Author Topic: First Aid and Emergency Management Training - by JL  (Read 496 times)

Offline FiremanBob

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First Aid and Emergency Management Training - by JL
« on: May 08, 2017, 10:00:59 PM »
The Virginia Instructors Corps took advantage of a recent lull in our schedule to conduct a dedicated day of instruction to discuss emergency response procedures as well as learn some advanced first aid skills.  As a result of the dedicated efforts of our state coordinator, (The Wolfhound), and shoot bosses Monkey and Oddsreven, 19 Instructors from 4 states met on the 4th of March for a full day of quality instruction and discussions about how we could best respond to various medical emergencies at an AS event.

Within the VA AS Corps we have a number of current and past first responders and both active and retired military who have fairly extensive experience with first aid procedures and emergency response.  Knowing the type of individuals that gravitate toward becoming AS Instructors, I would suspect the same is probably true with the Instructor cadre within every state.  Despite a fairly experienced Instructor Corps, the chance to spend a day away from the range dedicated to the single topic of emergency procedures resulted in a very successful and enlightening day in which everyone came away with a better understanding of their individual role in the emergency response process.

Oddsreven, who is an Emergency Medical Technician and certified First Aid Instructor led the instruction.  In addition to her technical knowledge, she was also able to provide us with CPR mannikins and training AEDs (automated external defibrillator), for us all to gain some quality hands-on practice in CPR and AED use.

The topics we covered over the course of a full day of instruction included basic first aid principles, CPR, AED use, choking, strokes, gunshot wounds, tension pneumothorax, tourniquet use, battle dressings, and clearing an airway.

After the instruction, Oddsreven ran each of us through four stations of hands-on practice.  The first stop was using a CPR manikin as a dummy for inserting airways through both the nose and throat, (nasal and esophageal), and then using an AMBU Bag, (Artificial Manual Breathing Unit) instead of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  In the next stop in the skills lab we learned to  applying an Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD), and a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT).  After using these devices and seeing how easy they are to apply and having Oddsreven describe their effectiveness, I think every Instructor left that day vowing to add those items to their range bags. We also covered the use of Quiklot and Celox to stop bleeding. Note that all these devices are easily available online, even at Amazon.

The last skills lab was by far the most interesting because we all got a chance to use a Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  This particular exercise requires sticking a rather large needle in the chest cavity of a gunshot victim to re-inflate a collapsed lung caused by air trapped in the chest cavity, (tension pneumothorax).  Now seeing that none of us had a collapsed lung, or was willing to be poked with said large needle, Oddsreven had improvised and brought along her dinner, (or what would be her dinner after we all tenderized it with multiple jabs); a pork roast.  So with Oddsreven’s dinner safely wrapped in a plastic bag, we all took turns with the TP Needle seeing what it would feel like if we ever had to stick a three and a quarter inch 14 gauge needle into someone’s chest.  It was a great learning experience.

After the skills lab and the completion of the first aid instruction, we turned our attention to a discussion of how we could best respond to a medical emergency at one of our events.  This turned out to be a very interesting discussion. Note that every corps of instructors is going to have a different set of skills and every situation is going to be different, but we did identify some major points that I think would be applicable to every AS event. 

First and foremost, the thing we all agreed that has to be done even before starting first aid on the accident victim is the absolute essential task of securing the firing line.  People respond to emergencies in different ways, (some smart and some not), and having loaded rifles out at the same time that someone might be panicking or overreacting is a recipe for disaster.  How you decide to secure the line is a great item for discussion at the Instructors meeting before your Appleseed event.  After securing the line, attention obviously turns to responding to the emergency at hand.  Now, if this has been thought out and discussed beforehand, these first two steps can really be happening almost in parallel.  I know for instance that if I’m the Shoot Boss at an event and Oddsreven and The Wolfhound are there as Instructors, (both have EMT training and experience), I’ve already designated them as the lead medical responders and everyone else is in support.  So the instructors already know who will be clearing the line and be responsible for the students while the medical responders handle the immediate first aid requirements.  With the first two items addressed, attention can then focus on the students and seeing to their needs.  Keeping in mind that the injured person could very well be a family member, the students will most likely require some very close supervision and assistance.  Every situation will be different and call for on the spot decision making and improvising, but having thought through some of the issues and discussed options and considerations ahead of time I think will help any team of instructors prepare should an emergency situation arise.

We wrapped up our day with a brief and informal but heartfelt recognition of The Wolfhound and Dangerous Cook for all they have done to strengthen and oversee Project Appleseed in Virginia.  The Wolfhound has been our state coordinator for more years than I’ve been with the program, and no one is more dedicated or committed to the success of Appleseed.

All in all it was a great day.  We learned some very valuable skills, shared a great meal together, met instructors from our neighboring states, and discussed ways to make our events better and safer.  If you can find the time put together a similar event with your Instructor Corps, I highly encourage it. As Gen Eisenhower said, “Plans Are Useless, But Planning Is Essential”.
Author of "The 10/22 Companion: How to Operate, Troubleshoot, Maintain and Improve Your Ruger 10/22"
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"Remember constantly that a nation cannot long remain strong when each man in it is individually weak, and that neither social forms nor political schemes have yet been found that can make a people energetic by composing it of pusillanimous and soft citizens." - de Tocqueville

Offline Cold Warrior

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Re: First Aid and Emergency Management Training - by JL
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 05:23:27 PM »
That was a great day of training.
Many thanks to the VA folks for coordinating & executing!
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Offline The Wolfhound

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Re: First Aid and Emergency Management Training - by JL
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 10:05:09 PM »
Among the important lessons was one that stuck out for me:  Have a specific plan for the instruction staff.
Make sure everyone has the address written out.
Have the 911 caller picked out.
Have the specific language for specific injuries already worked out for the dispatcher. IE "training accident" as opposed to "shooting"
Know who will be conducting care.
Know who will clear the line and who will stay with the students.

I know I went in thinking I was prepared and learned much to improve my preparedness.  It was an important day well spent.

Offline hogfamily

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Re: First Aid and Emergency Management Training - by JL
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 11:27:17 AM »
Very important to make it clear that the emergency is not an active shooter.
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