I’m just back from overseeing 10 days of training and development for our instructional team.
This included several days of first aid training.
First aid training is important. My personal view is that first aid should be taught at school.
Everyone would benefit from the general population having a better knowledge of basic life support.
The world being the way it is, however, we have to ensure that our instructional team receive all the first aid training they need.
At Frontier Bushcraft we actually provide training for our team, rather than expect them to turn up to work with a valid certificate, gained in their own time.
Not only do we ensure everyone on our outdoor team receives the same first class level of training, there is clear value in our team training their first aid skills together as a team.
First Aid Training For The Outdoors
We don’t believe classroom-based first aid training aimed at offices and warehouses is suitable for outdoors instructors. Rather, we require all of our instructional team to have at least Remote Emergency Care Level 2.
National governing bodies such as MLTUK and BCU recognise the training. The training focuses on dealing with incidents far from medical help with the minimal equipment you would carry while participating in or leading outdoor activities. This is ideal for our requirements as a bushcraft course provider.
You might think that many UK-based bushcraft courses are not run in particularly remote locations. Of course you are right in that they are not run in the remote wilderness of our overseas expeditions. An ambulance will generally not be able to get further than where a public road ends. So unless the incident occurs beside a public road, the rural settings in which our courses are set are far enough from immediate medical assistance for Remote Emergency Care to be relevant.
Moreover, we want our outdoor leaders and assistant leaders to be thinking in these terms and to have practised scenarios where they have had to think through not only the care of the casualty but also the logistical and communication challenges involved.
Training Like It’s Real
Our first aid training provider, Real First Aid, use a phrase in some promotional material “train like it’s real, because one day it will be”.
This is an ethos we completely embrace and one of the reasons we use Real First Aid for our team first aid training. We’re very much on the same page.
We train outdoors in the setting we teach. We use the actual first aid kits we have on courses, rather than some cheapo practice kit. We practice the emergency procedures we have in place as if the incident were real.
The latter is hard to fit into the timing of the regular REC2 course, so we add on an extra day of scenario training. During this training, our team get hammered with scenario after realistic scenario, in each of which a different team member has to take the lead.
This is great practical training as well as bonding for the team.
We undertake this type of training every year, which is much more than is required by the legal minimums but I and the senior members of the Frontier team don’t believe refreshing first aid training every two or three years is frequent enough for all the protocols, signs and symptoms to be fresh in your mind. Hence, we train every year as part of our pre-course-season training.
Thanks again to Adam Gent of Real First Aid for his excellent delivery.
Below are a series of photos depicting some of last week’s training.
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That does indeed look live a very, very good training session. Once again Frontier Bushcraft going that extra mile. Impressive.
Great article Paul, really appreciate all this information and the practical elements of training like it is real. I just uploaded an article myself about wilderness first aid and I wanted to get your feedback, check it out: http://www.outpostmagazine.com/2013/07/08/wilderness-medicine/
Thanks for sharing this. I couldn`t agree more with your concerns about how a 1st aid course taken in a convenient site could possibly relate to an accident in a remote, real situation. This video really shows the lengths you and your team go to to keep your trainees and yourselves safe and fully refreshed in “real” 1st Aid.
All the best, Dave.