The Seafarers-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (PHC) is offering a new course in Advanced Reefer Container Maintenance (ARCM), which replaces the previous course.
Mike Fay, a longtime mariner and electrician, was instrumental in the development of the new course and curriculum. He’s worked in the industry for over 40 years, much of that time spent with the Crowley shore gang in the Port of Philadelphia, where he worked with reefer units on a daily basis.
Following last year’s PHC Advisory Board meetings, and responding to concerns of the industry, the school tapped into Fay’s knowledge and expertise in this field and asked him to evaluate and provide input on the ARCM course.
“The new ARCM course is modeled after our training program in use by the Crowley shore gang in the Port of Philadelphia,” he stated. “This is a condensed course, focusing on unit operating systems and troubleshooting. The old course has been discarded and completely replaced with training that is directly in alignment with the job requirements on board the vessel.”
Fay then addressed some of the specific additions made to the new course: “We added two more up-to-date reefer units, which were donated by SIU-contracted ship operators. In addition, there are now several bench-top microprocessors and keypads that allow the students to program controllers, update software and navigate the menu functions.”
PHC Director of Vocational Training and Education Priscilla Labanowski compared the new course to the previous class, saying, “The course was written with more hands-on training. We have added additional reefer containers donated from shipping companies to allow for actual equipment from the ships to be used in our machine shop as learning tools. This will allow for a better-trained mariner being able to work under guidance of an instructor here at the school prior to performing the work required of them on one of our contracted ships.”
“I have shipped for years as an electrician, and found the following very helpful,” remarked one student who completed the course, before listing various elements of the curriculum that they found particularly useful. “Thorough description of capacity control and economizer operation, a detailed walkthrough of programming and configuration of a controller, detailed instruction of emergency bypassing of each unit, instruction for manual use and testing of the solenoid values, and the freeze/chill thresholds and operations.”
PHC Acting Vice President Tom Orzechowski stated, “The school remains committed to improving all of our curriculum, in order to stay current with industry needs. Consistent with the physical improvements and additions made to the school, the Paul Hall Center will continue to provide first-class training at a first-class facility.”
The next course is scheduled to start May 18. Students must have previously completed the Marine Electrician and Marine Reefer Tech courses in order to take Advanced Reefer Container Maintenance.