You Know That Dream Where You Don't Have What You Need?
Last night I had a bizarre dream that I was at an intersection near where I grew up, and a small plane crashed around the corner. I went into my truck emergency kit for supplies to go help, but as I dug through my gear, all I could come up with was a few bandaids and alcohol wipes. Naturally, this lead to much fretting and worry in my dream as I was unable to render aid to the plane crash victims.
When I woke up this morning, my thoughts were to write about first aid supplies, and the training to use them.
Skills and Training
With enough money, a person can acquire all the medical equipment needed to run an emergency room. But without the skills to use it, it's useless. On a smaller scale, there are a lot of people who buy suture kits, IV supplies, birthing equipment and other things that can be very useful and life saving, but if improperly used, can be dangerous or even deadly. There is some argument that they buy these things so that if they come across a doctor or other medical professional who has no equipment after SHTF, they can welcome that person into their group and have supplies for them.
I think that every person, whether a prepper or not, ought to have basic first aid, CPR and AED training. With that, a basic first aid kit and a CPR one-way valve mask, should be in every car, office, home, etc... Most public buildings now have AEDs for the use of anyone who knows how to do so. That basic level of training is easy to get, easy to maintain, and likely to be used somewhat regularly.
If you want or need a higher level of skill level, you can get certifications as Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic. I was an EMT about 20 years ago. The training covered everything from arterial bleeding to major broken bones to child birth. The purpose was to stabilize patients long enough to get them to a hospital. Paramedic is a higher level of training that uses IVs and medications. Back then a saying was that Paramedics save lives, but EMTs save Paramedics. The idea was that the Paramedic was so highly trained that they would look to the more exotic or advanced treatment when perhaps all that was needed was a traction splint or something. Either training can often be had at minimal cost (but quite a bit of time dedication and commitment) through your local volunteer rescue squad or community college.
Other advanced training possibilities include becoming a medic in your state's National Guard, attending a wilderness medical training course, or working with your local Medical Reserve Corps during disasters.
I'd also say that everyone should have a copy of Where There Is No Doctor. You can get it as a free download or as a printed book. Might be good to have both.
Equipment and Gear
Quality first aid kits are available from our great sponsors: Survival Gear Bags; Essential Packs; and Shelf Reliance; in all price ranges and for every skill level.
Although I doubt I'll ever have a plane crash around the corner from me, I need to bump up my first aid gear a little bit. Consider what you have and what you know, and see if they are compatible.
Sponsor Of The Week
Wise Food Storage from Directive 21 is our Sponsor of the Week. Wise Food Storage is nitrogen packed, with a 25 year shelf life. They have grab & go emergency packs and long term storage systems that go over 4,000 servings. The food is packaged in individual or family serving packs inside of square buckets for easy storage and without the need to open a #10 can and worry about spoilage before it gets eaten. If you check out Wise Food Storage from Directive 21, please tell Jeff that you heard about them here at If It Hits The Fan.