DAN Europe Training Programs: the need for specialized First Aid Courses

Divers Alert Network - Europe (DAN Europe), specialised for many years in First Aid courses for divers, not only offers first aid training in the use of oxygen (the Oxygen Provider course), but since the end of 2001, DAN also offers an Advanced Oxygen (advanced resuscitation techniques with oxygen), Marine Life injuries (general first aid for marine life injuries) and AED (Automated External Defibrillation) Course.

After a dive a diver suffers from pain in his knee and feels tired. What might be the reason?
Most probably you are making the link to DCI right now. It’s evident that this will be the answer when you see this question in a diving related magazine.
But on the dive site or after a dive away from that site most divers would ignore or not recognise these signs and symptoms, and DCI would not pop in their minds. The signs and symptoms can be caused by anything….. anything but DCI.
DCI is something which is know by most of the divers, but is something we never expect to happen.
The link which, seems obvious now, was not even in the diver’s mind when the signs or symptoms occurred.
When signs and symptoms are recognised, a lot of divers tend to think that the "others" know what to do and are trained in the use of oxygen or other first aid techniques. But, do the other divers know it?
Every divers should be properly trained in the recognition of the signs and symptoms of injuries which a diver can suffer from, before, during or after a dive.
Keeping in mind that DCI, an injury described in most of the student manuals from dive organisations, is not recognised in a lot of cases, what to think about the injuries not described in those manuals?
Although, we follow diving courses to improve our diving and rescue techniques, we do not always see the need for proper first aid training.
First aid training means recognising the signs and symptoms and knowing how to react when they occur. Just as breathing air, providing first aid is as simple and easy to learn and can be fun.


DAN First aid courses

All DAN Europe courses follow the latest European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines 2000 for Adult Basic Life Support and Automated External Defibrillation. These guidelines were Published in Resuscitation, the official journal of the ERC in 2000 ( Volume 46: International Guidelines 2000 for CPR and ECC – A consensus on Science) and in 2001(volume 48 of Resuscitation).
DAN’s AED course is also made according to the ERC guidelines concerning AED course content and follows the advises of the ERC/ILCOR ( International Liaison Committee On Resuscitation) concerning Early Defibrillation by First responders in the community.
DAN Europe Training programs are providing you with intensive training, so you know exactly how, and feel confident when, you need to provide first aid.
Since the launch of the new DAN Europe training programs in 2001, DAN has included optional introductory Oxygen and /or AED skills in all of their different courses to inform divers about the importance of these skills.
But, just as you do not learn how to dive by doing 1 or 2 skills, you do not learn how to use oxygen or an AED by doing only one skill and the need for specialised training should be recognised. It would be wrong to make you believe that a skill which is used as an introduction can eliminate the need for further training.

Every DAN first Aid course exists out of 2 parts.

First there is an academic session, where students will learn the warning signs of an injury, why and how to use first aid equipment and the benefits of it.

The second part of the course is the skills development session, which will be the biggest part of the course, in which students will have the chance to practise the skills and this until they feel confident in using the first aid materials in the most effective way.


Student materials and the quality aspect

DAN Europe offers a wide range of nice, qualitative and modern educational materials, both for the DAN Instructors and DAN first Aid Providers.
All Instructor and Provider kits include student materials and certification costs and are a part of every DAN Europe course.
The DAN First Aid provider will receive a DAN student kit which contains (depending from course to course) for example a nice, handy bag, pen, full colour student manual, flow charts, wall certificate and PVC DAN first aid provider certification card.
This student kit will help/assist the student throughout the learning process (before, during and after the course) and are available in a minimum of 6 languages.
The slides or videos, used by the instructor during the academic session are developed in such a way that all the needed curriculum is handled and already introduces the skills, which will be done later.
Thanks to the slides or video, the academic session can be reduced to a minimum, without loosing its quality.
Students will not get bored and be interested all the time.
During the skills, DAN Instructors will use realistic scenarios. These scenarios will cover all the possible problems or situations which can occur while providing first aid.
It has been shown that simplistic scenarios cause overconfidence and complicated scenarios will cause students to loose confidence. Both situations must be avoided if you want to prepare anybody for emergency situations.
There also is a maximum instructor to student or student to material ratio to ensure enough practical training is provided.
During the AED course, the student to instructor and student to AED ratio is 6:1, as described also in the ERC guidelines for AED training programs.
A ratio of 3 students to one oxygen unit or first aid kit and 1 instructor to 12 providers is used during the Marine Life, Oxygen and Advanced oxygen Provider course for the same reason…….students must get the chance to get confident with the first aid materials.
As first aid skills deteriorate at variable rates, retraining for most of the DAN First Aid courses is required every 24 months. For the AED course, retraining is required every 12 months (6 is recommended, as published by the ERC).

Further information:

DAN Europe
64026 Roseto (TE) - Italy
Tel: +39-085-8930333
Fax: +39-085-9830050

Guy Thomas
Training Manager, DAN Europe