The 3R's
Victims of cold water need to be handled differently. That's why the methods developed through Beyond Boot Camp USA are so important.

In general previously healthy persons should not die from a cold water immersion or hypothermic incident if they have been rescued, recovered and re-warmed appropriately and properly and in a timely manner.

The sad reality of hypothermia is that a large percentage of severely hypothermic victims die during or shortly after the rescue and many of these deaths can be attributed to improper rescue and handling techniques.

The 3R's
The Three “R’s” (Rescue, Recover, Re-Warm) program reviews proper extraction techniques from a variety of vessels, triage and treatment options, including re-warming on site and stabilizing the victim for transport to a medical facility. The program is designed for anyone who might find themselves in a situation to rescue a hypothermic victim. The information provided in this DVD will better prepare boating and water safety experts / educators to instruct about the risks of cold water immersion.

Cold Water Rescue Tip - The Power of Adrenaline
When a victim sees the shore and thinks they are safe, or a victim is on the hands of a rescuer, their body stops releasing adrenaline. Unfortunately, without that adrenaline, their body shuts down. Watch as Megan experiences this when she reaches the shore and finds herself unable to move.

This is an example of how the skills covered in Rescue, Recover, Re-warm can be used by responders to save lives. First Responders need to encourage the victim to keep working to assist in their own rescue, recovery, and re-warming process.

Cold Water Rewarming Tip - Avoiding Cardiac Arrest
A victim will die in a hypothermic event because of cardiac arrest. A person immersed in cold water and hypothermic has a heart rate, which may be un-detectable due to vasal constriction.

Chest compressions when the heart is already working could cause ventricle fibrillation.

If a victim's heart has stopped because of hypothermia they can actually last a lot longer than a normal heart attack victim. This is not a terminal emergency. It took a long time to become cold….you have a little extra time to work with.

It is of the utmost importance to take your time when checking for heart and respirations so that you are sure there is NO heart beat before starting CPR.

Cold Water Rewarming Tip - When Should CPR be performed?
If the victim is unconscious:

  1. 1. Take 1 Minute to look, listen and feel to check for pulse or
  2. 2. If there is not a pulse, perform 3 minutes of ventilation
  3. 3. Stop ventilation
  4. 4. Take 1 more minute to check for pulse or respiration indicating cardiac activity