The Effect of Decompression Sickness during the Work of the South Korean Fire Service Water Rescue Company


  • Jai-In Jeon
  • Ha-Sung Kong


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the sudden rising in water level to the water surface and decompression sickness during the work of the South Korean Fire Service Water Rescue Company. The results of this study are as follows. First, the majority of water rescue team respondents have said that they have experienced a sudden ascension when trying to rescue people quickly in emergency situations. Second, because of the development of decompression sickness, the respondents experienced psychological anxiety due to poor underwater visibility during underwater searching and an increase in fatigue due to rapid ascension after underwater searching. Third, it was suggested that in order to provide efficient underwater search, it is necessary to first secure reserve members, then reinforce rescue capacity, and then supplement the rescue equipment. Fourth, there was a higher level of symptom manifestation of decompression sickness in individuals with no qualification related to water rescue compared to those with a qualification. Navigators and engineers who do not have a qualification related to water rescue have less practical experience, so they ascended at a faster speed after searching underwater than the speed of the qualified members. Finally, the degree of decompression disease symptoms according to position showed a significant difference between groups. In general, firefighters' experience in fire service water rescue teams is shorter than that of high-ranking officials, so they have a lack of diving experience and skills. Therefore, firefighters ascended faster after searching underwater than those in higher positions.