POINT PLEASANT — The Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center is on the radar now, literally.
The river museum has a new, interactive radar simulator for river workers. This simulator is used by a variety of river workers from U.S. Coast Guard members, to captains of towboats.
Jack Fowler, the executive director of the museum stated that: “The main goal for these simulators is to help greatly with the training for our river workers.”
This new equipment also required the museum send out a proposal to the U.S. Coast Guard about the training.
“There was a proposal written, this proposal had to be approved through different states,” he said. “All of the trainers at the river museum needed to also be approved through this tedious process. We, here at the museum, have gone through an extensive procedure to teach these classes and we want the steersmen and potential steersmen to understand we are qualified and we are here.”
The river museum spent $7,500 dollars to have the clause written so it could offer these classes.
“We have put hard work into making this facility available to the public,” Fowler said.
The courses that are available are not “merely for new certifications but for those who need to reinstate their certifications,” Fowler added.
The River Museum offers 18 classes for the river industry.
“One thing that is different between our service here at the River Museum Learning Center is that we do not publish schedule classes on our time,” Fowler explained. “We are a smaller facility so we can be much more flexible. We can schedule the class for them to attend when they are available and off duty. We can facilitate six students at a time.”
Meagan Barnes of Gallia County will be working on promotional development online, writing a new business module and is also working on the development of a Facebook page for the river museum to get the “word out” about the certification program. Barnes is the vice president of marketing and business development at Superior Marine Ways, Inc. and also serves as the Port of South Point manager.
The classroom is set up with computers for the students and a projector. The students control a simulated towboat on their computer screens. All of the boats are shown on the projector in the classroom. Each individual using the simulator will have a different type of towboat as well as weather conditions and locations.
Ruth Fout, the administrative assistant at the river museum keeps records for these tests and information about each test taker. This information is then passed on to the U.S. Coast Guard. The test takers register for the test to receive a certification, they then take the simulated test. They also take a satisfaction survey at the end of their experience with the river museum. According to Fowler, they have “very high ratings from previous test takers and even compared to other sites that facilitate these tests, we rank as one of the best.”
Fowler added: “We are here and available. We are open for business, not just for the purpose of the museum and all it has to offer, but we are here running classes.”