Back in the "Olden Days" when I was still gainfully employed. I trained to be a part of the Anne Arundel County (MD) Fire Deptartment Dive Team. All our training was done under Dive Rescue International specifically for the public safety diver. The majority of our equipment was manufactured by ScubaPro. The team trained in the use of dry suits, helmet diving, search and rescue techniques and light salvage operations.
During all this I was fortunate to rise in rank and eventually supervised the team. Actually I was able to watch a highly trained and dedicated group of guys and gals work hard to keep their skills and equipment at a very high level. The team was called upon to provide diving services to the citizen of AA County as well as many State and Federal agencies. They built a tremendous reputation for getting the job done.
All that being said, I moved on to other areas of responsibility within the Department and let my certifications lapse. Let's face it, life has a way of taking a path to other places beyond our control. When I decided to go diving again, I opted for the recreational side of training and certification but did not want to give up the confidence I had in the equipment I first used in the Fire Department (ScubaPro). So off to the Internet I went.
I located a BCD on Ebay. A brand new, in the box Scubapro Night Hawk. The next item was a shorty wet suit. While not Scubapro, it was a good deal. Again on Ebay a fellow in Colorado was selling a regulator/console set (Scubapro MK25/A600/R380). I started the bidding while on our Vegas vacation and won the bid while on a bus to Freemont St....gotta love the Internet and smart phones.
After adding a few other items and a equipment update/check out at a certified dive shop, I was ready to blow some bubbles. I even added a GoPro HD Hero camera for video and still pics (more on that in a later blog).
Here are some pictures of the gear laid out on the back of our rig.
I like the brand of gear I have now. I have a great deal of confidence in the manufacturer, but that's me. There are many brands and they make good stuff. I do not intend on making any critical reviews, recommendations or endorsements. I'll leave that to the technical geeks and scuba pros. You have to make your own decisions on what you like. My only suggestions are to do your homework, do not shop price only and rely only on advice from professional with credentials. Lets face it, at a hundred feet below the surface is not the time to use your last breath to say: "Gee, I guess I should have bought better equipment"