First Aid

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Machiavelli

Full Member
May 21, 2009
85
20
Good Ole' Lancashire
Hey Folks,

I have been reading through the first aid thread for the past few days; however, I'm confused about the many different qualifications, etc, that people hold. I'm thinking of taking a course or two, but don't have a clue where to start. I'm guessing that they are not all the same? Is there anything specific, i.e. a qualification, that I should be looking out for?

Thanks for the help folks.
 

Adrian

Forager
Aug 5, 2005
138
3
68
South East London
Can't go wrong with a St. Johns/Red Cross/St Andrews Basic certificate for starters. Look at your local groups or library for further training info. The certs from the main organisations are all comparable.
 
Feb 13, 2006
19
1
34
suffolk
Depends a lot on what you want it for- if you just need a general 'piece of paper' type qualification which covers basics, then a first aid at work one would be ok but if you want to really get into it and go off bushcrafting all over the place its worth looking at a wilderness course of some sort- as far as i know there isnt a nationailly recognised standard for this.

i did st johns ambulance a few years ago and foun it very frustrating- usefull, no doubt but it was very ' just put a plaster on it and wait for the ambulance'- its much more interesting thinking about what if there wasn't one and much more useful for bushcraft types. like robin wood said- it depends on whether youre asuming the ambulance is 20mins away, or several hours or more.

There are loads about, most of them a week long or so and in the £550-650 price range. some of them give you a first aid at work certificate at the end but cover loads more.

I had some first aid training a year or two ago with fusion medical - it was amazing- very practical, scenario based and well tuned towardes what bushcrafty types might have to deal with- everything from snake bites to axe/knife injuries and on to really advanced elements like how to deal with haemo/pneumothorax- blood /air in the chest cavity etc.
we all found ourselves using words we'd heard on casualty!

Fusion medical apparently now do the teaching side on a course woodlore are running down in sussex-residential- 1 week- if the training i had from them is anything to go by, would be well worth it!
 

Machiavelli

Full Member
May 21, 2009
85
20
Good Ole' Lancashire
Thanks for the reply's guys, I really appreciate it.

Adrian: I gave my local red cross a call, they told me they had a certified course on in September so I got myself booked on. Should give me a good firm foundation.

Robin Wood: I do plenty of outdoorsy activities where first aid could potentially be useful: mountain climbing, kayaking, general hiking, etc. I really want to get the best foundation I can; you never know when it will come in useful.
 

maddave

Full Member
Jan 2, 2004
4,177
36
Manchester UK
Can't go wrong with a St. Johns/Red Cross/St Andrews Basic certificate for starters. Look at your local groups or library for further training info. The certs from the main organisations are all comparable.

What Adrian said... All good courses and you'll make new friends along the way !!:)
 

Sniper

Native
Aug 3, 2008
1,431
0
Saltcoats, Ayrshire
Just to clarify things a little
First Aid at Work
These courses are booked and paid for by your employer and deals only with the workplace. There are several to chose from starting at a 1 day basic course, up to a much more in depth 4 day course, All of these ar HSE approved courses for dealing with colleagues in the workplace, and the prices start at around £100 up to nearly £300. There are other HSE courses specialy aimed at expeditions but they have basically the same content but with a few added extras for wilderness situation ie ambulance may be a long time reaching or casualty halfway up a mountain type extra information and a lot more expensive. Members of the public cannot choose to do this course as an option, only employers can book a course for members of their workforce.
Public First Aid courses
These once again come in varying lengths and depth with regards to subjects covered but are in essence very similar to the HSE courses, the main difference being that you are trained to treat anyone, not just in the workplace, you will also cover child and baby first aid which is not covered by the HSE courses unless as an added extra. The most in depth public course takes about 27 hours which can be done over 2 full weekends, or can be done over 3 months where you attend just 1 night a week. Another difference is the public courses provide training to diagnose and provide certain drugs namely paracetamol and aspirin in the treatment of certain conditions and the assisting of casualties to take prescribed medication, ie insulin, and in use of epipens for anaphylactic shock treatment. The cost for these course are between £10 for a very short 4 hour course up to £60 for the full monty, which BTW is exactly the same training as members of the first aid providers give to their members who cover first aid at public events such as t in the park and the london marathon. The British Red Cross have now included automated defibrilater as standard on the big courses as of a month ago.
Again just to emphasis HSE courses or first aid at work can only be used in the workplace and is of a lesser depth of training to the public, and costs up to 6 times as much.
Public courses are for the general public, is a fraction of the cost of an HSE course, much more in depth, and are able to treat anybody anywhere.
Hope all this makes sense, or if you want to know more feel free to PM me with any queries.
 
B

BrianM

Guest
Just to clarify things a little
First Aid at Work
These courses are booked and paid for by your employer and deals only with the workplace. There are several to chose from starting at a 1 day basic course, up to a much more in depth 4 day course, All of these ar HSE approved courses for dealing with colleagues in the workplace, and the prices start at around £100 up to nearly £300. There are other HSE courses specialy aimed at expeditions but they have basically the same content but with a few added extras for wilderness situation ie ambulance may be a long time reaching or casualty halfway up a mountain type extra information and a lot more expensive. Members of the public cannot choose to do this course as an option, only employers can book a course for members of their workforce.

A couple of corrections:

Anyone can book to go on an HSE course - they are not restricted to booking only by employers.

The ONLY HSE first aid courses are the 1 day EFAW (Emergency First Aid at Work) or the 3-day FAW (First Aid at Work).
 
