First Aid in Remote Locations
Around a month ago, I received an email from BECTU, offering members a First Aid in Remote Locations course, which had been subsidised by Creative Skillset. Being a film maker and having a particular interest in working in hazardous environments, there was no way I was letting an incredible opportunity like this pass me by.
The course took place in the house and gardens of the beautiful East Hampstead Park and fortunately for us, we had decent weather. There were 12 people on the course, all working in the film industry and all with a variety of skills and talents. The training was run by Lazarus Training whose belief and focus was that we should ‘‘train for real’, meaning that training must reflect the reality of what people may actually face and the resources they may have access to.
The first day consisted of getting to know the basics, such as pressure points, and learning about the items in our first aid kit & how to use them. I was most fascinated by the Tourniquet – which became a vital tool in many of the scenarios we faced.
For the first situation we faced, Leroy played the role of the unlucky casualty. He played his part so realistically, that I felt quite weak at the knees. I was completely engaged throughout. The session ended when we were able to help in saving Leroy’s life after he ‘accidently’ stabbed himself in the leg with a knife.
On the second day, (even better than the first), we had to deal with six scenarios, some in groups of two and some in larger groups. We faced everything from campfire explosions to Leroy falling out of a tree and Paul (another trainer) shooting himself in the leg. One of the most fascinating parts of the day was learning how to make a stretcher out of coats, emergency splints and what to do if someone falls unconscious.
The final day was even more absorbing and we were faced with travel health, unconscious casualties in complete darkness, hypothermia, spotting the signs of heat exhaustion before it becomes Heat Stroke and rescuing casualties from car accidents.
My fellow course members were all fascinating people in their own right, with such a diverse range of talents and film skills. Working with them made the course even more enjoyable and I very much hope that I get to work with all of them sometime again in the future.
At the beginning of the course, I was enthusiastic, but slightly apprehensive; by the end I was confident, a little less scared of blood and completely exhausted.
I must give a massive thank you to BECTU and Creative Skillset; without them, I wouldn’t have been able to have taken the course and to Lazarus for their training, endless skills and knowledge. I never knew that First Aid training could be so rewarding and enjoyable.
Charlotte is a freelance filmaker.