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  Outdoor First Aid - Training makes the difference by Jon Parry

Training makes the difference on a Mountain Bike trip!

“We were about 45 minutes out when it happened. No-one's really quite sure exactly what ‘it' was, but we became all too familiar with the end result: Colin in a heap, suddenly separate from his bike, and in huge amounts of pain. We did the initial mickey-taking usually associated with any kind of fall, before realising that Colin wasn't finding it as amusing as we were. The first aid training kicked in. We did our initial checks, establishing that he was conscious and breathing OK. The pain was coming from his shoulder, and we knew we had to have a look and make sure there was no bleeding. While I was doing that, Jon checked for a mobile phone signal – nothing, of course.

“The shoulder was a bit of a mess. I'm no doctor, but I knew that they shouldn't look like that. The good news was that the rest of him looked OK. We made sure he was warm enough while we discussed our options. The time it would take to get to a phone signal, the time to get a rescue, the nature of the trail ahead, the encroaching darkness – we decided the best thing would be if we could stabilise the injury and get him back on his bike. That way we could be back at the cars and on the way to hospital in an hour or so. All the other options were going to take much, much longer. Colin agreed. He just wanted to get to those nice drugs paramedics have.

Fixed up and confortable!“We padded up Colin's arm and fixed it in the position he found the most comfy with about ten metres of gaffer tape. In itself that made Colin much more cheerful because he said it stopped some horrible grating sensations he'd been getting. We fed him some chocolate and helped him back onto his bike. There was quite a lot of swearing involved and we went very, very slowly, but we got ourselves down in the end and Colin got his drugs a couple of hours later.

“He's all fixed now, and we're going out biking this weekend for the first time since the accident. Looking back, we definitely did the right thing by getting out under our own steam. The nearest phone signal was a good twenty-minute drive down the road, and waiting for rescue would have taken us late into the night. The scenario-based outdoor first aid training Jon and I had done a few months before gave us the confidence to make our own decisions, as well as the skills to be able to stabilise the injury so that Colin could get back on that bike. And the best bit? He promised Jon and me a drink.”


For more information on where to find relevant, practical and scenario-based outdoor first aid training please visit .

Alternatively you can call Training Expertise on 01344 466395 or email .




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