Saturday, November 05, 2005

Rescue Emergency Care (REC) First Aid Course

How often do we all leave the house for an afternoon stroll in the sun or to walk the dog, spend a weekend away, in Dartmoor or North Wales, coming back with memorable experiences…? How often do we not even consider how different these experiences may have become?

A falling rock, a trip over a stray branch or an unexpected turn of the weather are all possible occurrences we may come across within our hobbies. Enjoyable, relaxed situations unfortunately have the potential to change into medical emergencies and the harsh reality is that there isn’t likely to be a fully-fledged paramedic conveniently walking past.

Having to cope with the situation can be a stressful experience. Would you know what to do?
On the weekend, 9-10th April, twelve DES members congregated for the Rescue Emergency Care level 2 First Aid course. Fingers crossed for good weather, we set out to embark upon a weekend of discovery. Despite the early morning our two instructors, Russ and Ian, managed to appear bright and breezy, coaxing life into us as we learnt about how to cope in emergency situations. Hands-on experience played a large part within the course and local residents must have been concerned by the large number of bandaged casualties that kept appearing all weekend!!

The first day we learnt a lot of useful theory, and the structure of the course gave us a good opportunity to meet new people. The final afternoon however, was the best bit of the weekend…. After developing our knowledge we were given the opportunity to put all our skills into practice. Split into groups, casualties were taped and stickered to represent afflictions such as fractures, sprains and even diabetes. We were challenged to identify and treat our casualties in many different situations and even though we all noted how stressful the situation was, we all realised just how much we had learnt over the weekend.

The course was tailored towards outdoor experiences. Considerations about the different strategies needed if an incident occurred while we were in the middle of nowhere, made everyone think. You’d be surprised at the amount of stuff within your rucksack that can be adopted for a first aid purpose!!

The First Aid course provided a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and boosted our confidence no end. Although we all hope that we will never need to use these skills, being prepared is a serious advantage.

I would thoroughly recommend the course to anyone, not only do you learn vital life saving skills but you also have a lot of fun. Many thanks go to Sam Temple for organising the course and for providing the well-needed sustenance used to fuel us through the weekend!!

Mel Power


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