Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Red Cross First Aid Training

Part of the Maine Guide certification process, is the requirement that you be certified in Red Cross First Aid prior to sending in your application for the Maine Guide oral and written exams. Once you are a Maine Guide, your first aid certification can lapse and the state will still let you renew your license. From a liability standpoint, I would hope a Guide would stay current with their first aid skills just in case....

I had signed up for the class at the Red Cross office in Portland on Congress Street. The course included CPR and First Aid and cost $40. The last CPR training I had had was in the 1980's. The training was very different- first aid is now basically stabilizing the patient and dialing 911. When CPR is necessary, you get right into chest compressions quickly and only do 2 breaths for every 30 compressions. The trainer told us not to freak out if we heard ribs cracking while performing CPR. I'm not sure how I'd feel in that situation and hopefully I never need to find out.

They discussed liability and good samaritan laws in the class. You have to ask a person if it is OK to help them and if they say NO- you can't help them. You just dial 911 and wait for them to pass out. Once unconcious, you ask them if they are OK, and if they don't reply, consent is automatic. Also, if there is a kid that needs assistance, their parent has to allow you to help the child, if not, it is hands off and dial 911 again. The trainer said that this can make for a very difficult situation.

All in all, it was a great day. It is nice to feel like you might be able to actually help someone in an emergency situation. I wish everyone would go out a take one the Red Cross first aid class. I plan to every 3 years whether I decide to guide or not.

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