Phil Foster Park // Blue Heron Bridge // Riviera Beach Florida Dive Site // Diving Emergency Preparedness Plan

, Phil Foster Park // Blue Heron Bridge // Riviera Beach Florida Dive Site // Diving Emergency Preparedness Plan

This is a Diving Emergency Preparedness Plan for SCUBA diving at the Phil Foster Park at the Blue Heron Bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway near Riviera Beach, Florida.

CALL 911 FIRST

When speaking to emergency personnel:
“Hello, my name is <your name> I am at Phil Foster Park at 
900 Blue Heron Boulevard, Riviera Beach, FL 33404.

We have a <Non-dive/SCUBA diver> emergency involving <give divers name> the diver has: (choose proper scenario below)

Do not assume that they understand why 100% oxygen may be required for the diving accident victim or that recompression treatment may be necessary.

1.     Injured themselves, is conscious, responsive and breathing and has the following injuries: <list injury>

2.     Been found on the surface, breathing and unconscious and may be suffering from decompression sickness or lung expansion injuries, there <are|are no> signs of decompression illness present. They are being given oxygen.

3.     Been found on the surface, not breathing and unconscious and may be suffering from decompression sickness or lung expansion injuries, there <are|are no> signs of decompression illness present. They are being given oxygen.

4.     Been found on the surface, breathing and conscious and may be suffering from decompression sickness or lung expansion injuries, there <are|are no> signs of decompression illness present. They are being given oxygen.

5.     Been rescued from <give depth>, is not breathing and may be suffering from decompression sickness or lung expansion injuries, there <are|are no> signs of decompression illness present. They are being given CPR and oxygen.

You are at: 
Phil Foster Park at the Blue Heron Bridge 
900 Blue Heron Blvd, Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Phone: (561) 966-6600 
DAN 919-684-9111 International Emergency Hotline (Call local EMS, SIO, POC, etc, then DAN!)

Tell the operator you have a diving emergency. They will connect you immediately or call you back. DAN’s medical staff may make an immediate recommendation or call you back after making arrangements with a local physician or the DAN Regional Coordinator. The coordinator is familiar with chamber facilities in their area, qualified in diving medicine, can make treatment recommendations. This could take 30 minutes.

If the situation is life-threatening, arrange to transport the diver immediately to the nearest local medical facility for immediate stabilization and assessment of their condition. 

EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE GENERAL PROCEDURES

Explain the circumstances of the dive incident to the evacuation team, medics and physicians.  Do NOT assume that they understand why 100% Oxygen may be required for the diving accident victim or that recompression treatment may be necessary.

  • Rescue victim and/or position so the proper procedures may be initiated. Supine (on back) position is recommended.
  • Call EMS. Monitor vital signs (resuscitate if necessary).
  • Establish (A)irway, (B)reathing and (C)irculation as required. Administer First Aid. Begin cardiopulminary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary.
  • Treat for spinal injuries, stop bleeding, treat for shock as required.
  • Administer 100% oxygen, if appropriate (in cases of Decompression Illness or Near Drowning). Administer 100% oxygen using an MTV/demand oxygen resuscitator or non-rebreather type mask. If the victim is not nauseated, give clear nonalcoholic/non-caffeinated fluids to drink.
  • Activate the local EMS for transport to the nearest appropriate medical facility. If rescue squad is unavailable, transport victim to nearest medical facility.
  • Provide rescue and emergency room personnel with details of the accident/injury.
  • Contact the Diver’s Alert Network, Coast Guard, EMS or UC Travel Assistance Program as appropriate. Contact Diving Safety Officer (DSO) and Emergency Contact Person as appropriate.​
  • Gather additional information about the incident.
  • Prepare the victim for transport.
  • Secure the diver’s gear for inspection. Do no disassemble gear or exhaust air from the system. Close the cylinder valve only. Count and record number of turns required to secure the valve.

Local Officials

Nearest Sheriff’s Office:
Palm Beach Sheriff Department
Address: 1755 Tiffany Drive East, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Phone: (561) 848-2513 main switchboard

Nearest Police Department:
Riviera Beach Police Department
Address: 600 West Blue Heron Blvd., Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Phone: (561) 845-4123

Nearest Fire Department:
Riviera Beach Fire Station 88
Address: 1663 W Blue Heron Blvd., Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Phone: (561) 840-0182

Nearest Hyperbaric Facilities:

Call DAN. Their preference is to get divers into hospital care with unlimited supply of oxygen, intravenous fluids, and medications. An ER provider needs to rule out other illnesses. The patient needs to be stabilized before transport under medical supervision.

Chambers’ operational status changes regularly due to maintenance, staffing, and patient load; DAN has the most up-to-date contacts.

Nearest Medical Facilities:

St. Mary’s Medical Center – Level 1 – Directions Below
Address: 901 45th Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Travel time: 12 minutes (3.9 miles)
Phone: (561) 844-6300

Directions from dive site to medical facility:
1. Head west toward Blue Heron Blvd – 102 ft
2. Turn left – 174 ft
3. Turn left toward Blue Heron Blvd – 0.1 mi
4. Turn right onto Blue Heron Blvd – 0.8 mi
5. Turn left onto Broadway Ave – 2.1 mi
            Pass by AutoZone Auto Parts & KFC (on the right)
6. Turn right onto 45th St – 0.4 mi
7. Turn right onto N Terrace Dr – 0.2 mi
St. Mary’s Medical Center

Local Transportation

E&R Transportation Services
3.3 miles Taxi service
416 45th Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 541-4025

Divers Alert Network

24/7 Diving Emergency (Call local EMS, SIO POC, then DAN!)
1-919-684-9111
DAN Non-Emergency Diving Questions and all other DAN services

1-800-446-2671
Available M-F, 9 am – 8 pm EST

Medical Consultation Information

Note: The organization listed below will provide detailed medical consultation information for medical problems unique to diving.

