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Rescue class flavours - PADI or GUE?

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by DeeplyCurious, Aug 19, 2018.

Pick a Rescue Class

  1. PADI

    7 vote(s)
  2. GUE

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other agency (specify in thread)

    10 vote(s)
  1. DeeplyCurious

    DeeplyCurious Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Coral Triangle
    If you'd have to recommend a choice between the two to someone who's a GUE Diver with an eye towards becoming a PADI Divemaster, which would you pick and why?

    This is assuming you can get quality local instruction from both schools, but only have the budget for one. Also, that said diver continues to dive with other GUE divers, but also with instabuddy resort divers half the time.

    Most people have nothing but praise for the PADI Rescue syllabus, especially with the right instructor. GUE on the other hand has the standards and repute, but as of Aug 2018, apparently has a less-developed syllabus (through Rescue Primer/Rec 2) according to some sources with knowledge of both.

    While it's tough to find a quality alternate agency round these parts, am open to suggestions as well.
  2. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    If you can complete PADI divemaster with a GUE rescue cert then the answer is quite simple. GUE.

    And no, I’m not a GUE instructor, nor have I ever taken a GUE course.
    sigxbill likes this.
  3. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    Rescue, is rescue. While there may be some differences for recovery depending on the type of diving the agency specifies , the basic processes of recovering a diver and then cpr etc are all the same.

    If you wish to be a PADI DM then you’ll need to complete the Unresponsive diver , rescue breaths and tow excercise (Rescue 7). But you don’t have to have completed PADI Rescue just an equivalent

    Best to check if GUE is recognised. Agencies do like to play games whether courses are equivalent in their eyes
  4. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    As a trained GUE-F, Tech 1, and Tech 2 diver, I have the following thoughts:

    Andrew Georgitsis of UTD actually brought a toxing diver up from depth successfully when he was the training director for GUE ... if memory serves? I'd pay him for his knowledge because he's been there and done that and probably spent a good bit of time reflecting upon what went right, what could have gone wrong, and how he might have done things differently despite a favorable outcome.

    I've done rescue training with my friend Bob Sherwood, a GUE instructor, and if anyone can "look good" doing a rescue, it is Bob. If you want to see "dialed in" rescue skills I haven't found better.

    PADI rescue training will provide you information about "how the world learns to rescue." If you want to be on the same page as most divers in the world this would be the course. It's the PADI course that gets the highest marks and students tend to report learning a lot and enjoying the training.

    Since most rescues find their way to the surface, I'd also think about lifeguard skills. I think if I had one definitive class to take, I'd just find an L.A. County Lifeguard and scuba instructor who teaches the PADI course, but knows a thing or two about doing it for real.

    Lastly, my agency, PSAI has a both a recreational RAPID Rescue program and a Technical Emergency Analysis & Management (TEAM) course covering rescuing OC, SCR, and CCR rebreather divers. Depending upon the instructor, this can be a quality course. These guys have been about as "been there/done that as they come:

    PSAI Instructor Trainer: SHIN, Sueng-Young & PSAI Instructor: LEE, Soon-Hyung To be Awarded the International Marine Organization Certificate of Commendation for Exceptional Bravery at Sea
  5. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    I'd love to take a GUE rescue class. And I wouldn't mind if it was a humbling experience like fundies was (best class I've ever taken, hands down).
  6. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    There's only one comprehensive five consecutive day civilian recreational Rescue Diver Course, usually scheduled once a year in residence by demand, that will also introduce you to an entire chain of professional & volunteer support personnel of a real world experienced municipal-government-run emergency response team and recompression chamber, dedicated solely for the treatment of diving accident casualties:

    Emergency Response Diver > USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber > USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  7. DeeplyCurious

    DeeplyCurious Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Coral Triangle
    Pretty much the thought process behind the question.

    Assuming "rescue is rescue", it's a choice between being taught by highly-skilled GUE instructors or to "to be on the same page" as everyone else in terms of technique and application of skills. And with relatively few reviews/reports from people who've done the GUE route (Rescue Primer or the Rec 2 course) that compares against PADI experience, it's hard to make an informed decision as it stands.

    How much latitude is typically given to each instructor to introduce extra-agency content - sort of a nod to how things are done on the other side - beyond the theory? Case in point - I wouldn't expect GUE's course to introduce a 'hands-on' demo rescue of a resort diver in a jacket, much as this would be among the most common divers one would typically encounter as a PADI DM. Granted, one could eventually pick that up through experience, but rather be safely practising skills under the watchful eye of an instructor than with someone's life on the line.

    The latter actually sounds quite interesting. Sadly, PSAI is a little under-represented in Southeast Asia.
    Trace Malinowski likes this.
  8. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    As a dive guide and instructor, I drew more from the American Red Cross Advanced Lifesaving Course than any dive rescue course I have ever taken when making rescues. I took Advanced Lifesaving during my freshman year of college for the entire semester. It was truly a kick @$$ course. I remember how hard we trained, yet extremely fit young men and women, could barely summon the energy to walk to the showers after our final test. It didn't matter if it was on the surface or underwater. The guiding principles of lifeguard training served me well. Unfortunately, that course no longer exists. Lifeguarding stopped using a hands on approach in favor of the rescue tube and all of the lifesaving toys (many of which you can make on the fly for use in scuba rescue -- such as tying a spool to a bottle for a throw line) are no longer a part of lifeguard training.

