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Using Red Cross for First Aid MB ??

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  • Using Red Cross for First Aid MB ??

    Has anyone heard of using or working with the Red Cross or other organization to put on a Saturday, or two evening First Aid course that covers First Aid Merit badge? If so, how did it go?

  • #2
    Sounds like an interesting idea.

    I think it is rather common for First Aid Merit Badge instruction to be done poorly because the instructors really haven't mastered many of the skills.

    It would be interesting to have the Red Cross put on a program designed to complete the Boy Scout Merit Badge requirements, rather than those of the Standard First Aid Course or whatever. I bet that would command respect.

    Another alternative would be to have Scouts, and perhaps adult leaders, sign up for the Standard First Aid Course and complete that together.


    • #3
      Depending on how well the class is laid out, it could be great. Here's what we did this fall, in partnership with a neighboring troop. (note, our Troop SM and myself are WRFA instructors so we have experience putting on this sort of training - if the Red Cross folks you work with do as well, then you could have a good experience):

      We had a joint campout with the two troops, Friday night to Sunday morning. The campout was basically run like a WRFA course but primarily focused on First Aid MB skills (though also including some WRFA topics like Stay/Go, Fast/Slow, etc.). We would have a brief topic lecture, then the Scouts would break up into patrols and do a skills practice session (with mentoring and coaching) while our moulage team made up some victims for a scenario. Then the patrols would go off on a "day hike" (of about 50 feet), find the victims, and do a semi-realistic first aid scenario. Repeat throughout the day (and night - we had two scenarios in the dark which added to the atmosphere) with breaks for meals and goofing off.

      The way we organized the weekend, if a scout worked through all the sessions and was able to demonstrate all the skills in the skill sessions, then all that he had to do after the weekend was make an appointment with one of us (the MB counselors) to show us the home first aid kit he'd ade and he was done.

      There were several older scouts from the other troop who already had the MB, had gotten it at Summer Camp, and said they learned a lot more in our weekend than in the summer camp class.

      I was pretty happy with the way it worked out. The scouts got a lot of reinforcement, had to apply their skills in the context of an emergency, and still had to take some initiative on their own to get the MB after the campout was over. The progress they made from the first scenario Friday night to the final one Sunday was impressive. Of course they need to keep practicing the skills or they will forget, but most of them came away from that weekend thinking First Aid was fun, so hopefully it won't be hard to convince them to do more of it.

      Edit: I should add that a bunch of the "victims" were Webelos we invited to come along on the campout, so they got to get made up with fake blood, broken bones, sucking chest wounds and what not, which was pretty fun for them. So bonus points for a recruiting tool, if you're looking for one. Talk to the Red Cross instructors about adding moulage to the class.(This message has been edited by JMHawkins)


      • #4

        Done this a couple times in different places. Once it worked out seamlessly and the local RC office was happy to review the MB requirements, modify their standard course as needed, and put on the training - that we paid a reduced price for. Another time the local office referred us to an instructor at the fire department - who put together a terrific 1/2 day program that met the requirements of RC First Responder, 1st Aid MB, and AHA CPR/AED certification. And once the local office wanted a bunch of money to "write a training course" for us and we said never mind.
        Your local RC office (and your liaison skills) will be key to how successful this is. Regardless, your local RC can provide First Responder, Wilderness First Aid, and other classes. They may be willing to provide some of these in exchange for support with drills/outreach programs in your community. Fire Depts often have untapped experts willing to teach 1st Aid as well. Keep in mind there may be costs to cover training materials.


        • #5
          Yah, sure. Da whole point of Merit Badges is to get scouts plugged in to local experts and resources outside of Scouting, eh? Yeh should be tryin' to hook 'em up with such folks rather than run an in-house program, unless you're a rare unit like JMHawkins that genuinely has those resources in house.

          Find out from your local ambulance companies or fire departments who does EMS training in your area. They're usually a good sight better than ARC, with more resources and fun stuff to show off, and are usually happy to volunteer. ARC is fine. So might someone from da outreach program at a local hospital.

