Time for a little alphabet soup. My local dive shop offers an option as part of their rescue program. They call it the ultimate rescue diver. It consists of three courses, EFR (Emergency First Responder or CPR), the PADI Rescue Class, and then the DAN DEMP class. Having completed the first two, I did the DEMP class this week.
DEMP, or Diving Emergency Management Provider as tought by my shop is actually a collection of five classes bundled together. O2 provider, Advanced O2 provider, AED, First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life and On-site Neurological assessment. It is taught over two nights.
The class began with a review of CPR. Most of us had just done the EFR class, so this went fairly rapidly. Then we moved into the Automated External Defibrillators(AED), integrating that into the CPR process.
After that, we moved into the Oxygen Provider portion of the class. A detailed breakdown of the equipment, as we had to have a knowledge of each component. In fact, as part of this portion of the class, they had us assemble and dissassemble the O2 unit blindfolded, calling out each piece as we did it. We covered three types of masks and integration with CPR in the case of an emergency. Advanced O2 adds in the MTV-100 and the bag mask to the mix.
Then we covered hazardous marine life. This covered creatures that could sting, bite as well as care for contact with nasties such as fire coral. We practiced first aid for wounds as well as how to handle neutralizing the poison in the case of stings. We also covered allergies their treatment.
The last section regarded Neurological Assessment. The concept is to get down as much as you can as soon as someone starts feeling ill so that once the diver seeks medical attention the doctor has a baseline to start from.
DAN also bundles these classes together too. They call it the Diving Emergency Specialist. http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/training/courses/des/index.asp
As a stand alone program, I don’t know if it was worth it. But as a supplement to the EFR and Rescue classes, it reinforced and enhanced the training received in those two, essentially giving us more tools in our toolkit when dealing with diving emergencies. What is interesting is that, like EFR, these courses expire after 24 months and you need to take the entire class set again to renew. I hope they come up with some type of refresher program that would allow you to do all of these programs in a single class, rather than having to take all of it again.