Never Give Up

“Oh God, he’s dead!” The tears stream uncontrollably. The same sad words— “he’s dead”— reiterate through convulsive sobs of sorrow. The rescuer thrusts violently against his chest, the movement of her lips a verbal metronome against which the compressions are delivered. “One-and-two-and-three-and…” “You’re doing it wrong! He’s turning blue!” “Take care of this guy!” she shouts. “You, calm him down. Keep him away and watch him for shock.” Her count reaches thirty and she seals the victims nose for two more breaths. The chest rises, falls, and repeats. She traces his ribcage with her hand, places two fingers on his sternum, and strikes the heel of her palm in place. The count resumes as she channels 130 pounds of force » read more «

Emergencies are never convenient

My wetsuit is at waist-level as I hear the cries for help. Darting across the dirt road towards Half Moon Bay beach, I scan the dock, the beach, and the water for the source of the shouts of distress. A handful of people stand on the dock, pointing excitedly at two figures struggling on the surface some two hundred meters offshore, their bodies bobbing in and out of sight amidst the rolling waves. My coworkers are charging down the dock. This is the real deal. I’ve been here before. With forty-seven PADI Rescue Diver certifications under my belt, I’ve simulated this situation at least as many times, but the level-headedness with which I execute my training scenarios is quickly usurped » read more «

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 » read more «