Anyone who has done a Rescue Diver course will remember the dreaded Emergency Action Plan. Well guess what? Divemaster trainees get to make another one as part of the course. Basically, it is a page in which you condense a bunch of information so that in the case of any dive injury or problem, everyone knows the right steps to take and the right numbers to call.
For any dive site or dive operation, the information contained may vary, and they take into account that the person reading the EAP may have little first aid knowledge. The real difficulty lies in cramming so much information into one little sheet.
The Emergency Action Plan for this island needs to also include information on every dive shop and their boats, what radio channel they use and what types of emergency oxygen they stock. I guess this information would come in handy if we needed a defibrillator and one was not available in shop, or we needed more oxygen than we had on hand.
This part of the dive master trainee experience involved going to fifteen different dive shops and asking about their shop information. For me, as an introvert, it was extraordinarily awkward. There is nothing worse than talking to random people, really. Luckily for me, everyone at the dive shops was very welcoming and nice.
As there is more than one clinic on the island and the hospital and dive shop clinics all seem to be rather small I also had to list all of the major places you could take a victim, including both re-compression chambers. Then I included a step by step of what you would do in the event of a dive emergency, what to say to the clinic you would call and what information to write down in order to give to the clinic.
On the back side is first-aid information for every major type of dive injury, the main line of treatment for everything from jellyfish stings to heart attack, and more.
Basically, someone who couldn’t remember first-aid class very clearly could scan this document and be able to administer first-aid to a victim.
Obviously, you would change the plan according to the type of diving and where you were. You could even leave out the first aid side if it was an Emergency Action Plan for you and a buddy doing a shore dive together, assuming you and your buddy were both well versed in dive first aid.
In Canada, I would have just done a plan for a particular dive site, instead of a dive operation, because the dive sites can be so far apart.
I honestly believe every dive, even if it is just a shore dive with a friend should have some form of an Emergency Plan, at a minimum the essential phone numbers and an idea as to where the nearest hospital or fastest way to get an ambulance.
Amazingly enough, I found out that an ambulance may not be the fastest mode of transportation on such a small island and that a fast boat or a cab driver or private vehicle may be the fastest way to transport a patient. I also learned about what medical help is available on the island, and there were quite a few options.
So that was it, an hour long walk, a few hours in Word and another tick off the list of things to do!