Anticipation filled the air as first aid training approached. The reports of the students who had taken first aid before only tended to make the rest of us more excited when that day finally arrived. After the grade 12 students separated into two training groups the training began. First, we waded through the history of the Red Cross. Then we dove into the real core of first aid – check, call, care. Carefully analyzing what we would do in any given scenario, we discovered which parts of the scenario needed correction and which parts were protocol. Occasionally, the instructor would call up a volunteer to demonstrate how one of the procedures was to be carried out. By the end of the first day, we felt like we had been through a course in rocket science–a crash course. Our only hope of recovery was found in a good night’s rest.
The next day proceeded much like the first, with instruction directly preceding hands-on practice in progressive cycles of learning. The most exciting part of the training came when we learned about CPR. “Check the scene for danger, Call for help, Care for the victim. Two breaths for every thirty compressions,” our instructor stated. Soon the room erupted with manikins and a host of fake AEDs which simultaneously clamored for attention. Thirty clicks to the manikin’s chest were to be followed by rescue breaths. When everyone understood CPR so well that they could perform it in their sleep, we moved on with the course.
Today if any of the grade 12 students open their wallets to look at their first-aid certification cards, they can smile and remember the long hours of scenarios and bandage tying practice that their cards represent. Hopefully none of us will ever need to put our knowledge to practical use, but if there’s an emergency, we will have the necessary training to be of service to those in need.