Years ago when I started working in the Outdoor Adventure industry I was the “First Aid Tech” at one of Canada’s largest Rafting operations. My job was to take care of, and document, any First Aid incidents that occurred. Most of injuries and illnesses I dealt with had nothing to do with rafting and were the usual cuts, scrapes and tweaks that happen throughout life. Many times when treating folks and doing up the paperwork I’d get asked “are you a paramedic”? They always seemed surprised when I told them that I was trained in Standard First Aid. Somehow they seemed to think that being trained in First Aid wasn’t really enough. You know the, ‘its just First Aid’ mentality. To be honest many folks that I teach feel that way too – at the beginning of a course.
The Red Cross defines First Aid as the immediate treatment you give an ill or injured person until more advanced care can be obtained. Now what would happen if you, and the world’s best surgeon, happened upon a motor vehicle accident? What would, or could, the Surgeon do any differently than you? They might have a much greater knowledge and understanding of a persons physical situation, the full impact of injuries before them, but ulitimately, they can do the same thing as you. A surgeon can’t do surgery on the side of the road. They basically have the same tools available to them that you will after taking a Standard First Aid course.
The point is – First Aid training is important. It helps saves lives. It teaches you how to deal with emergencies and make important decisions. To some it’s ‘just First Aid’ but to the people you help during an emergency it’s so much more.