Learning from the Statistics

Three Ways to Increase Diver Safety

Written by DAN Staff

Dive incident statistics show both improvements in diver safety and areas where divers may need more help. The DAN Annual Diving Report provides information about the most frequent causes of injury among divers. Dive professionals can learn from these statistics and continue to improve diver safety by reinforcing training concepts that encourage divers to follow safe diving practices. Knowing how to avoid common issues can reduce their chances of being involved in dive incidents.

Weighting

Overweighting is a common problem and a difficult issue to tackle. You may weight students correctly in class, but can’t control how they weight themselves after certification. Besides making a point to remind students that they should always use the correct amount of weight, you could address the issue with additional training, such as a PADI Peak Performancy Buoyancy course, or offer to help divers figure out proper weighting anytime the have an equipment change or just need a tune-up. Overweighting is a significant hazard to both new and experienced divers. Emphasize the need to develop good weighting habits to not only increase safety, but to also to add to their comfort and enjoyment in the water.

Buoyancy Control

With practice, every student should be able to attain neutral buoyancy and horizontal trim before finishing a course. You’re well aware that the inability to control buoyancy during ascent or descent can cause serious injury or death. Not being able to maintain their position or minimize drag in the water can cause new divers to become unaware of their depth or cause collisions with dangerous objects. It can also decrease visibility when they stir up the bottom and cause them to become exhausted due to excessive finning through the water. Focus on mastery of proper buoyancy techniques and encourage lots of practice in your courses. Keeping your students comfortably in control and happily finning through the water throughout their initial training will make them less likely to run into issues post-certification.

Checklists

The mandated use of checklists in aerospace, health care and other areas has significantly decreased the number of incidents and accidents in those industries. The same trend is coming into focus in diving. Whether you use the premade checklists from PADI materials or create your own, using a checklist is an excellent way to ensure that you have everything you need to run a class, board a vessel or get in the water, especially when managing multiple students and assistants. Checklists are an excellent resource for reducing errors. They should serve as reminders of key points rather than just to-do lists. Role model checklist use and encourage students to carry and use checklists for all their dives.

For more information about incident statistics, visit DAN.org.

Creating Advocates

Written by John Kinsella

It’s a damp and dreary morning, the traffic is horrendous and it’s backing up for a long way. Perfect. Clutching a handful of flyers promoting a two-for-the-price-of-one Discover Scuba® Diving (DSD®) experience, we move carefully between the rows of cars, making eye contact with the bored looking drivers. Most roll down their windows, curious no doubt about our colorful one-piece wet suits. We smile, hand them a flyer and give them a brief explanation: Forget about all the traffic, now’s the time to learn to dive. By the time we made it in to the dive shop at nine, the phone was hopping off the hook. It was the single most-effective promotion we had ever run.

For years, we made a point of finding out why new divers came in to the shop. Before the advent of high-end dive management software such as EVE, we kept a simple spreadsheet with the diver’s name and a couple of words describing how they heard about us and why they signed up. We tallied this up every month and, with only this one exception, every month the dominant reason was referrals. Running around in rush-hour traffic in wet suits, it appears, is the exception that proves the rule.

That was 30 years ago, and I doubt we’d get away with it today. So that leaves referrals squarely at the top of the list. And, to drive the point firmly home, during a recent Open Water Diver course, every single one of eight new divers was there because a friend or colleague had personally recommended the course. This is a great example of Word Of Mouth Marketing (or WOMM) at its best.

The importance of advocates – those people responsible for word-of-mouth marketing and referrals – for your business crosses all borders. PADI® Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recently published a white paper titled, “Analysis of the UK Diving Industry.” This report summarizes the key findings of a comprehensive survey of PADI Dive Centers across the UK. It also offers advice, based on those findings, to help dive centers boost their business.

In the Marketing to New Divers section, the white paper points out that new divers are the lifeblood of your business. They are not just current customers, but future customers as well. It goes on to identify two pools of new divers: DSDs and potential trade.

For DSDs, the advice is to:

  1. Use the Discover Scuba Diving Participant Guide and system correctly.
  2. Include structured time during the experience to explain the benefits of full training and how to complete this.
  3. Give participants an incentive to sign up immediately.
  4. Make sure participants know that they can complete the skills from Confined Water Dive One during their DSD – they have already started the process.
  5. Incentivize your staff. The white paper notes that “Passionate PADI Professionals will convert students to the sport – be sure to support them and reward them for success.” If you can’t rely on staff to recommend your Open Water Diver course, and if you don’t help them do so and make it worth their while, you’re missing a cornerstone of new business development.

