine research and development.

The Nova Scotia government contributed $450,117 to the expansion through its Productivity Investment Program to help the company buy equipment, including a rescue hoist, dynamic moving ship hull and capsize simulator.

The ocean safety training industry advanced significantly in Atlantic Canada after the loss of the Ocean Ranger drilling rig off the coast of Newfoundland on Feb. 15, 1982. All 84 crew members, most of them Newfoundlanders, were lost.

A call for safety training improvements was among key recommendations from a royal commission that reviewed the disaster.

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