- Special Sections
- Public Notices
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the beautiful weekend weather we had and spend time with friends and family. The cool mornings have been refreshing!
However, our cool weather is nothing compared to the coolness of a Seattle morning. Our Flotilla Staff Officer for Information Services (IS) Duane Treadon headed out west for a specialized training on data entry for the Auxiliary. He sent in the following report.
AUXDATA is the information database used by the Auxiliary to record and keep track of several Flotilla activities. Everything from safety patrols, on the water trainings, vessel safety checks, public education classes, marine dealer visits, public affairs and a host of other recreational safe boating.
Loved by some, hated by others, AUXDATA is a complex database for IS Officers at the Flotilla, Division, District and National level to input and retrieve valuable information on members’ activities.
Because of its complexity IS Officers are required to attend an Auxiliary C-School for specialized training on how to utilize the system and its sister component AUXINFO.
The intense hands-on training was just four days long and held in Seattle. During the class, I learned the proper way to enter and retrieve data.
For anyone familiar with paperwork, there is almost nothing more challenging than getting it done properly. The Auxiliary is not immune to this and we work hard to make sure we record what we do in the right way.
As they say, if the paperwork is not filed, then it did not happen.
While working through practice exercise with live Auxiliary data, I discovered these interesting facts about Apalachee Bay Flotilla activities since 2001:
Members have contributed 65,311.50 hours of service, 8,401.10 hours of on-the-water safety patrols during 1,885 missions with 41 search and rescue missions assisting 88 boaters to safety. Plus 1,062 courtesy vessel safety checks, 1,985 dealer visits, with 1,138 boaters taking a public education course, and performing various public affairs mission totaling 3,601 hours.
It is important to point out that as a volunteer organization each one of these missions and hours spent by Auxiliary members saves the Coast Guard money that is a direct savings to the American taxpayers. Each mission and hour spent by an Auxiliary member is task that the Active Duty and Reserve branches of the Coast Guard does not have to do, allowing them to focus their limited funding on critical missions like air operations for offshore search and rescue, disaster response, environmental protection and medical response to boaters far from medical facilities.
In a recent study published in the magazine Coast Guard Proceedings, it was estimated that the service provided by Auxiliary members, 4.5 million hours of volunteer service annually, would be a $91 million cost to the Coast Guard if they had to hire full time equivalent personnel to cover this workload.
AUXDATA is the tool that helps keep track of these often life saving and valuable hours given by our members.
Many of us joined the Auxiliary because we love boating and wanted to help others enjoy a safe day our on the water. In order to continue to do what we do, we have to document of efforts so we continue to get support to be Semper Paratus.
Next weekend, Flotilla 12 will host the Sumer Division Meeting, which will bring together members from Pensacola to Tallahassee-St. Marks and everywhere in-between. We will enjoy fellowship as well as learn what other flotillas are doing and how we may do something better.
As Sherrie always says, Safe Boating is no accident.
Be sure to file your paperwork and fill out a float plan before leaving the dock!