For potential trade (new business), the white paper advises to:

  1. Use the PADI logo.
  2. Make sure to use the dive center’s Facebook page effectively.
  3. Be innovative – reach out to your local community.
  4. Use your students – word of mouth is still the best way to attract new divers.

The white paper notes that “Personal recommendations are powerful recruitment tools.” Incentivize former students by offering them rewards for bringing you new trade. Examples include a free gift for each student they recruit; discount on their next course; or a discount on the course they persuade a friend to join.

Make sure to use tried and tested methods of creating advocates for your business and reap the rewards.

Meeting CPR and First Aid Requirements for PADI Courses

Some PADI® courses require first aid and CPR training within the past 24 months. You know that Emergency First Response® Primary and Secondary Care courses meet the requirements.

How do you determine what other courses qualify when a diver presents you with first aid and CPR qualifications from another organization?

Follow these steps:

  • Verify that the CPR and first aid training included student skill practice and demonstration of CPR and first aid techniques in person with a qualified instructor. A course that lacks this does not qualify, such as online only courses or self-study programs via any other media.
  • Check that the training taken meets current international emergency care guidelines as defined by the various resuscitation councils. For further information on layperson CPR and first aid training, visit the following ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) Association websites:

American Heart Association

Australian Resuscitation Council

European Resuscitation Council

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

New Zealand Resuscitation Council

  • For PADI Divemaster candidates, include a copy of that CPR and first aid course completion documentation along with the Divemaster Application to avoid unnecessary processing delays. Documentation must be from the qualifying CPR/first aid organization. Certificates or completion documents provided by third parties that are not directly sanctioned CPR/first aid organizations are unacceptable. Look at the name of the CPR/first aid organization for whom the instructor is authorized to teach and ensure it matches with the name on the certification.

If you’re unsure, contact a Regional Training Consultant at your PADI Regional Headquarters for clarification before accepting documentation provided by the student or candidate for course requirements.

Business Development Opportunities using Emergency First Response Distinctives

Does your local marketplace have a need for additional first aid training that is not immediately available through the current suite of EFR courses?  As an example, is there a local regulatory first aid requirement that businesses or industries require?  You may think the EFR program cannot cover these gaps in the market but by using the Emergency First Response Distinctive Speciality route, these gaps may be filled and your first business may indeed grow.

So how does the EFR Distinctive Specialty route work?  Once you have an idea for your EFR Distinctive Speciality simply download the EFR Distinctive Template, and use it to write your own Distinctive Specialty.  The template makes writing your course a very simple process for you.

To give you some food for thought, examples of EFR Distinctives include:

  • Primary and Secondary Care at Music Festivals
  • Diabetes Awareness and Treatment

Once you have written your EFR Distinctive Speciality, email it to us for review.

A Training Consultant will work with you to answer any questions you have and provide feedback, should your outline need revision.  Once you and your Training Consultant are satisfied with the Distinctive Specialty, the Outline, and application, will be submitted to a review panel for consideration.

It’s that simple.  EFR Distinctives are an excellent opportunity to add something unique, that prospective clients need or want, to your business model and will support your business plans for your EFR business growth.

Congratulations to the new EMEA EFR Instructor Trainers

We wish you the very best with your EFR business through 2018 and into 2019!

Jakub Uzytczuk Remco van’t Hooft Stephen Kruger
Aleksander Chmiel Werner van Loon Luke Caisley
Mona ali Aloud Sandro Krawinkler Ryan Burchell
Feher Abualfaraj Marianne Johner Jan den Boef
Carl Teare Dave Keany Neal Govender
Raed Alotaibi Phillip Pain Dimitris Synodinos
Nagib El Imad Keith Horsted Tony Larcombe
Hussain Almunajan Simon Hotchkin Irini Mitsotaki
Adel Alzahran Sammi Mills Ulf Jakobsson
Issam Kanafani Andrew Frith Thomas Nielsen
Ahmed M. Abel-Aziz Ian Culley Patrik Jeppsson
Khalid M. Hanny Stephen Laing Alfred Kristoffersen
Gerard Hughes Wayne Richards Bertram Nielsen
Daniel Wagner Janine Mansford Cory Symoens
Marc Peltier Jack Mason Vincent Maissan
Thierry Chazalon Darren Hector Truujse Terwijn
Jos Rosier Bethan Comley Daniel de Boer
Harry de Gier David Newman Sander van’t Hof
Julien Iacomelli Daniel Baugh Suzanne Sep
Thomas Mayer Mélanie Donven

PADI is delighted to announce the new EFR Instructor Trainers in 2018.  Programmes have been conducted around the EMEA territory throughout the year and completing the course has enabled these new EFR Instructor Trainers to teach the wide variety of EFR programmes at Instructor level.

