As a volunteer crew member of Mudeford RNLI Lifeboat I dedicate quite some time to making sure I’m fully prepared to help rescue people who’ve got themselves in to trouble on the water. So this month I spent 3 days on a ‘Casualty Care’ course at the RNLI’s amazing training facility in Poole.
This wasn’t your usual first aid course; the role plays were quite dramatic with fake blood, multiple victims – including fatalities we learnt to ignore, and the pressure of an examiner watching over us at all times! It was led by the clinical director for the RNLI and two ex-paramedics. The people on the course were diverse in background from stations throughout the UK, as well as trainers from RNLI HQ. One very inspirational chat had just completed rowing across the Atlantic!
We were met by some exceptionally gory videos and photographs of real life injuries suffered at sea and on land, and had group discussions of how we would deal with the injuries facing us. Continual assessment was the name of the game for the 3 days, with multiple choice papers and practical assessment. I somehow managed to resist the temptation of the freshly baked cakes and cookies offered at regular coffee breaks.
So I’ve returned home to Mudeford much more competent and confident in my first aid skills, as long as I am only met with fake blood and pretend severed limbs; I am thinking of volunteering for the local am dram society!