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Emergency First Response Instructor Course January 25, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Emergencies, Training.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the prerequisites for becoming a PADI Open Water Instructor is to become an Emergency First Response Instructor. Emergency First Response Corporation is run by Drew Richardson, who also runs PADI, and this prerequisite was introduced in 2009. There are 3 variants of the course: Adult Primary Care; Adult Primary and Secondary Care; and Child Primary and Secondary Care. Both adult and child care can be taught in the same course.

Like PADI courses, the EFR instructional materials are well laid out and cover the essentials without much extraneous information. It is based on prescriptive learning, with the opportunity to do reading, watching videos or both prior to the classroom portion so that the student can focus on skills practice and scenario training in class.

While the course materials tell us that renewal into teaching status requires that you certify at least one student between renewals, the instructor told us that was no longer necessary. This might be an outcome of the  new mandatory prerequisite for Open Water Scuba Instructors, as many instructors may not have the inclination or opportunity to teach EFR, or may be acting as guides and not even teach Scuba.

Today’s class had a fair bit of presentation, on setting up the classroom, materials required and course marketing, but I also had to demonstrate one of the Primary Care Skills (that’s the emergency stuff, as opposed to splinting and dressing wounds). Mine turned out to be CPR, i.e. artificial respiration and chest compressions – so while my classmates Steve, Matt, Marty and Jim all had mini-lectures, I had to do a full demonstration on a mannequin. It was good to go through it for my own practice, and I found out that mannequin technology has improved.

This one featured a special bag that runs from the mouth to the lungs, good for a single class, so that the mannequin itself only requires superficial cleaning after class. It also made a satisfying click sound when the chest is depressed sufficiently, and has a series of light emitting diodes that glow a satisfying green when the rate of compressions is sufficient (i.e. 100 per minute). For $180 it seems like a good deal.

I took a nice picture of the class in action on my Blackberry but couldn’t transfer to my laptop. The file seemed to move OK but the computer doesn’t recognize the file format.

Speaking of CPR, some good news. I wrote some time ago about an incident after the dive club holiday party where one of the assistant instructors (and I found out later a divemaster as well) gave CPR to a heart attack victim. It turns out the man lived after all. Dave and Pete gave the guy CPR, then the paramedics arrived with a defibrillator and told them it wasn’t working. They took him to the hospital and apparently the man’s heart had to be restarted 3 times, but he finally made it. I’m glad to report this as I’ve read about a lot of incidents where CPR has been given where the victim died anyway.

Tomorrow, we practice skills practice – diagnosing where students make mistakes and correcting them in an appropriately positive manner. Then the final exam and we can send in our applications for instructor certification.



1. Naples Scuba Diving - January 26, 2009

I recently took my EFR class and I know I need to practice. It’s very hard to remember all the details.. I love the new Defib machines that tell you exactly what to do…


2. deepstop - January 26, 2009

Practice is the next best thing to demonstrating it to someone else. I found that teaching it really cemented the details in my brain. Hopefully I can find a few people to teach this year so I can get more practice.

The defib machines are fabulous. The most important thing in a heart attack is to get the defib on as fast as possible. I’d like to see them down to the size and price of a iPod, or at least that of a Walkman. Then they could be all over the place.


3. Divers or Drivers? « Chronicle of an older diver - January 27, 2009

[…] to and from the dive site than under the water, this is going too far. While the second day of the EFR course was underway, Brad came in with a box of T-shirts for this year’s pro divers. This […]


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