First Aid Weekend

My thanks to Jim Morning of Alba First Aid for delivering an informative two-day first aid course. But was it a useful way to spend a weekend and £155?

I was the only one of eight people who didn't need the official certificate to validate an outdoor qualification. The rest were all outdoor leaders, most involved in mountain biking. Which came as a surprise, since I thought this was going to be a more paddle-specific course like the one run by Plas y Brenin. So at first I was a little disappointed, but not now.

I've read the syllabus of the PYB course I realise it looks the same but with the scenarios constructed around paddle-events - the pyb course notes warn, "you will get wet". It's a three day course, rather than the two-day I just did, presumably because those scenarios take more time to set up and execute.

I was thinking about this while stuck in traffic for an hour on the A9. I'll feel more confident coping with some emergencies, but not in places where we could be days away from help. For that, I'm told I'd need one of the 6 or 7 day courses run at Glenmore Lodge. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet.

But here's the thing. When you're taught a new skill you learn by practicing. How do you practice coping with First-Aid scenarios? Chase ambulances? Hang out in Emergency Rooms?

Or do you turn into a bandage nerd, carrying an over-stuffed first-aid bag everywhere, just in case? I last did a First Aid course in 1994 and last used it in a rescue situation in 2001.

Frankly, if I never use it, that'll be just fine.

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