Page 1 of 2

How much First Aid Training do you have?

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 10:37 am
by Rick Brinkman
As cavers, we can be put into an emergency situation at any time. I was wondering how prepared everyone is (or isn't). :question:

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 10:49 am
by speloman
I am a EMT and carry a prettey good sized kit in my pack. Some say it is over kill but I think it is just right. I don't mind carrying it. Nothing Crazy like an emergency room in my pack but I carry alot more than others carry. As a EMT-I I just carry basic first responder stuff because the state laws say NO IV'S and NO MEDS!!!!!! This is a big no no. Plus boy that would be very heavy stuff to pack thru a cave.

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 11:00 am
by Scott McCrea
I took a Wilderness First Aid class a couple years ago. Very good class. Lots to learn.

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 5:46 pm
by cob
while I just put down 1st resp. I have to admit that was a long time ago, and how much do I actually remember? A refresher is long over due.

tom

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 6:27 pm
by Wayne Harrison
I've participated in several two-day cave rescue classes, which included first aid modules. I learned enough to avoid several mistakes (giving the wrong pain killer, for instance and not saying "Oh my God your head is bleading!" at the patient).

It's interesting how first-aid thinking has changed over time. Originally we learned to package a patient in a SKED with a catheter. Last year they were packaged one without and just told to go in their clothes if they had to. Also, less emphasis was placed on sterile bandages and more emphasis was placed on stopping the flow of blood no matter what you have at hand.

But the biggest thing, I guess, was learning how Tylenol, asprin and ibuprophen should be used in different types of medical cases. I now carry all three.

Re: How much First Aid Training do you have?

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 6:41 pm
by RescueMan
Rick Brinkman wrote:As cavers, we can be put into an emergency situation at any time. I was wondering how prepared everyone is (or isn't). :question:


You should add to the poll:

Wilderness First Responder
Wilderness EMT
Cave Rescue Technician

These are the trainings that are useful in a cave environment. Street EMS training is all but useless.

Robert, Wilderness EMS Instructor, Cave Rescue Technician, Rope Rescue Specialist & Instructor

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2006 9:47 pm
by Dustin
First Aid/CPR

I learned some in the military, but I ETS'ed in '98.

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2006 7:16 am
by caverdoc
I became an EMT while a VPI caver in the early '80s. It sure came in handy in the military (infantry/special forces) and while with SF I recert'd in EMT-B in Germany about '92. Got out of the Green Machine, got my M.D. from University of Minnesota in 1999. My general guidance is Dr. Keith Conover's "cave pack kit" (google it to find it), except I don't generally throw it together unless there's an actual rescue. I do carry one of the excellent Ultralight kits (Adventure Medical?) with some Lortab added, while caving. Anything simple: fix on the spot. Anything complex: need the big bag from the car!

Dr J

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2006 7:35 am
by Scott McCrea
caverdoc wrote:My general guidance is Dr. Keith Conover's "cave pack kit" (google it to find it)

Here's the kit (PDF) (Word). Dr Conover's site has a bunch of good info. Thanks for the heads up Dr J. :kewl:

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2006 2:50 pm
by Rick Brinkman
You should add to the poll:

Wilderness First Responder
Wilderness EMT
Cave Rescue Technician

These are the trainings that are useful in a cave environment. Street EMS training is all but useless.


I was just going for general knowledge and skills.

It IS interesting to note that ONLY people with some amount of training are responding to the poll. Does that mean that everyone else reading this discussion have no training at all and are afraid to admit it????

I took first aid/cpr a few years ago, but it isn't current anymore. Actually, I still remember more (and more useful) things from my First Aid Merit badge 20 years ago than from that course. It was a good review though.

Becuase most of the emergency services around here are volunteers, training is very low cost or free. I'm giving serious thought to getting First Responder certification.

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2006 10:37 pm
by lenslover2003
Just wanted to throw another thought into the mix.

Although I have quite a bit of training -10 years as EMT-P,2 years on a helicopter,and now a nurse-I think most people have a good idea of basic first aid for caving.

It might seem cold and heartless,but I think there is little middle ground on treating injuries in a cave. The injured person either makes his way out - hopefully with basic intervention and pain meds - or it becomes a body recovery.

To me ,the best first aid kit is a simple one- a few decent bandages,basic OTC meds,and then a few big guns to just get you out of there! Like, some Percodan,and a stimulant of some kind,if needed.

Realistically,if someone suffers a severe injury, there isn't a trauma surgeon in the world that is going to be able to help you,in the bottom of some pit or tight crawlway.

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2006 11:21 pm
by cave rat
I am trained in Adult/Child/Infant CPR and First Aid through the American Red Cross. Also trained in BSA Rope Rescue.

PostPosted: Apr 28, 2006 3:12 am
by NZcaver
Rick Brinkman wrote:Becuase most of the emergency services around here are volunteers, training is very low cost or free. I'm giving serious thought to getting First Responder certification.

If you get the opportunity, I recommend doing a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. This is an 8-day intensive program, which (as Robert alluded to) covers lots of material more relevant to wilderness/caving than the usual 4-day First Responder program. Or at least do one of the shorter programs, like Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA).

Unfortunately, not many of the local "street-focused" EMS agencies around the US seem to recognize this Wilderness First Responder qualification yet, let alone sponsor people to do it. So you'll probably end up paying a total of about $500 as a day student (as I did), or more for a residential course. There are several providers who teach courses around the US (and some overseas) - including Wilderness Medical Institute (WMI), Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), and Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA).
I can personally recommend WMA - http://www.wildmed.com :kewl:

PostPosted: Apr 28, 2006 8:00 am
by RescueMan
NZcaver wrote:I recommend doing a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. Or at least do one of the shorter programs, like Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA).

There are several providers who teach courses around the US (and some overseas) - including Wilderness Medical Institute (WMI), Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), and Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA).


Ditto this advice. There's simply no comparison between Red Cross training and wilderness ems training.

In addition to NZ's list of instructional organizations, there's also Mountain Aid Training International http://www.mountainaid.com/ which I used to teach for.

I can vouch for Wilderness Medical Associates (where I got my initial training and instructor's certification), SOLO (which has long been considered one of the best), and MATI (the newest in the Northeast, but run and largely taught by expedition MDs).

- Robert

PostPosted: Apr 28, 2006 8:04 am
by Tim White
NZcaver wrote:If you get the opportunity, I recommend doing a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course.

:firstaid:
And if you want cave rescue training (and to learn some improvised first aid) come to AL in June for a weeklong NCRC training. See post at:

http://www.caves.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1185

OK, so this is shameless “advertisingâ€