Simulated emergency response training programme

TitleSimulated emergency response training programme
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsCastro, J, Smith, P
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers02-33

­The principles of the Emergency Response Training is based on a group of lifesavers, not lifeguards, to coordinate a rescue response to an unexpected emergency without the use of specialized equipment. The principles learned in lifesaving are based on humanitarian goals to reduce drowning and water related injuries. Lifesavers are “Good Samaritans” who recognize those in distress and offer assistance. The lifesavers act as a coordinated group under the direction of an identified leader. The benefit of emergency response training in this manner is for lifesavers to use their judgement and working as a team when dealing with an unknown scenario and execute a rescue using lifesaving skills and fitness within a short timeframe to rescue as many victims as possible using a coordinated effort. The aim is to preserve as many lives as possible. This is done by recognizing the victims and assessing the situation. The group sets up a plan of action to rescue and provide care to the victims and then executes the plan. They may need to adapt and adjust their plan as the scenario unfolds and develops. Practice in this manner hones problem solving skills and teamwork based on the; capabilities of the rescuers, environmental conditions and equipment available, position, condition, and number of victims.

Emergency Response Training is relevant for lifesavers as it is a measure the basic components of lifesaving; knowledge, judgment, skill and fitness. In sport, lifesavers act in a team with a Team Leader and these foundation components of lifesaving are measured through detailed marking score sheets. Lifesaving has evolved from its humanitarian goals to a point of excellence in competitive lifesaving and sport. The knowledge aspect is measured through the appropriate recognition, rescue, treatment, and follow care for victims. The judgement is measured through the rescuers assessment of priorities for rescue response and the safety aspects of a low risk rescue. For in-water victims the priority would be to help the weak swimmers and others who are mobile, then those victims in imminent danger: non-swimmers and injured swimmers, and finally those victims requiring continuous care; unconscious, non-breathing, suspected spinal injured. The lifesaving skills are measured through the quality and degree of skill and use of aids or assists, entries, approach, rescue, removals, and follow up care. The fitness is measured through speed and the quick response of rescuing several victims in a short period of time such as two minutes.

The evaluation of the Emergency Response event has several different aspects. Judges are assigned to evaluate the rescue response for each victim and an overall chief judge evaluates the entire scenario. The score sheets are designed for judges to use their expertise in marking rescue response. Victim simulation is an important aspect so the rescuer can identify the type of victim and prioritize their rescue response. It is also essential that all conditions are identical for each team for consistency, continuity and fairness. Briefing notes ensure that the victims and judges have identical understanding of the scenarios. The victim marking areas evaluate; the casualty recognition or approach, rescue or recovery of the casualty, landing and removal and aftercare and treatment. The overall marking areas evaluate: the assessment of the emergency, and leaders dispatch of the team in correct priority, control and safety of the accident area, communication and feedback from Leaders to team, and between team members and with victim, search of accident area and discover of victims and teamwork and use of bystanders and victims. Each marking area is marked out of ten with an undisclosed weighting factor to ensure confidentiality. The weighting factor is assigned based on the overall scenario.

In conclusion, the use of an Emergency Response Training for lifesavers is a valuable tool for teaching and evaluating and should be incorporated in Lifesaving training programs.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Explain the principles of Emergency Response Training and how the practice can increase lifesaving rescues performance and lead to more lives saved during a real emergency situation.
  2. Explain the relevance of Emergency Response Training for Lifesaving and its application as an event in Lifesaving Sport.
  3. Explain the details of the evaluation of the Emergency Response and the scoring procedures, marking priorities, and weighting based on the rescue performance.
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