Friday, 4 February 2011

Remote emergency Care level 4 course

REC Level 4 Course-Castlebar, Ireland
I headed across the water to Ireland last weekend  with Vaughan Roberts from Romany Productions to attend a remote emergency care course with Paul Cahill  figuring that it would constitute sound preparation for our ‘Around Ireland’ expedition. It's great getting fit and being able to paddle like a banshee, but what if one of us gets injured? The West coast of Ireland is remote enough, especially when you consider the fact that 'Remote' is classed as being more than one hour away from medical help.

I first met Paul when he came with us at Sea Kayaking Cornwall to Norway's Arctic coastline for a week long expedition last June. I didn't realise at the time what his job was but during the following seven days spent under canvas I learned much about his passion for the life outdoors and also, for all things medical.

I decided to get Paul over to Cornwall to run a level 3 REC course last autumn, just prior to our symposium- it was a good move.

Over the last 30 years I have, like many, attended numerous first aid courses, but in all this time and on all these courses I have never met a guy more dedicated to his profession or able to deliver a subject with such precision, passion and ability. Previous forays into the first aid world had always been more about fulfilling pre-requisite requirements for coaching awards or whilst in the military had been an obvious requirement for all service personnel, my previous lack of interest wasn't due to not realising the importance of the subject, but the delivery of the subject matter had always been less than inspiring I guess.

For the first time first aid became not only interesting but I also left the level 3 course with a very strong desire to learn more. So when Paul emailed me to say that he had developed a REC level 4 course aimed specifically at the Expedition sea kayaker I was hooked.

The course was well attended by numerous sea kayaking experts, Jim Morrissey, Ali Donald, Eileen Murphy and Sean Pierce to name just a few, were there to refresh or learn new skills about how to maintain vital life care for clients as well as friends in a wilderness setting.

Eileen Murphy and I had met before when she was competing in the Hebridean Challenge adventure race.

In 2005 Eileen completed the first Solo Female Circumnavigation of Ireland by sea kayak and I took the opportunity to speak with her about her trip, she highlighted numerous refuelling stops (Guiness) along the way, as well as many other points of interest.

Various subjects were covered over the two and a bit days of training, all of which related to medical situations which can and have happened to paddlers on expedition and I would thoroughly recommend anyone heading out into a remote area to attend one of Paul’s courses, he is probably one of the best instructors I have had the good fortune to train under.

Paul was supported admirably by his wife and father throughout the course as well as having Aebhric O'Kelly who assisted in the teaching, Aebhric also teaches wilderness medicine and bush-craft skills further south in the country.

We shall certainly be getting Paul and Aebhric over to Cornwall to provide further courses for us in the future.


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