Wednesday, May 2, 2018
First Aid - Intro and Overview
First aid is just that: you're the first person to find or get to someone who's injured or ill.
It's the first thing I'd teach, because the person you're most likely to treat, for your entire life, is yourself. The military cleverly calls this "self aid".
And if everyone knows what to do, anyone can render first aid to others properly as well.
That would comprise "buddy aid".
As the manual states, "know what to do, know what not to do, and know when to seek (higher) medical assistance".
I'd even go as far as making the new guys the medics. You get a 100% training rate for basic medically qualified personnel, it gives you a chance to see and evaluate how trainable they are, and in any group, anyone too selfish to look out for others is probably not someone you want working their way up the totem pole to more important positions. They also have the backstop of knowing that everyone with more training/seniority can assist them adequately, so no one gets left with no help. (And Murphy being a capricious bastard, if you have only one designated medic, guess who will be the first casualty when it matters most?)
Nobody wants to be Private Wade in Saving Private Ryan, listening to a bunch of your knucklehead buddies say "Tell us how to fix you!", and having to teach first aid while you're bleeding out. Solution: everyone starts with medical training, and the basic entry position on the team is medic.
"Warrior Skills", from the Level 1 Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks, cover everything with seventeen specific tasks (+13 preventative measures all slammed together under one topic). It gets abbreviated even more, down to
Start the Breathing
Stop The Bleeding
Protect The Wound
Treat For Shock.
Which still covers the ground, but pretty thin.
I've already recommended (oh, a few dozen times) that anybody worried about tough times, even if we're just talking about a local or regional disaster, should get first aid certification up to the level of basic EMT. And you should. FTR, that will be exactly 5x the amount of time I'd devote to covering it in a two-week initial training period, and the 20 hours I'd spend are about 3-4X what the .mil spends teaching it to new recruits. (I'd like a little more meat on the bones, is why. Especially because I don't expect you'll be using this with a school-trained medical specialist or hospital corpsman or three handy, nor have ready access to medevac after a quick nine-line casualty report, with first-world care just one Blackhawk ride away. So I want team members to all be trained for the longer haul, to a higher basic standard, and able to dig in on extended field care, quite possibly in an actual or functional third world situation.)
Break out the field manual on First Aid, and read the first section.
It's a very brief thirteen pages.
They manage to cover the anatomy and physiology for basic first aid in four of them.
After that, we'll cover the next module.