Dive Leader - Theory Lessons

DT1 - The Role Of The Dive Leader

Lesson Objectives

The main objective of the lesson is to introduce students to the role of the Dive Leader and the continued development of diving and dive leading skills.

This lesson covers consideration of different of types of diving, including risk assessment and safeguards. These will all support the broader role a Dive Leader assumes in a branch, by being able to manage dives at known dive sites.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students will:

  • Understand that the development of diving skills and knowledge involves extending their own experience in depth and varied conditions
  • Understand that when there is no available assistance from a more experienced diver, developing their own skills with a diver of equal experience, needs to be done incrementally and carefully, to build on existing experience as safely as possible
  • Understand that assessment and precautions taken for various types of dive are not only important in dive planning, but will also support considerations when undertaking the role of a Dive Manager to known dive sites
  • Understand that broadening their experience will strengthen their role as a Dive Leader in the branch, particularly when leading the less experienced

DT2 - Basic Life Support

Lesson Objectives

Rescue skills are, fortunately, the skills least frequently used by a diver. The downside of this is that they deteriorate the fastest. They may no longer be adequate if required in a real emergency. Periodic refresher training is therefore essential to keep these skills practiced.

BLS skills are learned during Sports Diver training. Time will have elapsed since then so this lesson provides refresher training as well as extending BLS skills to include the use of the 'Pocket' mask.

Ocean Divers may also undertake training in oxygen administration. The scope and content of this lesson is also appropriate to those who have had no previous training in BLS skills.

The lesson first reviews the principles of BLS, which then acts as a briefing to the instructor demonstration and student practice that follow.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students will:

  • Understand the underlying principles of BLS
  • Be competent and confident in their ability to perform one rescuer BLS
  • Be competent and confident in their ability to perform two rescuer BLS
  • Be competent and confident in their ability to deal with regurgitation of the casualty's stomach contents
  • Be competent and confident in their ability to place the casualty in the recovery position
  • Be competent and confident in their ability to perform BLS using a 'Pocket' mask

Equipment Required

For the practical element of this lesson one resuscitation manikin and one 'Pocket' mask are required for each pair of students. Where this is not available, the duration of the practical element of the lesson should be extended pro rata, so that each student experiences the specified periods of practice. It is important that students experience what it is like to carry out BLS for more than just a token period, and hence the duration of practice should not be truncated.

DT3 - Oxygen and Diving Incidents

Lesson Objectives

If oxygen administration is to be effective, it is necessary to understand what conditions can benefit from it and how to recognise them. Understanding how oxygen benefits each condition will also aid understanding of equipment requirements to achieve this.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Understand what oxygen is
  • Understand what conditions resulting from diving incidents can benefit from oxygen administration
  • Be able to recognise the relevant signs and symptoms of those conditions
  • Understand how the administration of oxygen benefits each of those conditions

DT4 - Casualty Assessment

Lesson Objectives

The previous lesson covered the major diving incidents, their signs and symptoms. This lesson supplements this with a structured and practical approach to assessing a casualty's condition. It reinforces the need to recognise the subtle signs and symptoms of diving incidents and provides a basis against which to judge them.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Understand how to conduct a basic assessment of a casualty suffering from a diving incident
  • Understand the need for continual monitoring of the casualty to update the assessment if signs and symptoms change.

Equipment Required

In addition to the visual aids used for the initial explanation, copies of the Incident Procedure and pens/pencils will be required for all students to use in the subsequent practical exercise.

DT5 - Oxygen Administration Equipment

Lesson Objectives

There are many different types of oxygen administration equipment available. This lesson explains the configuration of oxygen administration equipment appropriate to recreational diving and explains some of the associated operating considerations.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Understand the configuration of oxygen administration equipment most suitable for use by recreational divers
  • Understand the characteristics of each of the components
  • Understand equipment maintenance requirements
  • Be aware of precautions to take when using oxygen administration equipment.

Equipment Required

In addition to the visual aids, a dismantled oxygen set will be required to illustrate each component during the lesson, to show the 'real thing'.

DT6 - Oxygen Administration In Practice

Lesson Objectives

Administering oxygen to a casualty is not just a question of operating the necessary equipment. There are other considerations to be taken into account. This lesson presents guidance on these wider aspects.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • The practicalities of administering oxygen in the event of a diving incident
  • The complimentary role of fluid administration
  • How to arrange evacuation of the casualty
  • The immediate considerations in the case of missed decompression, and where to get specialist advice on further action
  • Why the administration of Entonox should be avoided
  • Appropriate safety precautions and limitations

DT7 - Use of Oxygen Administration Equipment

Lesson Objectives

This lesson provides practical instruction in the use of oxygen administration equipment for both breathing and non-breathing casualties. It builds on skills and underpinning knowledge covered in the previous lessons.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Be competent and confident in their abilities to assemble/ disassemble oxygen administration equipment
  • Be competent and confident in their abilities to administer oxygen to a breathing casualty suffering from decompression illness
  • Be competent and confident in their abilities to administer BLS, including oxygen enriched rescue breathing, to a non-breathing casualty with no circulation

Equipment Required

For each pair of students the following equipment is required:

  • A resuscitation manikin
  • An oxygen administration set conforming to the configuration described in the "Oxygen Administration Equipment" lesson (DT5).

