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  1. #1
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    First Aid Training?

    A couple weeks ago, an elderly lady passed out suddenly during Mass. Fortunately, a church is a pretty good place for a medical emergency. There happened to be present 2 doctors and 3 EMT's, plus plenty of cell phones and a couple hundred people praying. Thankfully, she came to relatively quickly and the on-duty EMT's who arrived few minutes later were able to escort her out on her feet, thankfully.

    This is actually the fourth time I've seen such an event occur in church over the years, but I don't want to be unprepared if I witness an emergency without such fortuitious presence of trained professionals. One of my resolutions for the new year is to get properly trained and certified for common emergencies.

    So, what certifications (or perhaps even uncertified courses) are available for average Joes, and which do you recommend I seek? I saw Red Cross has an abbreviated list online of courses they certify people to teach, but no information about finding those classes locally.

    I figure a basic first aid course and a CPR course are probably a good start. Anything else? Where should I look to take these classes? Community college, Red Cross, other?
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  2. #2
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I'd suggest a community college if nothing else. After all the injuries I've seen on work sites, I decided to go that route. If you can, go to one of the community colleges that trains police, EMT, and fire personnel, they will have the best teachers and equipment on hand.
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  3. #3
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Or you could check out your local chapter of the American Red Cross. They conduct these kinds of courses.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    Or you could check out your local chapter of the American Red Cross. They conduct these kinds of courses.
    These have gotten worse and worse over the years. More and more the whole course can be summed up in one line.

    Do as little as possible and call for help.

    This is the voice of experience 40 years ago you got more just as part of a Red Cross livesaving course (E.g. Lifeguard class 90% related to drowning) than you do today in a First Aid course.

    The problem is for the Church example you give call and wait is the right answer. Perhaps even the right answer even if all signs of life are gone.

    Short of full EMT training I'd look and see what you might find through mountianering or other back country classes. If the assumption is 3 days before anyone can get back with help they might actually train you to do what is needed to stabalize someone for 3 days. Or perhaps a disaster class, if such exist. Those might actually teach something, because the whole point is training for when normal resplonders are gorssly overloaded.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    There are about 4 or 5 PADI dive shops in Portland. Most of them (3 out of 5) teach
    primary care, primary care with AED ( defibulator ) and secondary care classes.
    You don't have to be a diver to take the classes. They are fully accredited classes, taught
    by qualified instructors.

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  6. #6
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    If you want a good, basic first aid book, get the First Aid Merit Badge Pamphlet from the BSA. Teaches everything from transporting to clearing airway to controlling bleeding to splinting bones. good book.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  7. #7
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
    If you want a good, basic first aid book, get the First Aid Merit Badge Pamphlet from the BSA. Teaches everything from transporting to clearing airway to controlling bleeding to splinting bones. good book.
    Actually after I posted the original question I remembered the old Boy Scout handbooks had pretty good first aid sections. Good call on that.

    I still plan to take a class though. I'll try to look at the dive shops. I haven't found much from the community colleges yet. One had quarter long classes that didn't sound very convenient for me since I work regular hours.

    Thanks all.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  8. #8
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    I highly suggest that you don't get certified. I have found that if you prepare for the worse, the worse will happen. Just like in riding a bike, look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go. Don't do it, only bad can come from it.

  9. #9
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    These have gotten worse and worse over the years. More and more the whole course can be summed up in one line.

    Do as little as possible and call for help.

    This is the voice of experience 40 years ago you got more just as part of a Red Cross livesaving course (E.g. Lifeguard class 90% related to drowning) than you do today in a First Aid course.

    The problem is for the Church example you give call and wait is the right answer. Perhaps even the right answer even if all signs of life are gone.

    Short of full EMT training I'd look and see what you might find through mountianering or other back country classes. If the assumption is 3 days before anyone can get back with help they might actually train you to do what is needed to stabalize someone for 3 days. Or perhaps a disaster class, if such exist. Those might actually teach something, because the whole point is training for when normal resplonders are gorssly overloaded.
    Wow- OK, I didn't realize that. Thanks for the heads-up!

  10. #10
    was kung-fu fighting lodi781's Avatar
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    I am an EMT. You can get the training usually through a volunteer ambulance core, local hospital or red cross. EMT is basic life support. CPR, trauma, things like that, but not advanced life support. In CT, we also have a certification called MRT ( medical response technition) which is one grade below EMT. Basically band-aids and cpr, which seems to be where your headed. There is one thing you should know, with any medical certification, once you announce yourself as a trained person, you have what's called " a duty to act". That means once you begin treatment of a patient, you can not stop treatment until you are relieved by someone with your cert level or higher.( and trust me, no doctor is gonna come off the street and accept responsibility for a patient in your care, I have had one do that to me at the scene of a pedestrian hit by a car) The dude came out of an immediate care clininc, I knew he was a doctor, and he wouldn't take control of the scene. All i'm saying is that you have ALOT of responsibility holding any kind of medical license, so don't think you'll take the course, and just half ass it when the time comes to act. Trust me, ***** goes sideways quick and usually at the most inopportune time. Once you start treatment, your plans for the immediate futrue are now on hold, you can't just say" i'm meeting someone for lunch, I gotta go". But if it's something your heart is in to, Go for it, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.
    " The love you withhold is the pain you carry, lifetime after lifetime."

  11. #11
    JF1
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    Senior Member JF1's Avatar
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    Our local fire department holds certification classes several times a year. Many of our local law enforcement get certified at our local community college.
    I've actually been thinking of getting some sort of certification as well.
    J
    Good times.

  12. #12
    Digging in the pain cave. midschool22's Avatar
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    I went through a class at my local community college. It was a one day, eight hour session given by the local chapter of the American Heart Association. We covered basic first aid, infant/child/adult CPR and use of an AED. All in all, it was a pleasant experience. I'm just glad that I have at least some knowledge of what to do if anything happens to my family.

  13. #13
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    If possible, please someone correct me, but aren't there also legal issues like being sued for malpractice if you are certified and you "take over" a scene, as opposed to being a "good Samaritan" who is doing a best effort job?

    I also want to know the basics myself, not just CPR and where to stick the electrodes for an AED, but how to do backwoods stuff like splinting broken bones, etc. Guess the BSA may be the place to go.

  14. #14
    was kung-fu fighting lodi781's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    If possible, please someone correct me, but aren't there also legal issues like being sued for malpractice if you are certified and you "take over" a scene, as opposed to being a "good Samaritan" who is doing a best effort job?

    I also want to know the basics myself, not just CPR and where to stick the electrodes for an AED, but how to do backwoods stuff like splinting broken bones, etc. Guess the BSA may be the place to go.
    You would have to be grossly negligent. There are " good samaritan laws" that protect a certified provider from being sued if he acted appropriately in the given situation. If someone has a heart attack, and you give CPR incorrectly, then you can be sued, But CPR is the mainstay of basic life support. Any first responder, MRT, EMT or paramedic knows cpr like the back of their hand. It's one of the things you train on the most. On the other hand, if someone has a stroke, and you misdiagnose it as a heart attack and begin CPR, you can do more damage than good, and in turn, be sued. From what you said, it seems like becomeing an EMT may be a path for you. Check with your local ambulance service, they may have ride along programs for civilians which could give you insite to exactly what you'd be doing as an EMT.
    " The love you withhold is the pain you carry, lifetime after lifetime."

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