We all hope that we are never in the situation of having to respond to an emergency situation but being prepared for such eventualities is key to a successful outcome. If you dive with a group, dive center or school, it’s very likely that all the emergency planning has been done for you, but there are still ways you can prepare and be of assistance.
Be prepared © DLG Images
- Action Plan. There should be a clearly written and easy to find plan which tells you how to respond in a given situation. The plan will include who to contact as well as the process to follow. Find out where it is and what the steps are so you are familiar with it. If there isn’t one, you need to write one as it will save valuable time and avoid confusion. There are many resources online to help you with this.
- First Aid Kit. There should always be a first aid kit. Find out where it is and what you have available. If you don’t have one, you need to assemble one. There are some tips here.
- Emergency Oxygen. The first step in dealing with decompression sickness or lung injuries is to provide emergency oxygen. Oxygen should always be available as close to the dive activity as is possible. Studies have shown the faster that divers receive emergency oxygen, the better the overall outcome of either of these injuries. You should never dive without oxygen being available.
- Know your team. When an accident occurs, it’s a combined effort to ensure the situation is managed well. You don’t have to do everything yourself and neither should you. Know which divers on your team are trained in emergency procedures and who will be most helpful to you. This knowledge will save you time when delegating roles.
- Training. There are many courses available which will train you for in water rescue techniques, emergency management, 1st aid, oxygen provision and much more. Remember to refresh your skills each year so that you are up to date but also practiced for a fluid response.