DAN Member Services
BY TY SAWYER
Next to an airfill, DAN membership is perhaps the most important service you can purchase for dive safety. DAN (Divers Alert Network) is more than just emergency insurance, it is an invaluable safety net of assistance, information and protection. And, similar to the Automobile Association of America, DAN has many member services you may not be aware of, services that could help prevent an expensive holiday spent relaxing in an hyperbaric chamber;or worse.
Top of the list, of course, is DAN's vitally important emergency medical support. Membership helps support an ongoing education program in the operation of hyperbaric chamber facilities worldwide. Also included is access to medical support that could save your life. As an extension of this emergency support, the DAN TravelAssist program provides air evacuation benefits. The TravelAssist program allows you a total of $100,000 in coverage just in case an airlift is required from a remote site. And, it doesn't take a long perusal of a map to realize that most dive travel involves out of the way destinations. As a complete safety measure, this benefit kicks in anytime you venture more than 50 miles from your home. The 24 hour Diving Emer- gency Hotline could be your lifeline in the event of a life-threatening scuba diving injury. There is also a medical information line, (919) 648-2948, where divers can get free advice.
So everyone in the dive community has access to this indispensable safeguard, DAN provides its basic services at one low price, only $25 ($35 for a family membership). Additional insurance coverage is also competitively priced, with three affordable levels;Standard, Plus and Master. The Standard Plan is $25, the Plus Plan is $30 and the most expensive, the Master Plan, is only $35 per year. Under the Master Plan you are covered for all in-water snorkeling or scuba injuries for up to $125,000. This protects you against having to foot the bill for medical bills incurred in a diving related injury. With DAN membership one telephone call to the 24 hour Diving Emergency Hotline coordinates your treatment, evacuation and insurance any time because your records are conveniently in one place.
But DAN's member services aren't limited to injury treatment alone, they begin even before you even get into the water. If you have a medical condition and aren't sure how diving might affect it or, how your condition might effect your diving, DAN has a medical information line available to its members. As a leading organization in research of dive physiology, DAN's varied programs, educational materials and computer banks are crowded with diving accident data and cutting edge information. They are sure to have some answers for you or, for local help, will be able to refer you to a nearby physician well acquainted with hyperbaric medicine.
DAN's research has led to many breakthroughs in preventive and rehabilitative dive medicine. The frontline treatment of a scuba diving injury is usually oxygen and it was DAN that spearheaded an oxygen first aid course for sport divers in 1991. Most dive boats and dive resorts now keep oxygen on hand for emergencies.
Because knowledge makes diving safer, DAN provides frequent safety seminars and courses (additional fee required) throughout the world. As the first source of safe diving information, DAN also sponsors courses for physicians and medical professionals so they are well prepared to serve the unique needs of divers. They even communicate with the insurance industry on issues that could affect your life insurance premiums.
As a DAN member you will receive the bimonthly publication, Alert Diver. This magazine keeps you on top of the latest diving medical facts and breakthroughs and provides a wellspring of information you can use to increase both your dive safety and enjoyment. You also get DAN's Dive & Travel Medical Guide. This publication extensively covers diving safety and health issues and contains the most recent knowledge on dive travel safety. It's an invaluable resource for the prevention, identification and treatment of scuba diving injuries. DAN members are also eligible to purchase the water resistant DAN Tag, an emergency ID with all of your vital information imprinted on it. Additional benefits include bimonthly equipment and trip drawings, exclusive rates on car rentals and you can apply for a special DAN/MNBA credit card. The proceeds all go to maintain continuing medical research to improve the safety and enjoyment of diving in the years to come. As you can see, DAN is an incredible resource and much more involved in divers' well being than you might imagine.
For information or an application, write to Divers Alert Network, 3100 Tower Boulevard, Suite 1300, Durham, NC 27707 or call (800) 446-2671.