Saturday 15 November 2014

"I've Done This For Real..."

I've been busying myself arranging some dive training. I shall be spending tomorrow at the Diving College near York, playing around with old-fashioned dive gear, and doing a "pot dive", where they put you in a hyperbaric chamber and drop the pressure to the equivalent of a 50m dive, which is beyond my current range. I'm a bit nervous about this last one, but it will be good to find out what a "pot" is like on the inside, since if I ever have an accident whilst diving, that's where I'll end up.

Hyperbaric chambers are known as "pots" by divers, after one of the most famous; the chamber designed by Jack Haldane, son of JS Haldane who, among his many other accomplishments, pretty much single-handedly created dive tables and made it possible to dive without giving yourself the bends. More about the amazing Haldanes here: Grace under pressure.

The next  training course will be in two week's time, and will involve no diving at all; I'm renewing my Emergency First Responder certification. Basically a First Aid course angled at divers. I last did this two years ago, and I'm overdue a refresher. My memories of the last time I did this mostly go as follows:

  • One of the senior divers there had a small white Scottie dog that used to live in the shop. One look at all of us crowding in to do our training, and it ran and hid under the wetsuit rack, and wouldn't come out. 
  • Most First Aid training is less about splinting broken bones and more about "here's how to keep them alive until the ambulance gets here".
  • The instructor [who works as a nurse] started the CPR training by remarking "I've done this for real three times; they all died". (Statistically, that's pretty much how it goes. the odds are one in ten, but you do it in the hope that the person you're currently rescue-snogging will be the one in ten.)
The next stop is to refresh my Rescue Diver training. It is one of my weirder accomplishments that I can give people mouth-to-mouth in the sea.  Here's hoping I never have to.

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