Current Best Practices

Knowing what to do in an emergency situation can make all the difference

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Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht

and Operation ALIVE

Because vehicle submersion carries such a high fatality rate, Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, professor of thermophysiology at the University of Manitoba founded Operation ALIVE in 2006 (Automobile submersion: Lessons in Vehicle Escape).

He has performed over 150 vehicle submersions, most with people inside, studying the characteristics of sinking vehicles in order to determine the safest exit strategies and prevent vehicle drowning.  He has published nine papers on the topic and rewritten emergency response protocols for emergency response operators for vehicles sinking in water and stranded in flood water.

These protocols are used in 60% of the English-speaking world and have been translated into many other languages. 

The current and best survival advice is to perform your own rescue instead of waiting for help to arrive:

  • Don’t panic 
  • Don’t reach for your cell phone
  • Remember 4 actions (SWOC):

Seatbelts Off

Windows Open or Broken

Out immediately

Children first, oldest to youngest