October 15, 2018

First Aid & Rescue Diver Training

Rescue diver training at Alba

After completing the advanced open water/advanced adventurer course, rescue diver training is the next step. The knowledge and skills you will learn will make you a safer and more confident diver by giving you the tools to help other divers, should they require assistance. This includes learning how to recognise and address stress in yourself or others, learning how to assist a tired or panicking diver, rescuing an unresponsive diver at the surface or underwater, and understanding methods for exiting a victim from the water. If you intend on becoming a dive professional you must first become qualified as a rescue diver, and if you just want to be a better diver, the rescue course will undoubtedly help.

To enrol on the rescue course, you need to have a recognised emergency first response qualification. At Alba we can teach the Emergency First Response (EFR) course, or the PADI First aid course. If you already have some kind of primary care qualification, e.g. from the Red Cross or St. John’s Ambulance, check with us to see if they are recognised by the diving agencies.

PADI Rescue Diver

The PADI rescue diver course is normally run over two days, and consists of some theory and an exam, plus in-water skills ranging from assisting a tired or panicking diver, to surfacing an unresponsive diver underwater.

Course prerequisites:
To enrol on the course, you need to:

  • Be an advanced open water diver
  • Junior adventure divers who are at least 12 years old and have completed the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive may enroll in a Rescue Diver course.
  • Have Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months.

For more information about the PADI Rescue Diver Course, please click here. 

Emergency first response and first aid courses

Emergency First response (EFR)

The EFR course does not involve any dives, and is unrelated to diving. The training you receive is split into two components, primary care and secondary care. Primary care allows you to provide basic life support in an emergency situation. Thus includes spinal injury, heavy bleeding, or choking. It’s important to point out that the skills you will learn in no way negate the need for professional medical care. They are instead designed to give the patient the best chance of survival before emergency professionals arrive at the scene.

Likewise, secondary care involves administering first aid for sprains, cuts, broken bones etc, in order to make the patient comfortable prior to being handed over to medical professionals.

The course normally takes 1 day to complete, and includes some theory, an exam, and practical sessions.

For more information about the Emergency First Response Course, please click here. 


CPR and first aid are key skills that are important to everyone, not just scuba divers. As an Emergency First Response Instructor, you teach skills based on internationally recognized emergency care guidelines, and you can offer courses to anyone. The great thing about EFR courses is they make learning easy by providing a comfortable environment to practice emergency care skills. Your students finish the course feeling confident with their new skills and ready to help someone in need.

The only requirements are that you’re at least 18 years old and have Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months. An EFR Instructor rating is required to become a PADI Instructor, but you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to go pro. You can complete or refresh this training during your PADI Instructor training.