Rescue Freediver Course

Background

In October 2018 Chris McKay; owner at Freedive Tulum, AIDA Judge and Chief of Safety for numerous freediving competitions announced a Freedive Rescue workshop to be held in the town of Tulum, Mexico. This was initially to be aimed at the local freediving community.
The response from the worldwide freediving community was enormous and the concept and product quickly developed.
In January 2019 the first course of its kind was conducted with the assistance of keynote presenters; Dr Hector Ruiz and Dr Juan Valdivia, both AIDA International Medical Board Members. As this course was the new foundation for competition freedive safety, Carla Hanson, AIDA President also attended and contributed to content development.
The 2020 updated version of this course combines all of the key elements that contribute to effective emergency response in a freediving setting, whether it be a private training session or an international level competition.

Objective

The primary objective of this masterclass is to establish a baseline of a much higher safety standard for the operational safety teams at freediving competitions.
The 4 Day Masterclass is an environment for skills development, fine tuning and authentic assessment.
A lot of RPL (Required Prior Learning) is necessary from the students if they wish to attain certification through the Rescue Freediver Masterclass (RFM). See RFM Structure, below.
Until recently the the role of the competition safety diver typically finished once the rescue was completed and the diver requiring assistance was passed to the medical officer.
This would potentially leave the medical officer overwhelmed with too many tasks needing to be performed at that moment.
The idea of this new level of safety diver is not to replace the medical officer/team but to provide a high level of procedural knowledge and the ability to competently assist in a medical situation.
This course is designed to develop the confidence and skills of any freediver in situations that could occur in the water.

Who is this course suited for?

Any freediver that finds themselves with a position of responsibility will benefit from this course.
This includes any freediver that safety dives for another, any teachers, coaches or instructors of freediving, and any person that desires the knowledge and confidence to assist in a situation.

Pre-requistes for the Rescue Freediver Masterclass (RFM)

You need to be a certified freediver through any recognised agency.
Your diving skills wont affect the information that you learn.
Your diving ability will however determine the certification level that you may achieve during this course – see Certification Levels and Performance Requirements, below.

Certification Levels and Performance Requirements

The RFM is the foundation of knowledge and skills for you to be an effective part of a competition safety team.
This course however does not by-pass operational requirements at a competition.
Each competition is unique and will have its own operation standards.
The performance requirements used in this course exceed current safety diver standards utilised by AIDA International.
At the completion of this course, you will still be expected to perform these physical performance requirements at each respectable competition you attend.
This is to guarantee you are dive ready and physically fit for duty.
Due to the high performance requirements for a competition safety diver, new levels of competence have been introduced. This allows the developing safety diver to progress in skill levels as their diving strength and ability grows. The full competition certification may not be necessary for a depth-limited local competition.

Freediver Performance Requirements

Level 1 – Operator
Completed DAN O2 provider course (80% pass)
Completed DAN BLS course (80% pass)
Completed Competition Operational Knowledge exam (80% pass)
Demonstrated understanding of operational risk assessment
Demonstrated Safety Team Operational Procedures
Demonstrated knowledge in patient extrication & evacuation
Demonstrated ability to provide assistance to the Medical Officer in 4 key roles
Demonstrated competence in surface rescue procedures for unconscious diver

Due to an inability to perform depth requirements, this person can still be an asset to any safety team as platform operational staff. Sonar operator, timekeeper, surface camera operator and line setter.
This is a perfect skill set for any active competition judge.

Level 2 – Safety Assistant
All of the above requirements, as well as the following:
30m CWT performance with stress test
20m CWT rescue with stress test – single rescuer
20m CWT team rescue scenarios in all roles
20m Counterballast Assisted Rescue
30m DPV (scooter) Rescue – subject to availability

Due to an inability to perform Level 3 depth requirements at the time, this person has demonstrated core skills of the competition safety diver. These depth requirements can be demonstrated at a later date to a recognised skills assessor.
This diver would be an asset to the operational team in platform roles or as a safety diver operating in the competitor warm up zone.