Divers Alert Network (D.A.N.): 1-919-684-4326 (collect emergency calls accepted)

Diving Accident Emergency Management Plan

A diving accident victim is any person who has been breathing air underwater regardless of depth.  It is essential that emergency procedures are pre-planned and medical treatment is initiated as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the “Lead Diver” to develop procedures for such emergencies including evacuation and medical treatment for each dive location.

Bleeding Control Kit Location


There is a _______________________________ (type of kit, color)

Located _________________________________ (put your info here)

It is about the size of ________________________ (football? microwave?)

It contains ____________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________
Ours is in a red nylon bag with “MyMedic +” on it. It is the size of a toaster. On the outside are trauma shears. It contains nitrile gloves, CAT tourniquets, wound packing and dressing, chest seals, duct tape, elastic bandages, and an emergency blanket.

Oxygen, AED Locations


There is oxygen _____________NO____________________ (location)

There is an AED _____________NO____________________ (location)

Diver List, Emergency Contacts, Info

The list of all divers diving today with emergency contacts and particulars for each one.

The list is ________________________________________(location) 

We put ours underneath our Bleeding Control Kit.

Special Notes for This Location

Note: The use of balloons is prohibited at this park. The park is open sunrise to sunset. If anyone has any information, please share it in the comments below. I feel like that is information I should include.

What’s Your Plan?

My dive partner and I discussed publishing this – we had concerns this information could become out of date or deter someone from forming their own plan. Ultimately, it is the diver who is responsible for their own plan.

I encourage you to seek additional training beyond basic First Aid and CPR. You are the help until the help arrives, and sometimes you are diving somewhere pretty far from help.

Training and Supplies

Crisis Medicine offers excellent bleeding control training. Just follow my link and use my code “DeepWH” for 20% off the Tactical Casualty Care TC2 online course.

You can find a good First Aid kit to take everywhere you dive – The Boat Medic First Aid Kit from MyMedic is a good start. Use my code “KimW” for 10% off. Add a couple of CAT tourniquets made by North American Rescue, and you are more prepared for all your travels and activities.

Don’t forget to be a responsible diver; use only reef- and coral-larvae-safe Sunscreen. Stream2Sea is the best because it’s all that, plus completely biodegradable containers. Use my code “KimW” for 10% off.

, Phil Foster Park // Blue Heron Bridge // Riviera Beach Florida Dive Site // Diving Emergency Preparedness Plan

Links:

SNORKELING AND SCUBA DIVING AT BLUE HERON BRIDGE

UNDERWATER SNORKELING TRAIL
The Blue Heron Bridge area is internationally recognized by scientists, scuba divers, underwater photographers, and snorkelers for its abundance of unique marine life. Squid, octopus, spotted rays, and starfish are regularly seen. A snorkel trail made of limestone boulders and prefabricated reef modules spans a two-acre area in 6 to 10 feet of water. 600 tons of rock were used to build this artificial reef!Snorkeling Trail Project Overview http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/PDF/philfostersnorkeltrail.pdf

COLLECTION AND POSSESSION OF TROPICAL FISH AND AQUARIUM SPECIES

The collection and possession of tropical fish and aquarium species as defined by FWC’s Marine Life rule (Ch. 68B-42, FAC) is prohibited within the Phil Foster Park and surrounding waters​. Snorkelers and divers are welcome to enjoy the park’s exceptional and extraordinary resource and help preserve tropical fish and marine life for others to enjoy. Use of knives or spear guns to capture fish in County park waters is not permitted. (Palm Beach County either owns or has management rights for most of the submerged area around the Blue Heron Bridge.)

DIVING AT BLUE HERON BRIDGE

Diving is permitted from sunrise to sunset outside of the guarded swimming area. For information on how to obtain a permit for group night dives, call 561-963-6707.  

Force-E Scuba Centers: for all the local information, see Jeff and the gang at Force-E. They always have the newest information, local knowledge, and completely organized the night dives at Blue Heron Bridge.

 Phil Foster Park Dive Instruction Permit

 Phil Foster Diving Area Map​

Underwater Snorkling Trail http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/Phil-Foster.aspx

Guide to Blue Heron Bridge from Blue Heron Bridge Scuba & Watersports (561) 839-5130: https://blueheronbridgescuba.com/index.php/dive-blue-heron-bridge/guide-to-blue-heron-bridge/

Project Seahorse: 150 Palm Beach County Kids Learn to  Swim, Snorkel under Blue Heron Bridge

GENERAL DIVING EMERGENCY LINKS

General Emergency Procedures adapted from Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Diving Emergency Management Procedures from the Marine Biological Laboratory at The University of Chicago

Diving Regulations for SCUBA from the Marine Biological Laboratory at The University of Chicago

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Diving Emergency Assistance Plan

Kraken Springs Diving Accident Management Procedures

PADI How Good Is Your Emergency Plan?

DAN How Good Is Your Dive Emergency Action Plan?

DIVE.in – Safer Diving: Team Emergency Planning for Scuba Diving

Emergency Hyperbaric Chambers list – Civilian and Military – from Navy.mil

The UHMS clinical hyperbaric medicine facility accreditation program recognizes hyperbaric facilities that demonstrate their commitment to patient care and facility safety.

What to Read and Watch Next:

What to Read Next: 7 Items for Dive Boat Survival – The Prepared Diver

And: Finding a Good Bleeding Control Kit for Your Office or Classroom (or Dive Bag!)

What to Watch Next: The Best Coral Reef Safe Mineral Sunscreen – Not Banned // Deep Water Happy

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Updated May 29, 2019

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