View Full Version : Dive Emergency Preparedness
May 23rd, 2012, 09:48 AM
I took Rescue Diver 10 years ago and one of the points that I remember is the importance of preparedness / readiness. If you were me, basically a lapsed CPR/First Aid and basically very little reference point of what I do/don't remember and what skills I could and couldn't instinctively execute, what would you do?
Take the class again? Find some reading materials and buddy up with some divers to practice skills and scenarios? Other?
What do you do for yourself in case of the provebial pooh hitting the fan?
May 23rd, 2012, 09:58 AM
First, you should retake and update your CPR/first aid course, whether a dive specific or general class. If your local dive shop regularly runs rescue diver classes, you might ask to audit the course, and participate in the open water exercises. We have had volunteers like you, and if they help set up a canopy, off load and load tanks on the van, and otherwise assist with the many tasks of an open water training weekend, we are glad to have them. If you do not have that option, then reviewing your materials, retaking the class, and practicing with others are all good things to do. Just be sure to have a sufficient number of people participating so that not everyone is involved in every scenario. You want someone watching and present to assist if anything does not go as planned.
May 23rd, 2012, 12:45 PM
If you are asking specifically about first aid/CPR skills, you can always retake the class. They're generally pretty available and not terribly expensive.
For me, a lot of the "preparedness" in Rescue had to do with looking at the dive site/situation and thinking about, "How would I cope with an emergency here?" I still try to do that in new places -- think about where a telephone is and how I would describe where we are; look for flotation devices, and think about the challenges the situation presents in getting a disabled diver out of the water.
Actually handling an incapacitated diver is another skill altogether, and that's something you and buddies can practice, if you have a pool or shallow, benign dive site available.
And of course, the biggest lesson of Rescue is to avoid incidents and accidents altogether!
May 23rd, 2012, 01:13 PM
I review a page or 2 in the old EFR manual daily. They are always changing stuff a little (you do CPR now before rescue breaths for example), but you can always look up those changes through PADI or elsewhere. In doing this, I feel that I am as ready as possible, though I haven't even seen a real CPR situation (except on TV) and I'm 58. I've taken the EFR review 2 times now and for me it has meant watching the video, a little discussion and 5 minutes with the dummy. Good advice for Rescue above.
May 23rd, 2012, 01:35 PM
I think you should take a CPR & FA refresher at the very least.
It's important to remember though, that land-based CPR and in-water CPR differ a bit. The point is to not just know the steps but to have the mind to be able to take the appropriate step and adapt to the situation (that often isn't a textbook example).
Making the basics second nature helps tremendously in this; one less thing to think about.
May 23rd, 2012, 02:04 PM
Like other people have mentioned, EFR/CPR should be refreshed each year and reviewed periodically each month to maintain the freshness of the skills.
I wouldn't recommend doing the Rescue course again unless you're really dead-set on doing it. You already have the training; all you need is to practice every month or so to keep the skills fresh, as well as to read the materials over once in a while. If you do the Rescue course again, it seems as if you might let the skills stagnate again and not renew the EFR again for another decade...unless you practice.
May 23rd, 2012, 03:44 PM
Never can be too prepared, retake EFR/CPR, first aid, and maybe an AED class. But, if you dive a regular site, make an emergency assistance plan, so you know how to contact EMS, best way to get them to diver, where the nearest chamber is located. Maybe add GPS coordinates, place for a chopper to land for airlift. See if you can audit a rescue class from your LDS, volunteer to play "victim", and they should be ok with it.
May 23rd, 2012, 07:19 PM
I last took a EFR/CPR class over 10 years ago. Last month i took the DAN 02 course, which included a 101 of CPR. The rules for CPR had changed a lot since I last learnt, so it's probably a good idea to take that again as mentioned.
May 23rd, 2012, 10:11 PM
Come out here to Southern California instead for training/vacation, and take a comprehensive class at the USC/Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber:
USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber (http://dornsife.usc.edu/hyperbaric/educational/response.cfm)
USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber Educational Programs (http://dornsife.usc.edu/hyperbaric/educational/index.cfm)
Much more challenging & unique than a "refresher first aid/CPR class", and you'll also coordinate/integrate drills & practice with professional LA County Emergency Medical Services Team (Baywatch Paramedics/Lifeguards) on Catalina Island. . .