          Always remember, though, da requirements are STEP 2 of advancement, eh? They are the test questions. When you're at STEP 1: A SCOUT LEARNS, yeh want 'em to learn good first aid. That means that yeh want someone who will present more than just da test questions. Goin' from requirement to requirement leaves lads with a disconnected, choppy view of first aid that can get 'em into trouble. Make 'em do a real course and really learn, so that they get stuff like scene safety and management and puzzlin' through evaluation of injuries and such in addition to treatment. Yah, even though it's not on the test! They're goin' to need that stuff to keep themselves and others safe and to respond effectively in a real emergency.



          • #6
            Not an ARC instructor, but an AHA one FWIW.

            I would hook up with them, BUT talk to the instructor to see if they can avoid the videos as much as possible and do as much hands on stuff as possible.

            I used the AHA's Heartsaver First Aid, CPR, AED for Readyman with some minor modifications. It was an all day session with about a 30-45 minute lunch.


            • #7
              Generally agree with Beavah.


              The problem I have with what you did is the depth of learning on a single weekend. It was forever ago that I took first aid, but it was 8 weeks of learning, learning reinforcement, and finally testing before my counselor (a dentist) said my mates (it wasn't quite our patrol) and I were ready and signed us off.

              Of course, back then constriction bands were approved standard practice, and tourniquets were a viable choice for lay first responders (like Boy Scouts first on the scene at an accident)... ;-)(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)


              • #8
                The problem I have with what you did is the depth of learning on a single weekend....

                True, like I said, they do have to keep practicing. But it's also not like that was the first time we did anything like that. In fact, the Scouts mostly already had the skills, what the weekend was about was putting them to use in practice scenarios. First aid skills aren't really hard, but keeping your head in the situation where you need to apply them can be.


                • #9

                  Unfortunately 3 hours of watching a video and putting on an taking off gloves, making a splint, and bagging a tooth in ice gets you a card for first aid in AHA.

                  Grant you I took FAMB over 5 hours at summer camp, but our instuctor had us talk walks where scenarios were given to us.

                  OH, and tourniquets are back for lay responders once again. Elevation is now gone though.


                  • #10

                    Using the Red Cross for first aid is a great idea our crew has 2 adults who are Red Cross instructors, and an MD who also has specialized certification in wilderness survival medicine so we are set. The youth get basic training indoors and then practical advanced application training on outdoor excursions.

                    It really is too bad that the BSA has lost support of the military since our local Air Force Base hospital personnel used to love putting on emergency first aid training for our scouts, using very realistic looking moulage wounds with squirting fake blood and boken bones. The AF hospital personnel needed to practice their skills at least twice a year and always invited the local scout units to join in. I really miss, and so do the youth, what a memorable experience that was and just how much those youth not only learned but also retained.


                    • #11
                      BadenP, depending on your location, you can still request medics from the local AF base.

                      As an AF guy serving as a UC for the units on my previous base, I requested medical support from the local AFB clinic to serve at district cub day camp. Two nurses and four medics. The commander okay'd it, and day camp was their duty location on the days they served. They got a real kick out of the day camp experience, and will probably serve again.

                      Just depends on commanders' willingness and local manning challenges. Many AF hospitals have been downsized to clinics, and the deployment rate for medics has been quite high the last 10 years.

                      As you mentioned, the relationship between military and scouting has changed over the years, but there are still approved ways for the military to help scouting. As you know, the military folks get just as much out of the experience as the scouts. For the day camp medics, they hadn't been around cubs before and they came away quite impressed with scouting.


                      • #12

                        If you are near a military base, then certainly give them a shot as well. The BSA has not lost the support of the military (though there are more restrictions on military support to civic organizations) and in many locations it enjoys a very strong relationship. Individual members of the military are often terrific MB counselors and units may be interested in providing support for larger events. I'm active duty and serve in multiple positions, the Council has a Military Liaison Executive here, we have Scout units chartered by the MWR, the post - and units on it - support Scouting in a lot ways.
                        If you are not near a base though, then all this is moot.


                        • #13
                          BEST...EVER...FIRST AID...EVENT... was put on by some USN corpsman stationed at Camp Lejeune. They went all out, and when I was passing by, I thought it was a real accident and was about to go for the medical staff when I was stopped and told that was the event. I was very, stress VERY, impressed.

                          And I was very ticked off when I was told that people complained that it was too realistic and the council was not going to use them again. BIG MISTAKE.