Important First Aid Info
Brian Davis (brian@SETON.COR.GOV)
Mon, 3 Oct 1994 13:14:14 -0700
Dear Fellow Scouters,
A few weeks ago, we briefly discussed a topic, which has
really gotten me thinking. Basically, we talked about a Scouters
legal liability with regards to improperly performed first aid
given by scouts whom the scouter has trained. I think Michael Bowman
essentially finished the thread by giving a legal opinion that
concluded that a Scouter did indeed have some liability in this regard.
I was very interested in this thread, because I am presently
taking a Red Cross First Responders course (the new expanded Advanced
First Aid course aimed at persons performing in a professional capacity).
I have discussed this at length with the course instructor, himself an
active Scouter, and have concluded that we, as Adult Scouters, have a
couple of very serious problems, that need to be addressed with the
First, that persons who are wholly lacking in training and absent
any real skills in this area, are being placed into a position where they
are training *and certifying as competent* (how many manuals have *you*
signed?) boys who may then apply these skills wrongfully. In fact, my
ears are still ringing with various stories of scouts who were completely
misinformed by well intentioned leaders.
Second, that the rank requirements for scouts may encourage boys
to attempt actions for which they are either physically incapable of
performing (as in CPR, or the Heimlich), or are woefully underinformed
or misinformed (again, as in CPR, Rescue Breathing, Heimlich, all of
which can be fatal if improperly applied).
Third, that there is no organized effort to ensure that leaders
teaching these important skills are themselves trained in the proper
performance of those skills.
This letter is not meant as a flame against the BSA, by any means.
I think this problem has occurred for the best of reasons (we want to help
people in trouble), and because the idea of an organized and well thought
out approach to emergency response is itself a relatively new idea (did you
know, for example, that it was as recently as 1973 that the EMS system was
established by congress with the Emergency Medical Services act?
This system includes the standards for training of Emergency Medical
Technicians, what became the 911 system, and the requirement that trained
personnel accompany ambulance service?). You may not realize it, but
the very idea of first aid has undergone virtually a complete revolution
in just the last 20 years. As a result, we find ourselves in possession
of an outdated program, and potentially very dangerous situation here in
Scouting, with regards to First Aid.
This letter isn't a gripe. It's a request for information. I
would very much like to hear from this forum on two seperate issues. I
would like those of you with the appropriate experiences or comments to
address two issues, which I will personally present to the appropriate
persons at the National Office. I live in Dallas, and know the way to
Irving very well :)
1. From our resident Attorneys - Will you comment on the various legal
aspects of this issue? (I know that you non-attorneys may have good
2. From the rest - Would you like to see a Nationally sponsored program
to educate and train Adult Scouters in First Aid? How would you implement
such a program, and to what degree?
3. How should the rank requirements be revised (or even IF)?
Ultimately, I would hope that the National Office will work
closely with the Red Cross, to update our program, and provide training
for our leaders.
I hope you will take time to consider this issue, and respond
| Brian L. Davis Internet: email@example.com |
| Richardson, Tx Compuserve: 72600,2721 |
| Used to be an Eagle. |
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City