This highly prized qualification allows these professionals to further expand their EFR businesses beyond diving markets.  A recent EFRIT candidate, Bethan Comley, said of the programme:

“The way that the trainer structured the course was done in a really considered way, keeping the timings flexible to allow and encourage discussion on each of the topics and the trainer was able to call on their vast knowledge and experience to answer any questions that were raised as we went along. Once again, a really great day”.

We wish everyone the very best of success for the future!

Are you interested in growing your business?  Become an EFR Instructor Trainer

Marketing your Emergency First Response Courses

Think back to your first CPR or first aid course and answer these three questions:

1) What made you enrol?

2) What made you choose that particular course?

3) Did you take other courses or go back for a refresher course from the same instructor or facility?

Chances are your answers are all very different, which makes a couple of important points. First, people have a wide variety of reasons for wanting to learn CPR and first aid procedures. This could range from wanting to know how to care for a family member, to being required to take a course by an employer. The second point is that in many regions there are a lot of training choices. Most people don’t have to look far to find a course that fits their schedule and budget. When training is easy to find, you need to figure out how to make your courses stand out. You need a marketing plan to keep your EFR courses full. Decide who your potential participants are and carefully craft your marketing message to appeal to each group. You also need to arrange your courses in a way that is convenient and attractive to potential participants.

Let’s break this down into three simple steps:

  1. Potential participants: everyone is eligible to complete first aid training, so the potential market is huge. Start by researching who may need CPR and first aid training in your local area to help you focus on specific groups. This training is often required for certain roles, such as child care, life guarding or commercial driving licenses. Also look towards anyone involved in organisations such as schools, universities or youth groups.
  2. Developing a contact: you can reach out to these groups through various mechanisms – direct email, letters or phone calls can all be effective. Try to identify the decision maker as a point of contact and speak to them personally (in business this may be the human resources manager, whilst in a sporting club it might be the chairperson or coach)
  3. Highlight the benefits! Make sure you emphasise the huge advantages offered by your EFR courses. For example, the fact that you can offer dedicated paediatric first aid courses, AED training or separate secondary care. EFR course are based on internationally recognised medical guidelines and that you can offer flexible learning options.

Be ready to follow up your contacts with additional communications and information.

For more details on how to market your EFR courses, don’t forget to refer to your EFR Instructor Manual (page A20) or contact your EFR Instructor Trainer for guidance.

Responders in Action

Emergency First Response would like to congratulate Rob Mackean (PADI IDC Staff Instructor # 289793) for providing much needed assistance when called upon.

Rob was in the water when he saw another diver come to the surface face down. Rob immediately swam to the diver, saw that he was not breathing, and provided rescue breaths while signalling for help and towing the diver to the shore. The diver was revived and began breathing of his own accord. He was kept in hospital overnight and then released, returning to work a few days later!

Thank you, Rob – this diver was fortunate that you spotted the emergency and responded in such an effective manner; well done!

Successful Promotion of Group Dive Travel

Want some tips on how to plan, organize and market the best group trips for your divers? Here’s the first of eight tips to help. Keep an eye out for more here shortly:

Destination

Where do your customers want to go? Somewhere far-flung and exotic or closer to home? Are they into marine life or are they more interested in wreck diving?

Distant, exotic destinations may require higher budgets. So, you’ll want to determine if your divers are willing to pay a premium for an unforgettable experience. If not, you may have to consider a closer or more affordable destination.

Keep in mind that the seasons strongly influence dive conditions and marine life sightings, so a suitable destination in June may not be so suitable in September.

You should consider all these questions when choosing your destination to make sure the trip is a good fit and your divers are excited about it.

One of the best ways to determine what your divers are interested in, where they want to go and even how much they’re willing to spend is to ask them. Survey your diver database to make sure you’re putting trips on the calendar that cater to their needs and interests.

PADI TRAVEL

Not a PADI Travel™ Affiliate yet? You can learn about the benefits and how to grow your business leveraging travel or activate your Affiliate account now.

