Cold Water Immersion and Rescue (2 days)

//Cold Water Immersion and Rescue (2 days)
Cold Water Immersion and Rescue (2 days)2018-02-22T07:31:08+00:00


This course provides rescuers and emergency response personnel a practical introduction to the effects of cold water immersionon the human body and the realities of hypothermia.  Misconceptions and myths surrounding the effects of cold water can lead to inappropriate responses by the general public regarding their own safety.  Course attendees will learn the truth about cold water and the realities of surviving an accidental cold water immersion. Rescue personnel will also learn advanced techniques and procedures for rescue and recovery or hypothermic victims.


Introduction:  Cold Water Immersion and Hypothermia

Day 1 Classroom:

  • Basic Cold Facts
    • Definitions
    • Misconceptions and myths
    • Cold water statistics
    • Survivability models
  • Understanding the four phases of cold water immersion
    • The cold shock response
    • Cold incapacitation
    • Hypothermia
    • Circum-rescue collapse
  • Cold water survival and self-rescue

Day 2 Field Activities:

Up to eight pre-identified and approved students will enter cold water in street clothes to experience the first two phases of accidental cold water immersion.  This experience will allow public safety personnel to have a more complete understanding of the realities of cold water so that they may better train and educate each other and the general public they serve.  Local EMS, rescue, and police will also be exposed to cold water rescue and recovery operations as part of the required support and observation teams.

All immersion and recovery procedures and post swim interviews will be video recorded and provided for the funding department to use in future training evolutions municipal personnel.

Phase 2: Cold Water Rescue, Recovery, and Rewarming

Day 1 Classroom:

  • Victim identification and evaluation – sizing up the rescue
  • Rescue and recovery equipment
  • Recovery techniques and procedures
    • High freeboard,
    • Moderate freeboard
    • RHIB and Inflatables
    • Beach rescue
    • Initial patient care and packaging for transport
    • Transport techniques and procedures
    • Triage and pre-hospital rewarming of hypothermic victims
    • Case histories and review

Day 2 Field Activities:

Rescue and EMS personnel will observe the realities of accidental cold water immersion and while utilizing all gear at their department’s disposal and perform all discussed rescue procedures from rescue and recovery through to the triage, rewarming and transportation of victims.  This hands-on training in a controlled environment with live victims of cold water immersion will provide valuable experience for all involved members of the public safety team.