Level 3 – Competition Safety Diver
All of the above requirements for Level 1, with addition of the following:
40m CWT performance with stress test
30m CWT rescue with stress test – single rescuer
20m CWT team rescue scenarios in all roles
30m Counterballast Assisted Rescue
40m DPV (scooter) Rescue – subject to availability

Competition Ready. Subject to continued education at individual competitions

Level 4 – Safety Team Leader
Performance Requirements and skills assessment are not components of the RFM course.

Level 5 – Chief of Safety
Performance Requirements and skills assessment are not components of the RFM course.

RFM Structure

Upon enrollment with appropriate booking fees paid, students will be enrolled into the DAN (Divers Alert Network) e-learning program. With the Enrollment forms and Statements of Understanding completed, the student will commence online education for the O2(oxygen) Provider Course and the BLS(Basic Life Support) modules. The assessments for each of the modules MUST be completed PRIOR to the commencement of the Rescue Freediver Masterclass if students wish to receive DAN & RFM certification.
Additional learning content will also require demonstrated understanding prior to the Masterclass.
These topics will include;
Competition Operational Procedures
Safety Team Operational Roles and Responsibilities
Advanced Rescue Techniques
Sonar Operational Guide
Personal Hazard Analysis Overview

Important note:

Students wishing to receive the DAN certificates as part of the RFM will need to pay an additional $100 USD for the DAN certification fee.
These certificates are valid for 2 years and are a general requirement for most quality organisations for freediving instructors.

Participant Requirements

Classroom Sessions:
All required Paperwork in the pre-course package must be completed and returned a minimum of 3 days before the RFM.
Manuals – those provided during the e-learning process can be printed or viewed in digital format during class sessions. A copy of the manual is required.
Payments – all payments must be completed prior to the commencement of the RFM. See Payments and Refunds, below.
Covered footwear will be required during patient management, movement and extrication exercises.

Water Sessions
All students are responsible to supply and organise their own freediving equipment.
The Staff of the RFM accept no responsibility for you equipment.
Water sessions may be up to 3 hours in duration.
Wetsuits of suitable warmth will be required.
Fins suitable for rescue components are required.
A recommended checklist of equipment is included in the enrollment package

Payment

50% of the course fee ($250 USD) is required to be paid and received to confirm registration.
Full payment of the course ($500 USD) needs to be completed a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the start date of your course. Failure to do so will see that position filled by another applicant and your booking forfeited. see Refunds, below.
The DAN certification fee ($100 USD) must be paid 2 weeks prior to the start date of your course.
Payment Options will be discussed on initial enquiry.
Due to the multiple countries in which these courses are being conducted, each location has different options.

Refunds

Full Refund will be returned if cancellation occurs a minimum of 14 full days prior to the start date of your course. Transfer fees will be paid by the recipient. $50 USD DAN registration fee will not be refunded.
50% Refund of course value will be returned if cancellation is 7 or more full days from commencement date, but less than 14 full days. $50 USD DAN registration fee will not be refunded.
No refund will be provided in cancellation occurs less than 7 full days from course commencement date.
Please note:
In the event of a cancellation due to unforseen circumstances, the staff of the Host location, the staff of the FRM will endeavour to fill the position available. Due to the location of some of the FRM courses, this may be difficult. If the student position is filled, full refund will be awarded minus transfer fees and DAN registration fees as outlined above.

Booking Information Required

An inital booking form will need to be completed prior to registration and payments being accepted.
Information required will include Personal details, Freedive certification levels, completion of medical form as well as a release of liability to the operational staff of the Freedive Rescue Masterclass and its hosting locations.

RFM Course host locations

Secret Blue Freediving

Moalboal, Philippines 6,7,8 & 9 April 2020

Freedive Superhome

Panglao, Philippines 12,13,14 & 15 April 2020

DeepWeek Bali

Apneista Dive Center Amed, Bali

18 -25 April 2020

Apneista Dive Center

Amed, Bali

27,28,28 & 30 April 2020

Freedive HQ

Cebu, Philippines

4,5,6 & 7 May 2020

Apnea Total

Koh Tao, Thailand 12,13,14 & 15 May 2020