As part of my job, I have to keep my first aid certificate valid, I have to admit that I was out of date for about 7 days due to a problem booking a course when I wasn’t working. However I have probably been trained in first aid since I was about 8 years old. From about age 16 I have a valid first aid certificate save a few days here and there.
It can feel really dull re-certifying, although the various resus councils seem to change the protocols every 3 years just to keep us on our toes. Most of the stuff we are now taught is very similar to what I was first taught in terms of the core ABC. It is also great to have a little confidence boost that you haven’t forgotten everything in those three years.
Apart from my job, I also think that as rock climbers we owe it to our climbing friends to go on a first aid course. If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself this. Faced with a friend falling off a route, would you be confident in yourself to do the right things to maintain their live until a rescue team gets there?
If the answer is no, then you need to go on a first aid course, as the last thing you want to live with is the guilt that will haunt you if your friend has an accident and you are stood about totally oblivious as what to do.
The basics of first aid are, well basic and at the same time something totally simple can and does save lives everyday.
As climbers an urban first aid course is probably not wholly appropriate, but there are more outdoor orientated first aid courses like REC (Rescue and Emergency Care). I recommend a two day course with someone like Active First Aid, Kath also wrote one of the first books dedicated to outdoor first aid.
Even if you just do a one day basic first aid course, at least your climbing partner will have a fighting chance