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Briefings And Safety Considerations

Hazard Briefings

Emergency procedures will vary from drop zone to drop zone to fit local conditions. There may be trees, rivers, power lines, hostile neighbors, prisons, highways or a girlsí school. In fact, those DZís lacking certain hazards may touch on the corrective action for every emergency but lightly. Therefore, when visiting a new DZ, it is imperative that you get a briefing on the area.

Alcohol And Drugs

In order to achieve the greatest enjoyment from your skydiving experience, you will want to approach it with an unfogged mind. This means going to bed early the night before and going easy on the booze. Even the common cold will trouble you due to the changes in atmospheric pressure. If your mind and body are not operating at 100%, you will react with less efficiency in an emergency and you will enjoy the jumping less. Remember, the lower pressure at altitude amplifies the affects of alcohol and drugs.

Health Concerns

Jumping with a head cold can lead to ruptured sinuses and ruptured ear drums. The inner ear and the Eustachian tubes do not take kindly to large pressure changes when they are plugged. Infections in these areas can produce debilitating pain under normal jump conditions. In a few words ó if you are sick or under the weather, donít jump. Loading up on antihistamines and decongestants can cause other medical problems. There is always another day to enjoy a jump in good health.

Scuba Diving Alert

There is no problem in descending into the water within 24 hours of jumping or flying, however, there is trouble waiting in doing the reverse. Scuba divers know to stay away from air travel for a period of 24 hours after their last descent below 30 feet (one atmosphereís increase in pressure) so as to avoid the bends (nitrogen bubbles forming in the joints and blood stream). Since skydiving involves air travel, the same rule applies.

Some Fear Is Good For You

It has been said that the difference between fear and respect is knowledge. Most people fear skydiving because they donít understand it. Fear is the result of ignorance and it is part of natureís protective mechanism; it warns us to beware when we are on unfamiliar ground. The best way to cope with problems is to prevent them in the first place. The key is education. It is unfortunate when someone is injured while engaging in sport, but it is tragic when a second person is hurt for the same explainable and preventable reason.




By on 2004-10-26

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