August 2008

The Arizona Game And Fish Department Needs You!

By Ed Huntsman

Have you ever been boating on an Arizona waterway and found yourself thinking that someone ought to teach “those other people how to boat?”

Well here’s your chance to step up and become a volunteer boating-education instructor. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be conducting a course for volunteer boating-education instructor candidates at its Phoenix Headquarters on the Carefree Highway Sept. 13-14. Those candidates who successfully complete the weekend-long course, pass a background check and become certified will then have the opportunity to provide classroom instruction to others in regularly scheduled boating-education courses across the Valley.

While this course is offered across the state from time to time, this particular course offering is aimed at staffing up the number of Phoenix-based instructors to help meet the growing demand for more boating-education courses in the greater Phoenix area, especially the northern part of town.

Volunteer instructors teach a variety of topics. They include the differences between various boat types, legal requirements, knot tying, anchoring, waste and oil disposal, risk management, weather emergencies, registration requirements, boating laws and regulations, equipment requirements, navigation rules, aids to navigation and buoys, what to do if involved in a boating accident and trailering as well as other subjects.

All of these are taught in the Boat Arizona coursework in the agency's eight- to 10- hour boating-education course curriculum approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard and certified by the Department. Applicants for the unpaid position of volunteer boating-education instructor should be at least 18 years of age, need to complete a volunteer-instructor application, and have completed either the classroom or online Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Boat Arizona course.

The applicants will then be scheduled to attend the 16-hour instructor-training program Sept. 13-14. Upon successful completion of the training, a background investigation will be conducted prior to any candidate’s receiving an appointment as a certified volunteer boating-safety education instructor.

It is highly suggested that applicants have a solid boating background and experience, a basic knowledge of Arizona’s waterways, boats, motors, trailering and safety equipment requirements as well as state and federal rules and regulations. Some teaching and/or public speaking experience will help as well.

Certified instructors will be expected to teach, assist in teaching, or proctor at least two classes annually as well as complete any necessary or required in-service training once a year. This is a great way to give back to the community and learn more about boating to further your own expertise.

To register or ask questions about the course, contact Kelley Fowke or Ed Huntsman at (602) 942-3000.

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