An accident management plan is a vital tool for any home, business or adventure. We all know accidents happen. But do you know where everything is? The nearest medical facility? The first aid kit? But, don’t we just call 911 and let them do everything? Well, I guess we could, but how long will EMS take? So, let’s look at how an accident management plan might look like.
And since we are divers, we will assume we will be dealing with a diving accident. The first two things we want to know is where is the nearest medical facility and is a chamber nearby. A few other items to know and have listed on our little slate is where is the emergency oxygen and first aid kit. Is there other life saving equipment at the dive site, such as a back board? After that I want to make sure I have the emergency number for DAN handy. DAN is the second call after EMS.
If you have taken our Rescue class, then you have a diving accident management slate. The number for DAN and the Coast Guard VHF channel is on this slate. This slate is invaluable in help us manage a dive accident. It also breaks things down into “mild” and “serious” symptoms. Obviously if the symptoms are mild then we would take the diver to the medical facility ourselves instead of calling EMS.
But if the signs are serious, I would in all likely hood be calling EMS and providing emergency care as needed. Administer emergency oxygen and if necessary, CPR.
A few other things that you should have on your accident management plan would be gathering and recording as much data that you know to be factual. Things like the depth and time of the diver’s last few dives. What signs and symptoms is the diver experiencing and approx. what time they started?
And the last thing you want to make sure you do in case of a diving accident is gather the divers gear. You can rinse it if you have time, but do not disassemble it. Send it along with EMS or take it to the medical facility with the victim. DAN will want to get the info off the diver’s computer and possibly examine the gear for a potential failure to help determine the cause of the accident.
Hope we never need to put our accident management plan into action, but at least we are prepared.