By: Blonde Two

I have been shouting the words in today’s title ever since my outdoor first aid training with FirstAid4Life last weekend. I don’t mind being stuck in this particular rut because, as far as I’m concerned, having a mantra to get you through an emergency can only be a good thing.

When I broke my ankle up on Dartmoor I remember the training kicking in. Despite it being me on the ground in pain, I distinctly remember thinking through the list of things that needed to be done and being mightily relieved (although not at all surprised) that they were.

First aid training every three years is quite rightly obligatory for anyone who wants to keep their NGB (National Governing Body) qualifications up. This could include climbing (e.g. SPA), paddling (e.g. Paddlesport Coach), land expeditions (e.g. Mountain Leader) or a whole range of other coaching qualifications. Me, I would go every year if asked to do so. Learning first aid is something I really enjoy and gaining the skills to know that I could help somebody if necessary is to me a great source of satisfaction.

Finding the right course and the right trainer is really important and last weekend I felt like I had really achieved that with the course structure and training skills of FirstAid4Life. It is well known (if you are a teacher) that we teachers (or even ex-teachers) make the most difficult audiences. We are critical of poor teaching skills, know most of the tricks in the book and have a tendency to be a bit irreverent. All of this means that when we say that a course was well-taught, you should listen to us because we mean it.

There are three things you need to be a really successful teacher and Sam our course leader had all of them in abundance:

  1. Subject knowledge. Sam definitely knew his stuff, his depth of first aid knowledge and experience of current practices made the course all the more interesting and gave us all a greater depth of understanding as to why certain procedures were recommended.
  2. Teaching methodology. These are the modus operandi you select to facilitate learning. They won’t always be obvious to a non-teacher but include things like peer discussion, paired assessment, group discussion, team teaching and the use of images. I have to say (and I am very fussy about this) that I couldn’t fault any of the teaching methods Sam used, they were varied, interesting and above all, enjoyable (we learn better when we are having a good time).
  3. Personality. The one thing that you can’t teach a new teacher. The aspect of ourselves that is a strange combination of innate ability and development related to experience. It is vital to successful teaching, most outdoor instructors have it (because that is what the outdoors encourages) and Sam had it in abundance.

I was in exalted company last weekend and have to admit to feeling a tad humbled by the depth of knowledge in the room but FirstAid4Life delivered one of the best learning experiences I have ever had and, to be honest it was also such good fun that I am really looking forward to a repeat in three years time.

FirstAid4Life offer a range of first aid courses including outdoor first aid, first aid at work, AED (defibrillator) training and First Response Emergency Care. I would recommend them to anyone who is considering a first aid course with any level of previous experience. You can contact them here.

PS If you are wondering about the stickers in the photos, you will just have to sign up to a course to find out!

PPS Mega thanks to a particular swimmy, DofE friend who recommended FirstAid4Life. I believe it is her turn soon!