Is a first aid kit really necessary?
Do you ever use it? These questions are frequently asked and some people still think that owning a first aid kit just takes the scare away as you never get to use it.
When we received a message from Greg and found out about his job and his active involvement in CPR and first aid training our team has decided to ask him all the questions we receive from our customers and to find out from a professional the importance of a good first aid kit.
1. Could you tell us about your background and your activities as a first aid responder?
I’m a 2nd generation volunteer firefighter. My dad was on it for over 20 years, and I’ve been on it for close to 10 years myself. I would say about 80-90 percent of our calls deal with some kind of medical issue. I work during the day at my non-fire/rescue job, but I am always on duty wherever I am both day and night.
2. How often do you deal with an emergency or life-threatening situation and what have you learn from them?
The amount of calls depends I may go a week without a call (rural area), and then I may have 3 calls in over a one or two-hour span. I’ve learned that one no two scenes are the same, and I’ve also learned that you must deal with everyone differently. You may have just a patient at one scene and the next you may have the patient and the whole family there or bystanders. You must focus on the patient, but be mindful of the people and scenery. I’ve also learned that you must access the scene for safety.
3. Why have you chosen to train children for first aid?
I feel kids need to be trained, because of the simple fact you don’t know what is going to happen at any time. You could have a school shooting, a car wreck, or a parent, family, friend, or strangers having problems and they may be the difference in someone living or dying. I also know they are the future of fire/rescue service, so I want them to start getting a sense of it and to become our leaders.
4. What are the basic maneuvers and general knowledge in terms of first aid and emergency preparedness anyone should know?
Everyone needs to know CPR and basic first aid, emergency numbers, emergency plans for different situations. They also need to know how to check for a pulse and breathing. I think everyone needs a good emergency kit on hand like the ones we got from Protect Life.
5. What is your advice for anyone when preparing for an emergency or other life-threatening situation?
Like I said you need a good first aid kit. You also need to have an emergency plan in place and learn first aid and CPR. We are having our kids through the Jr, Fire Department to go through the same CPR and first aid class our fire/rescue personnel go through.
6. What are the top 3 emergency situations, from your work and life experience when anyone could use a first aid kit?
Car wrecks. There are usually all kinds of cuts that need to be bandaged, which you should have those in the first aid kit. You may need a tourniquet to help stop bleeding to save a life.
Heart attacks. We must check for a pulse and do blood pressures, which we carry the stuff to check those vitals out in our first aid kits. We deal with that a lot of scenes because we are usually there a few minutes before an ambulance can get on the scene.
Falls. I know most people don’t think of a fall is bad, but I can be. It can range from a scraped knee to a broken bone all the way to death. Most people think of someone tripping, but it can also be falling off a ladder, a house, or a tree. We had a guy cutting a tree top out, and it fell on top of him pinning him in the tree. Once he was down we used a neck brace and bandages, which we always care in our first aid kits.
7. Which are the items most commonly used from a first aid kit and why?
I would say blood pressure cuff, stethoscopes, and gauze. The first two are needed to check the vitals, and the gauze because we can bandage wounds, make tourniquets, and slings to stabilize an appendage.
8. What do you think about our first aid kit and why did you choose it?
It is a perfect size, and it has the right stuff for our juniors to work with when they need to help with first aid. I also think it is perfect for a home or car for the same reason. I bought the kit originally for my car, and I was extremely impressed with everything it came in the kit.