B

BrianM

Guest
As an addendum to my post:

First Aid training providers are eager to tell you that they are |HSE-approved, then they list many courses. What they "forget" to tell you is that they are only approved by the HSE insofar as the HSE Approved courses, which are the EYFAW and FAW as above.
 

malcolmc

Full Member
Jun 10, 2006
244
3
70
Wiltshire
www.webwessex.co.uk
I can recommend the Rescue Emergency Care (REC) First Aid course run by Plas y Brenin (The National Mountain Centre). The course is a practical intensive 2 days. It covers the HSE requirements with an emphasis on the action required to support causalities in a remote areas. This is different to what is required if professional aid is only 20 minutes away. It is a recognised qualification; if you pass you get a certificate valid for 3 years.

One thing I found particularly helpful was to learn there is a recognised protocol for dealing with a casualty who is not breathing when you’re on your own; I was always uneasy with the answer I got for that question on standard Health & Safety at Work courses, the REC answer differs from the standard HSE course book answer and is appropriate for remote situations.

I’ve no connection with Plas y Brenin but I will be going back (if they’ll have me ;) ); the enthusiasm of everyone there is something to behold.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,109
1,646
63
Pembrokeshire
I regularly take theREC course run by ...Genty of this Parish!
A great teacher :) and a great bloke to have a beer with also :D
 
Aug 13, 2011
184
0
I must have done at least five SJA FAW courses.....

However regardless of what you learn, when you do get a casualty to treat you can only give it your best go.

You won't get trained as a Paramedic and you wont have any drugs or specialist equipment......
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
66
south wales
Can't go wrong with a St. Johns/Red Cross/St Andrews Basic certificate for starters. Look at your local groups or library for further training info. The certs from the main organisations are all comparable.

What he said, and they also do more advanced courses.
 

Maggot

Banned
Jun 3, 2011
271
0
Somerset
I can recommend the Rescue Emergency Care (REC) First Aid course run by Plas y Brenin (The National Mountain Centre). The course is a practical intensive 2 days. It covers the HSE requirements with an emphasis on the action required to support causalities in a remote areas. This is different to what is required if professional aid is only 20 minutes away. It is a recognised qualification; if you pass you get a certificate valid for 3 years.

One thing I found particularly helpful was to learn there is a recognised protocol for dealing with a casualty who is not breathing when you’re on your own; I was always uneasy with the answer I got for that question on standard Health & Safety at Work courses, the REC answer differs from the standard HSE course book answer and is appropriate for remote situations.

I’ve no connection with Plas y Brenin but I will be going back (if they’ll have me ;) ); the enthusiasm of everyone there is something to behold.

Nah, what he said.

PyB is a great place to learn, and they know their outdoor stuff.
 
There is a difference between training and certification. If you want First Aid training go with a reputable company that offers courses that include a fair amount of hands on training. Sitting in a classroom that only offers death-by-powerpoint will not give you any skill with dealing with real injuries.

Taking a St. John's or Red Cross course is a great introductory level to First Aid but I would highly suggest that you take a course dealing with outdoor injuries and Wilderness First Aid. During these courses you will have up to half of your class time spent in scenarios and hands on learning.

The other thing to think about is certification. You need a piece of paper stating that you have First Aid training. But remember, that piece of paper will not help you with treating the casualty. That is why hands on training is the utmost of training.

Also, there are levels of First Aid training. It depends on how high up the ladder you wish to go. A weekend First Aid course will give you the basics but if you really want to learn how to treat your friends and family with confidence then you need to have at least a First Responder level of training.

The Wilderness First Responder course will handle most of the illnesses and injuries that one might face out in the deep woods as well as at home.

Wouldn't it make sense to have the medical training to be able to deal with minor injuries that your family might have without having to make them wait for five hours in the local A&E waiting for a doctor to do the exact same thing that you would be able to do at home?

If more people had the Wilderness First Responder course I would guess that there would be a tremendous drop in wait times for the A&E. Most of these injuries can be treated at home by a medically trained family member.
 

Genty

Tenderfoot
100% agree with you BoonDoc; It's all about the hands-on practice. Whether it is a one-day introduction or a Wilderness Medic course, practical skills need practical training. Also the topics covered on any courses only really make sense when taken out of the classroom and put into a contextual setting. This is true for any training...I wouldn't want a mechanic working on my car if it was the first one he had ever worked on, no matter how many books he had read!

I'm not sure I agree with advanced training cutting waiting times though...The kind of people with the initiative, motivation or perspective to follow pursue advanced training aren't the kind of people who are cluttering up A&E waiting rooms. That education needs to start in primary schools

"tell me kids (or adults!) what does 'A&E' actually stand for?"

But that's my soapbox and maybe veering off topic.
 

Scots_Charles_River

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 12, 2006
3,243
14
paddling a loch
www.flickr.com
Do a 16hour course, such as Emergency Aid for the outdoors like the BASP course which has scenarios like within a mountain environment. Then if keen, go for an Expedition or suchlike course.

I have done lots of two day courses to make my coach/instructor outdoor quals remain valid, the best is BASP
http://www.basp.org.uk/course-descriptions.asp?id=3
 
Last edited:

Graveworm

Full Member
Sep 2, 2011
366
0
London UK
How far do you want to go, if you want internationally recognised qualifications then the UK is a funny old place, if you want to learn first aid and not worried about international qualifications then there are a lot out there that will give excellent tuition.
 
How far do you want to go, if you want internationally recognised qualifications

The Wilderness Medical Society is the world's largest recognised organisation that offers medical training for remote and austere environments. There are plenty of institutes who offer wild med training here in the UK and Ireland.

For international recognition the one to look into is the Australian Registry of EMTs. (AREMT).

EMTs are not recognised here in the UK but they are in Ireland.

Certification and recognition are highly important when looking into medical training. What good is all of that high speed, cool guy, stuff worth if you can not use it on anyone besides your family? With certification with a recognised organisation you can have that support.
 

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