Advanced Surf Life Support

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Aim of the ASLS™ course

The Advanced Surf Life Support™ (ASLS) course has been custom-made to prepare and train health professionals in acute surfing medicine, to learn and master basic aquatic life saving rescue techniques, and wilderness medicine at remote surf locations.

Who can take an ASLS™ course?

The ASLS™ certification is appropriate for any licensed medical professional with an interest in surfing and water activities. Medical professionals in training can take the ASLS™ depending on their stage of training. Our graduates include surfing enthusiasts, ship and expedition doctors, physiotherapists of national teams, medical personnel from pro surf events, big wave surfers and other water sport professionals, among others.

What to expect

The Advanced Surf Life Support™ will give you an intense 7-day-course in probably the most fun and intense way to up your surf relevant medical skills and expertise. This unique format will await you with daily hands-on workshops, practically orientated lectures and intense scenarios. Included in the course fee are:

  • All teaching materials
  • Digital course manual
  • Written & practical exams
  • Accommodation (7 nights included)
  • Daily lunch & coffee breaks
  • Welcome and closing party
  • … and much more

Next Course Dates

Dates
The next ASLS course with available seats will be hosted 19th – 26th May 2019

Location
Peniche, Portugal
approx. 1.5hrs drive from Lisbon Intl. Airport

Sign Up 
Since the exact dates will be announced soon, registration is not open yet. Please be sure to check our website frequently to be sure you secure your ticket for the course.   

Knowledge to bring

To make the course as effective, efficient, and beneficial as possible, we need participants to study the ASLS manual beforehand. It will be provided by us in sufficient time prior to the course. For more details please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Fitness to bring

The surf rescue training will be incredibly fun but also physically demanding. So, you must be in shape before the start of the course: the fitter you are, the more fun you will have while learning the rescue skills and saving people in the scenarios. Water fitness and showing confidence in the ocean and waves are mandatory and will be continuously assessed throughout the course to ensure your personal safety and make sure you meet the course’s criteria. For further details on physical requirements please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Registration

Since the exact dates will be announced soon, registration is not open yet. Please be sure to check our website frequently to get your ticket for the next ASLS course.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have collected the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers on the Advanced Surf Life Support™ course. If you don’t find the Q&A you were looking for, please write us: asls@surfingmed.com 

