Good Divers are Always Learning

This has been the motto of Dive Training Magazine (an excellent reference for all divers) for as long as we can remember, and that saying doesn’t just apply to entry level divers; it applies to all of us, including PADI Course Directors.

There are many steps involved in becoming a PADI Course Director. Among other prerequisites, candidates need to have the following certifications: Emergency First Response Instructor, Open Water Scuba Instructor, Specialty Instructor, Master Scuba Diver Trainer, IDC Staff Instructor, Master Instructor, and Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer. They must also have trained certain numbers of divers at each level and after a rigorous application process, those who are accepted go through the Course Director Training Course itself.

Wow! With all this training and experience what else would a Course Director need to know!?!

As it turns out, A LOT!

On all levels of training, teaching scuba diving is dynamic. The sport is always evolving and PADI Instructor Development at PADI Headquarters is constantly working to improve training methods, as well as developing new areas of diving, such as Underwater Digital Photography/Videography, Sidemount Diving, and the Project AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty.

An example of changing training techniques is the recent adaptations made to the Instructor Development Course (IDC) Rescue Assessment. In previous years, we have been training Rescue Divers to create positive buoyancy by removing the weight belt of the rescuer and the unconscious diver at the surface, followed by removal of dive equipment. However, over the years there have been many changes to diving and dive equipment. Most divers now use integrated weight systems. Some technical divers use semi-closed or closed circuit rebreathers, and may have many tanks attached to their equipment. PADI has recently introduced Sidemount Diving as well.

To address these changes, Alan Jan, Vice President with PADI Instructor Development, recently visited Maui and led the local Course Directors and IDC Staff Instructors through an IDC Rescue Assessment Upgrade. With the assistance of Instructor Examiner Bud Riker, Alan explained and demonstrated how to incorporate the removal of diverse equipment from the unconscious diver. He also gave many great tips for teaching techniques, such as avoiding the temptation to reach across the victim to remove a weighted pocket, which could drop onto the victim’s head! It is much safer to move to the other side of the victim and pull out the pocket from that angle.

After Alan’s demonstrations, we got into the pool ourselves and practiced these new approaches to rescuing the unconscious diver at the surface, using both mouth-to-mouth and pocket mask techniques. Of course, it was a serious subject, but we all had a great deal of fun during the process.

Now we are well-equipped to go forth to teach these new techniques to our Rescue Diver students, and add to the training of Divemaster and IDC Candidates.

To become a PADI Rescue Diver, or to learn how to upgrade your rescue skills, contact Maui Dreams at 808-874-5332, and get ready to have some Serious Fun!!!

Aloha, Teri White, Course Director