Rescue and EFR with Blue Planet
01.11.2011 - 05.11.2011 26 °C
Settling into Koh Lanta
I walked through the door of Blue Planet to be greeted by many friendly faces and big welcomes, right then I knew that this would be the place I would do my rescue and dive master course and stay for the next few months!
Within a few hours I was set up with accommodation, an idea on when I would get a bike (im going for a healthy push bike.. although others are wondering how long this will last!!) and dinner plans
I was keen to get started on all the theory I had to do for the emergency first response course and rescue so day 1 I took my new books to the beach and then to restaurant who do the BEST sandwiches on the island. I had vague recollections of the emergency procedures from back in the day when I have taken this course before but this was a good refresher..
Kev my instructor, Krystina his beautiful DMT assistant and I then endured the videos and some one on one Annie time! I have included a photo of Annie for those of you who don't know her. She is the rescue doll, looks the same all over the world and you practice your rescue compressions and breathing on her.
After successfully reviving Annie, watching the crazy American videos and rescuing Annie and Kev from a staged emergency situation I am now an Emergency First Responder As I was walking home from the shop that afternoon I could just see up and coming accidents the whole time - this course does make you super paraniod.. thankfully I made it home without having to utter the words "My name is Angela I am a emergency first responder can I help you.." :0)
I now had to endure the American Padi videos - for anyone who has not had to sit through these they are super super cheesy and sterotypical American. The goofy guy is back doing some crazy stunts which are just a little but unbelievable but brings me to reminiss about my open water videos in Dahab with Debs and Jen in 2004! Wow how time flys!
"Diver, Diver PLEASE remove your weight belt"
Once all the theory is out the way it is now time for the practical pool session! The swimming pool we use is out the back of the Tavern a local Western restaurant, now I have been here for a while I have found out they do great Nachos and fantastic pool partys! The pool session is to go through all the rescue skills in a confined safe environment. We begin the role plays with Krystina acting as the victim and me as the rescuer. One of the first scenarios is a panicked diver. Before you approach them you are meant to shout out to let them know to drop their weight belt so they become more buoyant and easier to rescue. So I shout across the pool "diver, diver please remove your weight belt" Kev breaks out into a fit of giggles but just tells me make it louder and a bit more forecful so I shout "DIVER DIVER PLEASE REMOVE YOUR WEIGHT BELT", Kev and Kris are both killing themselves laughing, apparently I am the politest rescue diver Blue Planet has ever had!!
The next day is rescue skills in the sea, I realise that my lack of muscles may be a slight issue on this day and I turn out not to be wrong! I have since built up my muscles but initially I was struggling to carry my tank on my back and I had no hope of carrying 2 tanks!! The rescue skills in the sea went OK except there is so much to remember when you are rescuing a unconscious diver from the sea floor, removing kit while doing rescue breaths every 5 seconds and towing seemed to be a stretch for me but I got it eventually after a few re-do's!! The hardest part was lifting Krysina out of the water.. again my muscles or lack of muscles let me down! Long beach has a extra big step to get out of the sea and no matter how many times I tried lifting Kris (who is tiny!) out of the water over the step was just too much!!!
The final day of the rescue course is scenario day, looking back a very fun day but on the actual day its flipping stressful! All day you are on tenter hooks awaiting for rescue situations that you have to manage.. Lynne was the assistant for the day and gave me a very warm welcome to the boat showing me around and making me feel at ease. I spent the whole day in my wetsuit following Kev and Lynne around expecting things to kick off at any moment. I succesfully rescued Kev from an "accidental" jump off the top deck of the boat and James my unconscious diver. The second dive Kev was roll playing a open water diver who got his cert from cowboy divers.com!! We had some fun that dive including loosing a fin, breaking a mask, feeding fish with his reg etc etc! At the end of the day I was knackered and ready for a much needed sleep before the start of my dive master!!!
Special thanks to Kev my wonderful instructor, Kris my fantastic initial victim and Lynne my scenario day victim you were all fantastic!!!