Passion Equals Productive

Written by Dr. Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO

Take a moment to think about what makes you productive. That is, what enables you to do things that benefit others – whether material, informational, spiritual or all three. Without productivity, success in anything can’t happen: it is, in effect, how we define success (and notice it’s not necessarily money or wealth). Some will tell you that productivity results from organization, luck and talent, but we’ve all seen disorganized, unlucky, ungifted people who produce and succeed extraordinarily. And sadly, sometimes we see the opposite. What’s the key element?

I think the musician Judy Collins put her finger on it. “Do what you love,” she said, “and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” That is, a passion for what you do is the one and only critical ingredient to high productivity. Zero in on what’s really important and productivity skyrockets, not because we do more things but because we do the right things. We stop wasting time on irrelevant (though often urgent) distractions that take us off task because we know where we’re going.

And, we work harder because we want to. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, wrote, “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.” Passion turns failures into learning opportunities, delays into new directions and challenges into creativity. If you are truly passionate about something, you don’t have to motivate yourself to be productive with it. You only have to find the ways.

In the PADI® family, there’s no shortage of passion for diving and the underwater world, and for changing the world by sharing both. It’s why we dive and how we share diving combined. PADI’s larger purpose is changing the world for the better. Every person we bring to diving adds to the political leverage and wise consumer choices we need to protect the seas and marine animals. It adds to those healed or who are able to help heal, or both, through the power of scuba. A growing dive industry creates jobs and adds new opportunities to global and local economies. And it all happens because you and I are passionate about diving. It drives us to produce. When we can’t find a way, we make a way.

The point is to nurture and preserve your love for diving, the oceans and those who share this love. It’s the key to being productive as a dive professional. It’s the heart of making the world better with diving. If teaching becomes more about getting students through mask clearing than that gleam in their eyes when they breathe underwater for the first time (believe me, I’ve been there), step back and reconnect. Make that cool dive (trip!) you’ve been putting off. Spend an hour with a buddy listening to whales sing, watching an octopus assemble its “yard” or whatever captures your fascination. Try that new suit, CCR, regulator or computer if tech is your hot button, or chase down that person who you just know will have a burning love for diving and can’t wait to get in the water.

Put first and foremost whatever makes you genuinely passionate about diving, the ocean and sharing them, and you won’t have to worry about how to be productive. You won’t be able to help it.

How Cold is Too Cold?

Written by DAN Staff

Whether you use a dry suit, a thick wet suit and/or warm thoughts to stay warm in cool water, it’s important to know how cold is too cold. Diving on a blustery winter morning can be fun, but pushing your body and your exposure protection to their limits can lead to serious consequences. Help your new divers and customers avoid putting themselves in harm’s way with guidance about how to stay comfortable underwater.

Letting one’s core temperature drop too low, leading to hypothermia or a near-hypothermic state, can affect dexterity, decision-making and the body’s ability to offgas. Because one of the first symptoms of serious hypothermia is diminished awareness, many individuals fail to recognize the symptoms until another diver draws attention to them. Know what to look for in yourself and your students to reduce the risk of mild hypothermia escalating into a life-threatening issue.

What is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is a drop in core body temperature. It can obviously occur in the arctic, but can also happen in warm tropical waters if divers have inadequate exposure protection and a long enough exposure. The condition is of particular concern for people lost at sea and those diving in extreme conditions.

A typical adult maintains a core body temperature of about 37°C/98.6°F. When this core temperature drops below 35°C/95°F, hypothermia begins to set in, and the body’s function begins to be impaired. To keep the vital organs warm, the body will shunt blood to the core. The initial symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea and feelings of hunger. If the core temperature is allowed to continue dropping, at 30°C/86°F many people will stop shivering and their pupils will dilate. At 27.8°C/82°F, muscles become rigid and a serious risk of cardiac complications arises. These symptoms worsen as the core temperature drops, so it’s vital that people suffering from hypothermia are taken to qualified medical care as rapidly as possible.

Learn to Beat the Cold

Hypothermia can be serious, but it’s not something a well-prepared diver should have to contend with in all but the most extreme situations. Plan ahead with appropriate exposure protection, heat sources and a well thought-out emergency action plan if things get a little too chilly. Bring hot water to make a warm drink or warm water to pour into your wet suit between dives to make yourself more comfortable on a day that’s more winter wonderland than diver’s paradise outside. If you or a student begins shivering, terminate the dive in a safe manner and take time to warm up. Consider whether anyone who was shivering will be warm enough for another dive. If not, come back on a warmer day – there’s no sense in putting anyone at risk.