Never leave without Jello

Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid

Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid

One thing that ECO does, and does well, is training. The in-house Guide Training Program has got to be one of the most challenging outdoor adventures in Halifax.

I had so many firsts when I did my Guide Training Program.  My first advanced first aid course, my first open water capsize, my first overnight on an island in the North Atlantic, my first night paddle, and I could keep going.

I was hardly prepared, neither mentally or physically, when I started on my adventure. But the culture at ECO is a culture of encouragement and acceptance, no one will give up on you until you get it.  That’s what kept me going.

I have to say, of all the training over that winter, the most memorable is the Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid course, which for three days completely challenges everything you THINK you know about first aid. After the first day of extensive classroom work, and when everyone is good and tired, we set off for an overnight on Marrs Island, well prepared to expect the unexpected.

Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid

Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid

It’s the overnighter on the Wilderness First Aid Course. It’s cold out, and everyone is wet or at least, damp. For two days we have been mentally and physically pushed with every first aid scenario you can imagine. The makeup and the actors do a good job – I recall having to ask myself

“Is this really a training scenario, or did the actor actually fall and hurt himself?”.

By nightfall, everyone was as tired as it gets.   Just as we are about to get into our comfortable warm sleeping bags, horrible screams are heard from the other side of the island.  We stumble through the brush to find our two faithful actors now staging a wonderful nighttime multiple injury scenario.  No time to ask “is this real?”, as we pull out the two floating volunteers from the water.   Injuries abound and everyone pitches in to make the scenario as real as possible.

Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid

Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid

Now by 2am we’ve finally gone to bed, this time, very tired.  The clang of the bell buoy gently ringing until sunrise.   The sunrise and ruffle of the tall grasses was as peaceful as it gets, until that is, all hell breaks loose again.

And did it ever.  We were awaken by loud explosions and smoke and a mass casualty scenario on the beach, blood and burns everywhere, and more explosions.   Good Morning Recruits!!

This is a course that takes you, shakes you, and makes you a better person.. and you’ll never leave the house without JELLO in your backpack!  But I guess, you`ll have to come see us at ECO to find out why!!

We learn alot more than just first aid at ECO.  I’ll try to add more posts as time goes on.

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