Written by John Kinsella
The Rescue Diver course is consistently described as one of the most challenging and yet rewarding courses in the entire PADI system of diver education. Capitalize on what divers love about the PADI Rescue Diver Course and seriously consider hosting an annual (or more frequent) Rescue Diver Workshop. Here are five reasons why this is a great idea:
- It’s a powerful way to highlight your business and your place in the local community. A Rescue Diver Workshop is about as close as diving is ever going to get to a spectator sport. The sight of divers sprinting across the beach, plunging into the water and dragging a “victim” out while administering mouth to mouth never fails to get attention. Lots of orange gear helps too. Just make absolutely sure you have clearly visible signage explaining that this is an exercise, and, double absolutely, make sure you let the local emergency services know what you’re doing.
- It’s a great way to get to know, and get known by, local emergency services. Consider inviting these experts to participate; emergency services practice regularly too. And if there’s anything that elevates the spectacle of a coordinated diver rescue to the next level, it’s a demonstration helicopter airlift. You might be surprised at the reception you receive if you simply ask politely.
- It’s a great way to promote continuing education. Invite everybody. Among other things, a rescue diver workshop is a great excuse for a day out. And having Open Water Divers about can really add to scenario realism if you get them involved. I have yet to meet one who didn’t delight in being used as a victim, in spite of all the inhaled water.
- It’s one of the best ways to keep skills current. Hopefully, you don’t practice rescues too often in the real world. This is the perfect opportunity to keep skills current, update certifications (There will, naturally, be a concurrent EFR course). This applies to divers, and professionals, at all levels. Make a point of encouraging full staff participation, reaching out to divers who haven’t been active in a while and basically letting everyone you can know about the event. It’s not hard to keep them busy.
- Why not? You’re doing the work already (every time you run a Rescue Diver Course) and it doesn’t take much to turn the Rescue Diver Scenarios (an integral part of that course) into the focus of a Rescue Diver Workshop. It’s a no brainer to integrate the two.
Plan a Rescue Diver Workshop today, there’s really no reason not to.