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AIDA Introduces First Aid Course Designed for Freedivers

AIDA FEMR course title

Freedivers engaged in a rescue training session (Photo: Kostas Madouros)

The International Association for Development of Apnea (AIDA) has announced the launch of a new first aid course aimed specifically at freedivers. 

While traditional first aid courses cover the basics of first aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) usage, there are no programmes that cover the specific freediving-related injuries that can occur while training. The FEMR (Freediving Emergency Medical Responder) course has been designed to address this and will include a special emphasis on freediving-related medicine.

The course is the brainchild of AIDA Education Officer Brian Crossland who, after attending a dive medical course run by Chantelle Newman, founder of 'The Diver Medic', suggested collaborating to produce a first aid course tailored towards freedivers. Chantelle, a former EMT and now UK and Ireland area manager for the Diver's Alert Network (DAN) Europe, worked with Brian and Dr Oleg Melikhov to create the FEMR course using information gathered by DAN and also multiple scientific papers written by professors of diving medicine.

FEMR Chantelle

Dr Chantelle Newman, who was instrumental in the design of the FEMR program (Photo: Supplied/Chantelle Newman)

The FEMR course differs from traditional first aid courses by introducing the pathophysiology of illnesses and injuries, with an emphasis on freediving-related injuries such as barotrauma, squeezes, lung injuries, hypoxia, narcosis, decompression illness, immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO/IPE), and ear injuries and treatment. Participants will learn how to examine the ear with the use of an otoscope and how to use 'airway adjuncts' - medical devices used to keep the airways open following an accident - and will also learn how to activate a diver’s insurance plan and ensure successful emergency treatment of the diver.

The course will involve a theory component which will be available either online or in person from a certified FEMR instructor, followed by a practical session which will include both freediving related injuries along with treatment for general medical trauma and illnesses

The first FEMR Instructor courses will be held in Shanghai, China from October 22 - October 26 and in Seoul, Korea from October 29 - November 2. For more information about the programme, or to reserve a place on the instructor training course, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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