Re: first aid session
Ian N Ford FRSH (addvent@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 18:10:11 +0000
My only thought is that we should always tell our members that they
will be taking part in an exercise with simulated casualties. My
Scouts knew that if they were not warned in advance they were
dealing with a <real> casualty ... and that meant that their FIRST
priority was to send for the emergency services.
In most circumstances Scouts will not be in situations where they
have to deal with casualties without adult backout. In the UK program
we do have Scouts going on expeditions in rough country without
adults present, but that is not approved by the Boy Scouts of America.
British Scouts undertaking the Chief Scout's Challenge or the Duke
of Edinburgh's Award expedition have to be at least 14 and would
usually have completed a Red Cross or St John Ambulance certificate
course ... this is very different to the training one would give
eleven and twelve year olds.
My <personal> view is that we should not be required to teach youngsters
techniques that they cannot safely perform ... and I doubt that many
younger Scouts have the strength to safely apply traction to a lower
limb fracture or to carry a casualty over rough country. As a member
of a first aid team I know that it was hard enough for us, who trained
As a workplace first aider I am trained to do the bare minimum to save
life and prevent injury until the paramedics arrive. I have taken more
training as a Scouter because inevitably Scout activities do not
always take place near to emergency services ... but we should still
have vehicles, mobile phones etc. or other means of raising the alarm.
Given BSA's emphasis on two deep adult leadership Scouts should never
be in a position where adult suport is not available. In the case of
high adventure trips members need to be given additional and specific
training. A kid who earned (?) a first aid merit badge in eight hours
at Summer Camp when he was twelve and has not practiced the skills
on a regular basis is not " trained " for a high adventure trip two or
three years later.
By all means teach your young Scouts to deal with simulated incidents,
but put the emphasis on priorities ... i.e. at an auto crash the first
priorities are to safeguard the scene, turn off engines and if
possible disconnect batteries of the vehicles to prevent fire, call
the emergency services etc. and only do the minimum to save life and
prevent further injury until the rescue services arrive. By all means
let the Scouts see the rescue services in action, but in terms of
<training> keep it simple and stick to the priorities.
Ian Ford AIHE FRSH
Special Needs Adviser
Greenwich District Scout Council, London UK
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City