February 12, 2019: Emergency First Response @ Seatrek & Tiki Hut, Sint Maarten.

Today it was the crew of Seatrek and the Tiki Hut who participated in the Emergency First Response course. Apart from the Primary & Secondary Care we also focused on the AED or Automated External Defibrillator, and the use of Emergency Oxygen. Seatrek and Tiki Hut are located in Little Bay, and they work with tourists and residents who enjoy the water by snorkeling and/or helmet diving – a very good idea for the crew to know what to do in case of a medical emergency. They are well equipped with an AED and Emergency Oxygen kits, and updating the crew on how to use this was part of the course.

Primary Care

We started the morning with the life threatening emergencies or Primary Care. We spoke about the subjects heart attack, cardiac arrest, airway obstruction, stroke, drowning, serious bleeding, spinal injury and shock. How do you recognize these life threatening emergencies and what can you do to help? CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, which is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths was demonstrated and practiced. Bob and John, our manikins, are equipped with CPR monitoring – like this each participant can see directly if their chest compressions and rescue breaths are performed correctly. We also practiced the recovery position for those victims that are unresponsive but breathing. Another skill we worked on was the log roll – a technique to move someone with a suspected spinal injury without causing further harm – only to be done when the scene becomes unsafe and EMS has not arrived as yet.

After a well deserved lunch break the AED or Automated External Defibrillator was introduced to the participants. After an extensive demonstration of this life saving device all participants had the chance to practice the use of it in combination with CPR as learned in the Primary Care session of the morning.

Secondary Care

In the section Secondary Care, we discussed the not immediately life threatening emergencies. We spoke about how to do an illness assessment and what can you eventually do to help. Epilepsy, Diabetes and Asthma were the illnesses that were highlighted. These illnesses are quite common, and chances are you encounter someone with one of these illnesses. The next subject was injury assessment, and time was taken to practice the different bandages and splints.

When Secondary Care was completed we went back to the use of the AED. This time participants made teams of 2 and practiced together. It was clear that when you work as a team in the event of a cardiac arrest you save a lot of time, and there is a minimum interruption of CPR, which is very important!
We finished the afternoon with our last subject: the use of Emergency Oxygen. The oxygen kit came on the table and the different systems to provide someone with oxygen were showed. Different systems means different indications, and all were discussed and explained. Oxygen is a valuable asset on the platform of Seatrek, and it’s a requirement in this in-water activity of helmet diving.

Participants had to make 2 exams, one on Primary Care and one on Secondary Care. All participants did well on both of the exams and passed without difficulties. Everyone had the chance to review the exam and discuss missed questions. Then it was time to hand out the certificates to the new Emergency Responders. And as an extra there was a CPR barrier keyring for every one – a small item, but great for protecting yourself in case of emergency.

Congratulations to the crew of Seatrek and Tiki Hut – great job!