We’ve all been there – the 3 years are up and the first-aid refresher is due, and you’re filled with dread at spending 2 or 3 days locked inside a room looking at PowerPoint presentations and making your bandaging nice and neat.
For the last few years, we’ve opted for a more hands on, challenging outdoor first-aid course – it’s not easy and you’re really pushed but you learn a lot more and gain a lot of confidence – something I feel wanes over time if not using your skills. There’s still a degree of PowerPoint – it’s unavoidable, but you get some ‘interesting’ video’s.
The main difference is with the training. Gone are the hours of bandaging. Instead there’s ‘hands on’ practical sessions and more importantly…lots of real-life scenarios in the outdoors.
On one of the days of my recent course it got down to -8 degrees Centigrade. This was bad enough for us, the trainees trying to deal with injuries, but a whole lot worse for the casualty actors during the water rescue scenario. Yes! they were soaking wet!
Training is comprehensive and deals with the kind of real life scenarios that you might encounter through your work as a Ranger – and there’s lots of fake blood!
Some refreshers use pyrotechnics to add to the tension, because there’s nothing like some stress inducing scenarios to get you thinking…and panicking – but that’s OK as the training helps you overcome this.
Include tons of good chat between trainees and trainers, loads of tips and cheats on everything from makeshift bandages to invaluable first-aid equipment to get, and it all adds up to the best first-aid training I’ve ever had – and I’ve been to most the big providers over the years.
There are a few specialist providers out there such as BASP, but it was independents Venture Medical Ltd that I went with and would highly recommended.
For Countryside Rangers and other outdoor practitioners, if you want to see if your medical training has stuck and want to improve, then taking the plunge, possibly literally, into outdoor first-aid is the way to go.
Rennie Mason, Whitelee Countryside Ranger Service
Image credit and copyright, Venture Medical Ltd.