What is the Advanced Surf Life Support course?
The Advanced Surf Life Support™ (ASLS™) course is the first and most advanced course of its kind. The ASLS format has been custom-made to prepare and train health professionals in acute and surfing medicine, to learn and master basic aquatic life saving and rescue techniques, and wilderness medicine at remote surf locations.
Who can take an ASLS course?
The ASLS course is appropriate for licensed medical professionals (MD, PhD, OD, PA, NP, RN, Paramedic, EMT, etc.) who have interest in surfing and water activities. Medical professionals in training can take the ASLS depending on their stage of training. Our graduates include surfing enthusiasts, ship doctors and expedition physicians, physiotherapists of national teams, medical personal from pro surf events, big wave surfers and other water sport professionals, among others.
Why take an ASLS course?
In addition to challenging yourself and learning something new, earning CME credits and an Advanced Surf Life Support certification, will provide you with skills, tools and knowledge to handle medical care in beach and surf settings where help may not be readily available. And it is also a lot of fun!
What will be taught at the ASLS™ course?
The Advanced Surf Life Support™ Course features a wide array of topics with drowning and hypothermia, rescuing techniques, theory about waves, tides & rips, outdoor scene safety and patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment of wounds, marine envenomation, and musculoskeletal injuries among others. The participants get practical training by experienced surfing doctors, wilderness medics, drowning specialists and professional surf lifeguarding instructors.
How long does the ASLS certification last?
You will receive an ASLS certification after your participation in and completion of the FULL course, which includes successful passing of the written and practical exams. Participation in the course mandatory includes water fitness (see “Fitness to bring”) and showing confidence in the ocean and waves, both of which will be continuously assessed throughout the course to ensure your personal safety and make sure you meet the course’s criteria. The ASLS certification lasts for 4 years from the completion of your course. For more specific details on the course’s certificate and passing criteria please read the “Terms and Conditions” on the registration pages.
How do I get re-certified?
After four years  a in order to keep your certification you have the choice of either (1) retake the ASLS course, (2) be an active and instructing member of the ASLS team or (3) take one of our refresher courses. Please note, that the later are not taking place on a regular basis so far. If you have a request, please let us know.
Will we surf?
The ASLS™ course programme takes account of our mutual passions: medicine and surfing! While we sure can not control the swell and weather conditions itself, the schedule leaves enough time for a daily surf-session. Or two. 
Do you give surf lessons?
No! The ASLS™ course is NOT teaching you how to surf, it is about surfing medicine! You sure will learn some things for your surfing, but we do not give no dedicated surfing lessons. Also, when applying for the ASLS course you should bring some surf experience. This does not mean you should be a super surf crack, however bloody beginners barely able to standup on a surfboard sure will be overwhelmed by the course’s water exposure.
Do you provide surfboards?
Yes & No. – We do provide surfboards for the course’s life saving training, scenarios etc. But we do NOT provide surfboards for surf sessions before/after the course day. However you can rent equipment locally, with one of our many local contacts offering you good rental rates.
Do you provide wetsuits?
NO.
Why don't you provide wetsuits?
We expect anyone taking the ASLS™ course already should have been around in the water for a while. Anyone surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, or alike should have her or his own wetsuit anyway. Please bring it along.
I am a windsurfer. Is this a problem?
Not at all. On which board you use to ride on the water is secondary. However, to attend the ASLS™ course you must feel comfortable in the ocean and waves, with and without board. During you course you will do quite some swim and ocean rescue training, including rip currents and in breaking waves. You don’t need to be on swimming competition level, but feeling comfortable in waves is a must! Participation in the course mandatory includes water fitness (see “Fitness to bring”) and showing confidence in the ocean and waves, both of which will be continuously assessed throughout the course to ensure your personal safety and make sure you meet the course’s criteria. For the exact physical requirements please see the course’s Terms & Conditions.
I am a kitesurfer. Is this a problem??
Not at all. On which board you use to ride on the water is secondary. However, to attend the ASLS™ course you must feel comfortable in the ocean and waves, with and without board. During you course you will do quite some swim and ocean rescue training, including rip currents and in breaking waves. You don’t need to be on swimming competition level, but feeling comfortable in waves is a must! Participation in the course mandatory includes water fitness (see “Fitness to bring”) and showing confidence in the ocean and waves, both of which will be continuously assessed throughout the course to ensure your personal safety and make sure you meet the course’s criteria. For the exact physical requirements please see the course’s Terms & Conditions.
How should I prepare for the course?
In order to get ready for the ASLS™ course all registrants will receive a preparation manual prior to the course in sufficient time. As to your physical preparation and water fitness level please see the next question.
How fit do I need to be before the course?
The surf rescue training will be incredibly fun but also physically quite demanding. So, you need to be in shape before the start of the course. The fitter you are, the more fun you will have while learning the rescue skills and saving people in the scenarios. You must be able to meet the following criteria to attend the course:

  • Visible confidence in unbroken and broken waves, with and without a floating device, i.e. surfboard
  • Paddling 100 meters in 1 minute on a surfboard
  • Swimming 50 meters in 1 minute
  • Continuously swimming for 30 minutes at a moderate speed
  • Threading water for 30 minutes continuously

Participation in the course mandatory includes sufficient water fitness (see above) and showing confidence in the ocean and waves, both of which will be continuously assessed throughout the course to ensure your personal safety and make sure you meet the course’s criteria. For the exact physical requirements please see the course’s Terms & Conditions. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: asls@surfingmed.com

If you can already answer all the above points with ‘Yes’, you are already in a great shape and physically ready for the course. If not, don’t worry: there is still plenty of time to get in shape.

