Día Número Diecinueve Continuó – I Could Rescue You… Blindfolded.

As we noted in this post, Kale is currently with us for a few months while he moves toward his Instructor Development Course. Here is his newest post on our blog!

(Note this is an edited version of a post from Kale’s own blog; you can read the original full text of Kale’s post here.)

Kale, ready for his rescue diver training

It’s time to talk diving. I finished my Emergency First Response Course last week renewing some information on CPR I hadn’t learned since I was thirteen.  Practiced chest compressions on a dummy, learned how to provide primary and secondary care, and so on.  Wrote a little exam at the end of it all and became officially certified.  Woop.

I spent the next few days shore diving at Blue Angel Resort to increase my number of dives; the minimum requirement of dives before beginning the Divemaster program is forty.

After the EFR (and a multitude of shore dives) I began my Rescue Diver program.  The program seemed daunting at first, but when all was said and done I have an immense appreciation for what I learned.  It boosted my confidence in what I’m about to undertake as a Divemaster-in-training and changed my perspective of diving.  Essentially, it’s become real.  It’s no longer just about personal safety or task-managing, but constant awareness of everything and everyone in and out of the water.

The past Saturday (the 15th), Matthew and I went over some textbook work and then hopped in the water to practice some of the skills.  These included providing an alternate air source to a buddy low on air, learning how to approach divers – both tired and panicked – on the surface, and how to properly throw a line out to somebody who’s close enough to shore.  After we were done, I left with a disillusioned sense of accomplishment, not knowing what I had in store for me the next day.

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How is this relevant?  Well, I had been biking hard that day, spent over an hour in the ocean, and then topped off the night with a big dance session.  When I showed up the next day for Rescue training, my quadriceps were DOA. (Editor’s note: I snipped out the piece about the all-night dance off; read Kale’s original post for the full skinny!)

Matthew and I were joined by an older couple hailing from Washington state; another DMT named Melina and her instructor-certified husband Ken.  They were to simulate accident-prone divers, and I spent the better part of the afternoon learning how to properly respond to unconscious divers above and below the surface.  It was a challenge.  The currents had changed that day and were stronger than I had anticipated.

This meant while I was simultaneously providing rescue breathing, towing the victim to shore, and removing their equipment… I was also getting my ass handed to me by the strength of the ocean.  I came out that day feeling like a wet noodle.

However… every sore muscle in my body had lent itself to an incredible sense of confidence.  I had learned something vital.  Something real.  

Yesterday, the 17th, was the last day of training.  Ken and Melina joined Matthew and I again, and we took off on a couple more dives.  All three of them tested me in the knowledge I had acquired, running through different scenarios or situations.  Needless to say, I utilized what I had learned and officially passed the course.  I’ll be damned if that didn’t feel good.

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Today I completed the Emergency Oxygen Provider course. I learned how to assemble and disassemble the O2 tank and attach either the non-rebreather mask (for you weak breathers out there) or the pocketmask with the non-resuscitator demand valve, or both at the same time.

setting up oxygen kit blindfolded!

Then I had to do it blindfolded.

3 minutes and 20 seconds, baby!

Now on to the orientation for Divemaster!

~KL

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We’ve been busy!

September is traditionally a quiet time of year here in Cozumel, but we have been keeping busy all the same!

Matthew is currently a Master Instructor, which means he is able to staff Instructor Development Courses. And he has been doing just that, helping out with a Course Director here on the island. Here’s a great photo of him teaching an Emergency First Response Instructor course for some IDC candidates!

Matthew Atkins, teaching EFR courseThe other exciting event this month was PADI Business Academy. It was an intensive two-day program, with hands-on workshops to help us with learning what to do, measuring how well we’re doing, and how to improve. How to serve you better! We had a great time there learning from the PADI presenters, seeing some old friends, and making some new ones.

PADI Business Academy attendees, September 2012 in Playa del CarmenAnd don’t forget: upcoming is our next Beach Clean Up, on September 29! See you there!

beach cleanup poster