CSA Ocean Sciences (CSA) implemented the Diving Emergency Management Provider (DEMP) certification for select members of its cadre of Scientific Divers. CSA is continually striving to improve its diver safety and emergency response capabilities despite an excellent safety record. The DEMP certification is an advanced qualification provided through Divers Alert Network (DAN), the largest association whose mission is to promote dive safety through education and research. Typically, divers are qualified in First Aid, CPR/AED, and Oxygen Administration. The DEMP certification furthers their knowledge to include Field Neurological Exams and Hazardous Marine Life Envenomation.
While Decompression Illness (DCI) is a rare occurrence among scientific divers, early detection and evaluation is critical in determining appropriate interventions and transportation to definitive care. The ability to evaluate a diver in the field provides valuable information to the receiving medical facility regarding progression and severity of the signs and symptoms. The Hazardous Marine Life module prepares CSA Divers to respond to bites, stings, and envenomation—a more common occurrence among the diving community. The divers who completed this training will serve as Dive Leaders during field operations, with the eventual goal of qualifying all CSA Divers as Diving Emergency Management Providers.
The in-house training was conducted by CSA Diving Safety Officer (DSO) and Health, Safety, Security, and Environment Manager (HSSE), Eirik Kydland. In addition to being a DAN Instructor, Kydland is also a seasoned Paramedic, Diver Medical Technician, and graduate from the University of Pittsburgh—Center for Emergency Medicine, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Medicine.
“Having an experienced on-staff Instructor provides a unique learning opportunity for our divers. Often times outside Instructors lack an understanding of what CSA does in the field. Having an Instructor who is experienced with the unique operational needs of our divers, allows for a customized approach and greater application to specific field operations--making the training more valuable,” said Erin Hodel Ports, Harbors, and Beaches Programs Director and Marine Biologist.