Resue Diver Day One

Yesterday was the first day of my PADI rescue diver course.  The instructor was wonderful.  He was the same instructor from our Open Water Course days 1 and 3.  He has a trained search and rescue dog and a lot experience in rescue on land as well as in the water. 

The first half of the day was spent doing our book work with the EFR and Rescue manuals.  As we went through Mark asked me to answer a few questions that were more anatomy specific because of my training as a paramedic and more recently as an RN.  When it came to the hands on portion he asked me to go first to demonstrate the mouth to mask and CPR techniques.  So I got a little warm fuzzy feeling from being able to help and share some of my training with others. 

Once we got in the water, though, I was just another student.  I was asked to demonstrated the tank valve tow for the others in the class but that was simply because it was fresher in my mind because the others did not complete open water as recently as myself. 

The site we used was Electric Beach.  There was a current and a surge yesterday that were working against us.  But the conditions were good enough for training.  So we completed a surface rescue of a panicked diver during which I was tackled by the instructor as I got too close to the victim.  I learned from that I shouldn’t get so close.  It’s kind of a funny concept since the idea is to help someone.  But the bottom line is self-preservation.  There’s no reason for 2 people to die.  On the second try I successfully completed the exercise.  After that we completed rescue of and unresponsive diver at the surface and below water.  We also completed brining and unresponsive diver ashore after ditching our gear and the victims.  That was the hardest part of the day.  Luckily our “dummy” aka divemaster candidate was like 100lbs soaking wet. 

Unlike the other classes I’ve taken this isn’t a fun time. It’s serious business because lives are on the line. I was tackled by the instructor when I was trying to carry out the “panicked diver at the surface” scenario because I got too close. But it was a good lesson in composure. Even if I was tackled I can still breathe because I have not one, but 2 regulators. And if I am ever tackled by a victim then I can simply dump the air our of my BCD and go under.  When you think about it where is the last place that a victim wants to go?  Exactly, under the water.  It’s a difficult class, physically, but a very gratifying one.  I am now a more confident diver and after tomorrow I will be even more confident.  

I am thankful that I have today to recover because my muscles are sore.  The only thing on the agenda today is to write an emergency action plan for tomorrow’s class.  Which I had better get to.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. BCDiver573
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:46:50

    Rescue Diver is great training, and it makes you a more able, more situationally aware diver as well. Are you going to go for the Master Scuba Diver or Divemaster ratings after you finish?


    • hikinginparadise
      Mar 19, 2012 @ 15:46:06

      I probably will go for both eventually but I’m not in a rush. Since Jan 15 I have done open water, advanced open water and now rescue. I’m going to take some time and dive for the sake of diving. Studying every time I dive is getting old.


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