The Best Dive Course You’ll Ever Take

Believe it or not, the best dive course you’ll ever take has nothing to do with scuba diving.

As a PADI Instructor, there’s a lot of dive courses I love teaching. There’s nothing like seeing a student take their first breaths underwater during the Open Water Course, or watching divers make the crucial improvements in self-awareness in the PADI Rescue Course.

However, one course always seems to get glossed over in the PADI system: the Emergency First Response course. It’s sad, too, because in my honest opinion this is the single most important course anyone can take.

The day-to-day applications of Emergency First Response course extend far beyond scuba diving. In just the last year, I have:

  • Dealt with the shocking discovery of a freshly-murdered taxi driver’s corpse, during which I was faced with barrier use, lifeline assessment, and the bizarre challenge of convincing over forty PADI professionals to respond without causing chaos.
  • Managed a screaming tourist with a shattered leg following a motorcycle accident, during which I had to split the victim’s leg whilst coaxing him out of shock.
  • Freed a terrified child trapped under a collapsed motorbike, during which I had to pull the bike off the child, treat her leg for sprains, and assist a distressed mother in getting the girl to the hospital.
  • Plucked an unconscious friend from a swimming pool and rolled him into the recovery position, thankfully after which he regained his breathing and recovered.
  • Treat a suspected decompression illness victim using emergency oxygen.

The EFR course is so short, so simple, and so invaluable that I personally believe that everyone, diver or not, should sign up. Emergencies are never convenient. Thankfully, they are rare. However, in the unlikely but unfortunate event that they do occur, being trained to quick and adequately respond is, without a doubt, indispensable. After all, the difference between knowing and not is, quite literally, life or death.

My advice: regardless of where you are relative to scuba diving, please, please, take a course in Emergency First Response— trust me, someone else’s life depends on it.

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