How do I become an instructor?
ASLS alumni or seasoned Surfing Medicine professionals are encouraged to apply. We will explain you the pathway in person. One thing said in advance: it is a very rewarding, sometimes challenging but ALWAYS fun and satisfying job!
How do I host or license a course in my area?
If you have a great facility and passion for Surfing Medicine we invite you to think about hosting a licensed course. Please get in contact with us and we will let you know all the details: ASLS@surfingmed.com
Is there a time-table?
Yes, of course there is a course programme providing day-to-day information. With plenty of activities in the water and on the beach we do need swell for several exercises but also we do not want do endanger anyone by massive waves or rips. With a course like the ASLS™ we do have to adopt the timetable to these external conditions. For this reason the course schedule is not yet available for download, however it will be handed to all registered participants in sufficient time.
I plan to arrive a day later / depart a day earlier. Will I get the certificate?
Anyone being absent during the course will NOT get the full course certificate. Instead you will receive a printed “Proof of Attendance”, still eligible to apply for educational points. In order to receive the Advanced Surfing Medicine Life Support course certificate participants need to fulfill ALL the criteria as stated in the course’s Terms & Conditions.
If I fail the written or practical exam, will I get the certificate?
In order to receive the Advanced Surfing Medicine Life Support course certificate participants must pass the written and practical exams, which will be held on the last course day.

Additionally make sure to meet our required level of water fitness, among other criteria stated in the course’s Terms & Conditions. Anyone NOT meeting these criteria these will receive a printed “Proof of Attendance” instead of the certificate, still eligible to apply for educational points.

Is Saturday the last course day for departure only?
Saturday has a full schedule and as such part of the course. On this last day of the course the written and practical exams will be held.

We advise you to plan you travel times to arrive at the course location before the first course event and to leave without stress at earliest on the evening of the last course day. Ideally you leave the day after, so you’ll have the chance to celebrate your successful completion of the course at our legendary closing party.

Please note that anyone being absent during the course will NOT get the full course certificate. Instead you will receive a printed “Proof of Attendance”, still eligible to apply for educational points. In order to receive the Advanced Surfing Medicine Life Support course certificate participants need to fulfill ALL the criteria as stated in the course’s Terms & Conditions.

Is Sunday arrivals day only?
On Sunday, the first course day you will have sufficient day to arrive, do the on-site registration, get the keys to your lovely rooms/cottages, etc. Just make sure to arrive before 15:00 on sunday. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner for all participants, the course team, the instructors to get together and with first easy-to-digest presentations.
What if I can not attend the course after payment? Do you offer refund?
Since we all know the pitfalls of working in the medical business, we sure understand anyone getting into the situation of cancellation.

Of course anyone can cancel her/his reservation at any time. As we usually already have some people on the waiting list, your place being assigned to someone else will make her/him happy. In that case that your place will be inherited by someone on the waiting list, as soon as she/he paid we will refund you 100% of the course fee.

However, if your course place can not be assigned to someone, our refund policy can be found in the ASLS course’s Terms & Conditions.

Can I bring my spouse/wife/family to the course?

While we would love to get to know your wife/family, the course program will be quite packed. From the past year’s we have learned that ASLS™ course + surf + family might get pretty ‘intense’. Also, the available space on the venue & locations is perfectly fitted to the participants + instructors + ASLS™ team leaving few to none space for extra guests. However, if you still wish to bring your beloved ones along, we sure could arrange something. Let us know.

I heard there is a closing party... !?
Yes, damn right. After a week of hard training, lectures and the exams, we all deserve some more surf time together and a closing celebration. As this party will be on the evening after the exams, please arrange your flights accordingly so we all have your big smile around on the closing night.

Please note: The above FAQ are provided as an orientation guideline. The FAQ are not legally binding. For course’s booking terms & conditions please see here: www.surfingmed.com/asls-terms-and-conditions

Contact

For any questions, comments, or concerns you may have in regard to the Advanced Surf Life Support™ course please do not hesitate to email us: asls@surfingmed.com

Advanced Surf Life Support™ – Video


Terms and Conditions

By registering for the ASLS™ course you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to be bound by the course’s Terms & Conditions.


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