When DAN established the Recompression Chamber Assistance Program (RCAP) in 1993, many of the chambers in the Caribbean had limited funding, volunteer staffing and minimal opportunities for training and regularly scheduled maintenance programs. Increased dive travel to the Caribbean brought greater awareness of these issues. To help improve conditions, DAN initiated an assistance program that would not only ensure the highest level of care available for divers but also provide for the future of diving in remote destinations.

DAN assists chambers by providing technical and educational support as well as equipment for recompression chambers in remote locations. This assistance principally has been to marginally staffed and supported facilities in the Caribbean and Central America, but it has reached as far as the South Pacific and here in the United States.

DAN continues to provide training workshops to recompression chamber personnel. Recreational divers travel the world, often visiting remote dive locations that have limited resources for recompression facilities and staff training. RCAP tries to fill this gap in health care.

Policies and Procedures

Purpose: The purpose of RCAP is to assist recompression chambers in the DAN America, DAN World and DAN Brasil regions in areas of equipment, training and emergency assistance in maintaining their ability to or in becoming able to assist divers in need according to levels DAN believes appropriate. Assistance is offered to those chambers that may otherwise not be able to financially provide what is requested. This assistance may also be available to recompression chambers outside those DAN regions.

Goal: While there is no specific number of chambers this program will assist on an annual basis, it is the goal of this grant program to help ensure local quality chamber assistance to injured divers in areas where diving occurs. Quality chamber assistance is based on established guidelines for basic standards of equipment, personnel training and availability to DAN Members.

Funding: This program is funded by donations. It is managed under the business and tax laws of the United States under the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization status of DAN, Inc.

Management: The DAN Medical Information department manages RCAP. The RCAP Committee meets every two months in person or by conference call to discuss current requests or needs presented to the committee. In extreme cases, when waiting for a regular meeting is not possible, a special meeting of the committee may be called.

Cash support will not be provided directly. Support is in the form of reimbursement, direct purchase or other method deemed appropriate for the particular situation.

Notifications, both approvals and denials, will be sent once the committee determines an outcome and no later than the end of the grant cycle.

Process and criteria for support: Any recompression chamber that serves recreational diving in the DAN America, DAN World or DAN Brasil region may apply for assistance in the area of equipment, emergency and training needs. Any chamber in those regions may also request assistance with a needs-assessment evaluation/review at any time. The chairman will determine whether a request is an emergency with a need to call a special meeting, otherwise requests will be reviewed at the next regular RCAP Committee meeting.

Chambers outside the DAN America, DAN World and DAN Brasil regions are encouraged to apply for assistance if desired. However, it must be understood that priority is placed on assisting those within the listed regions.

Management: Grant cycles close the final business day in August, October, December, February, April and June. Grant requests must be received before 5 p.m. Eastern time on these days to be considered for the respective grant cycle. The RCAP coordinator will review grant requests for adherence to RCAP submission guidelines. Only applications meeting these guidelines will be considered. All others will be returned to the originator referring to submission requirements and inviting a resubmission for a future grant cycle once all guidelines have been met.

Application Procedure

The proposal must include these components and be presented in this order after a table of contents:
1. Overview
2. Organizational introduction
3. Needs statement
4. Objectives
5. Methods

The proposal should be formatted as follows:
  • Number each page of the proposal, and include the applicant name on the upper right corner of each page.
  • Use 12 point Times Roman type.
  • If sending the proposal by mail, use a three-hole punch on the left margin and place in a soft-sided binder. Mail to: Divers Alert Network, Attn: RCAP, 6 West Colony Place, Durham, NC 27705.

  • 1. Overview
    The overview is the proposal in miniature and is limited to one page. It clearly summarizes most sections in the request. The overview will include at least one sentence on each of the following:
  • Number of divers served of each of last five years
  • Reason for RCAP assistance request

  • 2. Organizational Introduction
    This introduction describes the applicant's qualifications and credibility and should include the following:
  • Official name, address, telephone, fax, email and Internet address of the applicant
  • The history and background of the organization
  • The mission/purpose statement for the requesting applicant
  • The number of people served, have served and intend to serve, or another measure of the impact and goals if the assistance request is approved
  • The qualifications of those involved
  • Documentation of current staff
  • Documentation of most recent, if any, chamber assessment

  • 3. Needs Statement
    An identification of financial need should include the following:
  • Documents identifying the nature of the organization (nonprofit, tax-exempt, private corporation, public agency, etc.)
  • Operating budget for fiscal year of request
  • Tax ID number (if applicable)
  • The needs statement should identify the needs of the applicant in relation to the assistance requested:
  • Must relate to the specific use
  • Must relate to the specific purpose(s) of assisting scuba divers in need
  • Must be no more than one page in length
  • Must include latest chamber assessment report conducted by DAN or by self-evaluation

  • 4. Objectives
    The objectives establish measurable tasks that will be met. These are outcomes, not methods

    5. Methods
    This section describes the activities to be effected by the assistance. Generally, this will be a paragraph to support each individual objective.
  • Methods clearly describe the activities, reasons the activities were selected, staffing and training considerations, etc.

  • 6. Item Assistance
    Training/Education Assistance
  • Type, cost (to include transportation, room and board, fees), location of training/education
  • Number of chamber personnel effected
  • Chamber personnel name, current qualifications, length of service anticipated outcome for individual and chamber

  • Equipment
  • Type and use
  • Vendor, cost, delivery, time to receive (documentation enclosed from vendor)
  • How and when need identified: damage, expansion, assessment, etc., with details

  • Emergency Assistance
  • Cause (date, event)
  • Type (if equipment, see above)
  • If other, provide full description.


  • Donate to the DAN Recompression Chamber Assistance Program.

    Download the RCAP Grant application.

    For more information about RCAP, please contact the RCAP coordinator.