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Course Outline

At the scene of a water rescue emergency, time is critical. Many people do not realize that individuals have been revived successfully after being under the water for over one hour.

  • Influencing operational factors include:
    • Individual and team safety (number one factor)
    • Personnel and equipment available
    • Victim’s condition
    • Length of time submersed
    • Complexity of the rescue
  • Keeping track of the time from when the victim was last seen on the surface will help determine if the team is in a rescue or recovery mode.
    • Most teams use the “golden hour” as a benchmark to function in rescue mode from the time of submersion.
    • The team will switch to recovery mode when specific criteria have been met.
  • Rescuers have needlessly lost their lives due to rescue operations being pushed by family and media.
    • Use judgment and experience, not compassion, for decision-making. Compassion kills!
    • Designate a person to work directly with the family and answer their questions.
Water rescuers carrying equipment in a raft
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