Steve has been involved in two in-water rescues himself, but the greatest story he wants to share comes from one of his Stress and Rescue students. This student was golfing when a man fell out of his cart suffering from a heart attack. Without a second thought, the student sprang into action to assess the situation, start CPR and call for help. Once the first responder arrived, rescue breaths were started, and an AED was used. Fortunately, the patient survived.
Even though this rescue did not happen near the water, the skills learned in Stress and Rescue easily translated to land. The Diver Stress and Rescue course teaches divers how to identify stress, prevent accidents and conduct emergency care in the water and on land.
“Easily we can all see where accident scene assessment, summoning professional first responders and basic first aid skills including CPR and AED are transferrable in out of water situations,” says Steve. “I find many divers, including myself, taking note of where AEDs are wherever we go. However less obvious are the belief in yourself that you can respond, belief that you can make a difference, both of which are developed or enhanced through the training.”
“I believe many people don’t initially realize that there is a first aid component to the course. Stress and Rescue is scenario driven; everyone should be prepared to engage. The reality is that when the world calls on you to respond to an event, you will do so like you were trained.”
Steve believes that new divers should consider taking the Stress and Rescue course early on in their diving career. “New divers should be aware that a first aid component is an integral part of the stress and rescue training. I like to see new divers take the class within a year of getting certified as they choose specialties of interest. I encourage parents diving with children to take it sooner.” The Stress and Rescue course is also a requirement when achieving the Master Diver rating.
Steve hopes that this story encourages everyone to take the Stress and Rescue course. “As important as the proper response to an event is, preventing that event may well save more lives. When a diver takes Stress and Rescue, they will begin to look beyond themselves and consider other divers, looking for potential or developing problems. They will become increasingly aware of problems, both above and below water. Hopefully learning to ‘Think like a Diver’ in Stress and Rescue will prevent more serious problems from ever occurring.”
If interested in taking the SSI Diver Stress and Rescue course, check out your local Diventures’ calendar for the next available class.