    Over the years, I've made a bunch of rescues. Many were on the surface. I once surfaced from a dive on the Benwood in Key Largo only to be directed to swim a lifeline to a rebreather diver in trouble on the surface. Many happened when I wasn't wearing scuba gear. For example, I had an instructor wisely yell for help when caught in a rip current when he knew he was exhausted rather than let pride and ego get in the way. I swam out and put him in an old-fashioned cross-chest carry. A few were underwater. One underwater rescue was an NSS-CDS Basic Cave trained frozen diver on the line in Ginnie. Another was a panicked GUE Tech 1 trained diver on the Spiegel Grove who had run low on gas after being blown off the wreck, fighting the current in a drysuit, and being unaware of how fast his gas went as he worked at depth. He became a panicked diver on a deco bottle after I switched him to Nx50. A third was a GUE-F trained diver who found himself descending with an empty tank on the Yukon. He became a panicked diver on my long hose. Looking good was never a part of the equation during a rescue. In each and every case, reaching the victim, protecting myself as well as my mask and reg, and maintaining control of the victim and the situation from start to finish had been drilled into me from that early class and reinforced with each lifeguard re-certification and each scuba rescue course or skill.

    I require all my divemaster candidates to have either had a lifeguard course in the past or to take one before I certify them. One of my PADI instructor friends took a lifeguard course at age 50 and it changed his approach to aquatic safety. Even though his real job was as an engineer, he ended up lifeguarding part-time at that age at a YMCA and applying how to maintain safety of an aquatic facility to his scuba classes.

    It might seem strange to many divers that I would encounter so many rescue situations, but keep in mind I do this stuff full time day in and day out and have been doing so for a long time. In the Caymans, it seemed we made a rescue or assist every day. As I write this, I'm on the shores of Lake Ontario, where each and every day I'm diving the St. Lawrence Seaway. Earlier tonight, I made 2 dives in Canada. Yesterday, I was coaching in Alexandria Bay, where we rescued boaters on 2 occasions. Once a guy's boat slipped a mooring and was running away down river. I swam out to it and drove it back to the dock where my friend Jimmy helped me tie it off. In another incident, a family left someone in the boat who didn't know how to drive it and the boat went adrift. I did the same thing.

    High levels of personal physical fitness, being well-trained for surface swimming rescues, and being well-trained to deal with OOG and panicked divers are the benchmarks of dive rescue regardless of agency. In my experience, even well-trained divers (such as those trained by GUE ) are not immune from panic. Looking good underwater does not make you a superhero. Looking good and being good are two different things. The same with rescue. The fastest swimmer isn't always the best lifeguard. Sometimes, he is. My friend Billy beat me to a victim -- a diver who surfaced at the training platforms at Bonnie Castle who ran OOG and did a CESA. His buddy was missing. Billy, me, and my friend Jamie did a search. The diver was located on shore later, but Billy is one heck of a public safety diver. Yet, PSD divers get in trouble. My friend Rob, a cave diver and PADI instructor, and I swam a couple hundred yards to rescue two guys from a dive team who ran OOG at the tanker truck from the student side of Dutch. The very next weekend, members of the same PSD team went out to retrieve the weightbelts of those two divers, and got in trouble. Rob was working as Dutch lake staff when he had to row a dingy out to help them. I once had to rescue a Newark, NJ ESU diver who was overweighted and drowning on the surface.

    I've been rescued myself on 3 occasions. I had 3 blackouts while freediving. A French freediver pulled me up from the bottom of a pool when I blacked out doing static apnea. A female DM or instructor rescued me after I suffered a SWBO and I was unconscious on the surface. A freediving student rescued me from a deep water blackout.

    The type of diving you do should dictate the type of rescue course you take. Bringing up a toxing tech diver while looking good might not help you as a resort DM as much as a PADI rescue course. A PADI rescue course might not help you deal with divers using multiple bottles or rebreathers either.
    Compressor, Landau, Pearlman and 2 others like this.
  9. rabe

    rabe Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Brisbane
    I guess, it's not the agency, it's the instructor that makes the difference.
    As always.
  10. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    to @DeeplyCurious why do you want to be a PADI divemaster? Does PADI acknowledge GUE's rescue primer as a pre-req for their leadership?

    If the GUE pass is valuable to you, then take it, if not, then go with whichever is cheaper because I have rarely seen a fully fleshed out rescue class outside of a university setting. Our is most of a semester long and I'm not convinced you can get proficient at the important part *towing people back to someone who can actually attempt to help them* in 2 days, no matter how good the instructor is. It takes a LOT of practice to be able to tow quickly and efficiently and most instructors never practice it, so they're not particularly good at it, especially giving rescue breaths. I can tell you that if I were to be brought up unconscious and not-breathing, I would NOT want you to give me rescue breaths. It will cut your speed in at least half and time is of the utmost importance. Get them to someone who can get O2 flowing ASAP.
    The rest of it consists of search and recovery and BLS type skills. SAR is more of a navigational ability and you can either navigate or you can't, not something you can learn in 2 days. BLS is usually a pre-req from ARC, DAN, etc. for CPR/First Aid/O2 admin. Only thing left is how to get a diver to the surface *not rocket science*, and how to tow him back to shore *really hard to do properly, near impossible to do effectively if giving rescue breaths*.

    In this case I'd go for whichever is cheaper unless one is a markedly better instructor, and I'm not sure GUE is a guarantee of that in this case

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