Where there are more pairs of students than manikins/ oxygen administration sets available, the duration of the practical element of the lesson should be extended pro rata, so that each student experiences the specified periods of practice. The duration of practice is very important in not just achieving but consolidating the skill level, and hence should not be truncated.

DT8 - Dive Planning

Lesson Objectives

The objective of this lesson is to highlight the importance of planning as a Dive Manager when organising diving to Branch known dive sites. The lesson introduces students to considerations that need to be made before arriving on a dive site. This includes organisation of divers and equipment and introduces students to charts. Information obtained from charts and tide tables helps anticipate conditions. It supports the use of electronic navigation equipment and/or transits that a branch may use for known sites. Weather forecasts are also part of dive planning.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Understand that dive planning considers five main areas; the dive objectives, the divers involved, the proposed dive site, the date/time to dive, and extra equipment needed to support the objectives
  • Understand the responsibilities of the Dive Manager
  • Understand the suitability of a site for the dive objectives and levels of diver experience
  • Understand that known sea sites will still require planning and information to locate the site
  • Understand latitude and longitude, their relevance to charts and use of GPS for position fixing
  • Understand how to read a chart in combination with Chart 5011 to identify relevant features on or near the dive site
  • Understand the principle of transits for fixing the position of the dive site
  • Determine the difference between chart datum and actual depths on the day of the dive with the use of Tide tables
  • Understand the use of tidal diamonds on a chart tidal flow diamond to determine the time of slack water
  • Understand the use of the compass rose
  • Understand the effect of wind, the sea state and the importance of monitoring weather before diving

Equipment Required

  • A chart, preferably covering a known branch dive site
  • A copy of Chart 5011
  • If available, Branch Dive Manager pack with information on transits if used, dive site details, check list before leaving for the dive site etc.

DT9 - Rescue Management Part 1

Lesson Objectives

Previous training has addressed personal rescue techniques, which have been progressively expanded from Ocean Diver. If an incident is to be resolved effectively, the activities of all involved must be co-ordinated. Managing this effort is part of the wider role of the Dive Leader. This lesson introduces rescue management and is supplemented by further practical and classroom lessons (DT10, DT11 and DO5).

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • That rescue management starts long before an incident occurs
  • The long term factors that contribute to incident prevention
  • The factors occurring on site that enable potential incidents to be anticipated
  • The activities which contribute to the overall resolution of an incident
  • The need for activities to be co-ordinated - the role of the Rescue Manager

DT10 - Helicopter Operations

Lesson Objectives

In incidents requiring urgent evacuation of the casualty, helicopters are often used. This lesson explains some of implications for divers of operating in close proximity to helicopters, and outlines the possible techniques that may be used to transfer the casualty from a boat to a helicopter.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Actions necessary to prepare and operate a boat for close to a helicopter
  • The different lifting techniques that may be employed by the helicopter crew to transfer a casualty from a boat to a helicopter
    • Direct lift
    • High-line transfer
    • Alternative small boat technique
  • The need to obey all signals from the helicopter crew

DT11 - Rescue Management Part 2

Lesson Objectives

This lesson complements the earlier lesson 'Rescue Management 1' and the Open Water lesson 'Rescue Management Scenarios'. It covers aspects which could not be adequately included in the Open Water lesson and other aspects which follow on after an incident.

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Understand the potential impact of an incident on relatives or friends of the casualty and on the rescuers themselves
  • Appreciate how to deal with the media
  • Understand the importance of the incident report
  • Understand the legal processes which follow on from an incident resulting in a fatality
  • Understand what they can do to best serve those processes

DT12 - The Role of the Dive Manager

Lesson Objectives

The objective of this lesson is to complete the students’ understanding of the practical considerations when managing diving. From DT8, Dive Planning, this lesson develops planning and risk assessment into organisation during the dive day.

The lesson also covers shot lines and diving emergencies

Achievement Targets

At the end of this lesson students should:

  • Understand that the role of the Dive Manager on branch known dive sites encompasses risk assessment, organisation and management on the day and their responsibility for all diving and related activities
  • Understand that a Dive Manager does not work alone but with the support of the Diving Officer, Assistant Dive Manager, Cox'n or skipper, divers and surface cover to make it happen on the day
  • Understand the actions to take as a Dive Manager before leaving home
  • Understand the considerations when managing diving on branch-known sites from the shore or small boats
  • Understand the considerations when managing on branch-known dive sites if using a charter boat
  • Understand the principles and configuration of simple and top tensioned shot lines
  • Understand the principles of shot recovery using a buoyant or controlled lift
  • Understand the actions to take in diving emergencies
  • Have gained appreciation of further training opportunities open to them within the BSAC to develop diving skills even further
  • Understand that it is important as Dive Leaders to go diving to continue the development of their own skills and diving enjoyment

Equipment Required

  • Branch Dive Manager pack. Samples of branch dive sheets or slates used on branch dives
  • Dive Management Briefing Checklist

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