first aid courses

Outdoor First Aid Blended Learning

Due to the increase in both COVID cases and demand for courses, we are offering blended learning for Outdoor First Aid courses. You can see the booking page here. I have been providing Outdoor First Aid or as we call it, Wilderness First Aid for 24 years and have seen significant change in this time in best practice.

My priority is your safety and well being. High Peak First Aid has its own training facility and we are the only ones who use the building. I am quite proud of our efforts on keeping the building clean. You can read more about it here.

Over the last few months I have received many calls and emails from people who need to requalify on their first aid courses. There have been extensions given by the HSE for Emergency First Aid at Work, First Aid at Work, Paediatric First Aid and for FREC (First Response Emergency Care): NOT REC (Rescue and Emergency Care). However, Outdoor First Aid does not get a mention. Some people have a genuine need to get qualified to go to work or lose income; not all sectors are furloughed or receive grants.

I have been providing blended learning for FREC 3 courses for a number of months now and it is working really well. I wanted to extend this to Outdoor First Aid so contacted a number of Governing Bodies and almost all were in agreement. I became quite vocal when one Governing Body presented their rationale (lack of) on blended learning, this led to yet another conversation with the IOL (Institute for Outdoor Learning). The outdoor sector has many stake holders and serves a diverse sector: therefore, it is almost impossible for everyone to agree on how to proceed with blended learning. The IOL issued a statement that in summary says, that as long as your provider meets the IOL requirements, First Aid Awarding Organisations Forum and HSE then blended learning is accpetable under the current COVID restrictions. However, none of these have stated what is the correct split for Outdoor First Aid.

I have spoken at length to the IOL about this. High Peak First Aid meets requirements now and we have opted for a 50/50 split. This would be:

  1. 4hrs on Zoom with a Tutor using short videos (a lot of them are our own made specifically for the outdoor sector), quizzes and discussions.
  2. There will be four hours of learning material on our website portal for you to access before the practical day and over the next three years, with the most up to date guidance on CPR and current best practice available.
  3. I can also prove to anyone that you have met all standards.

On completing the High Peak Wilderness First Aid 16hrs outdoor course, you will have received the theory in the comfort and safety of your own home, spent another 4hrs learning on the portal with our engaging, interactive videos that I have produced and one full day on-site when you can attend. If for any reason you cannot attend due to restrictions we will move you to another date with no financial penalty. It is a great opportunity to get started and demonstrate to an employer you have taken all resaonable measure to be qualified in accordance with HSE guidance. Also, if you need accommodation we have found some places who will take you as you are here for education and work.

So, if we have you attend for half the time, it should be half the price? Firstly, teaching via Zoom is not just a chat and looking at PowerPoint. I have completely revised our presentations to meet the learning outcomes I have sent to the IOL. I make our own interactive videos that gives you the option to pick the outcome for the patient. Our learning portal knows how long you spend on it and monitors your learning. For safety, we cannot have you interacting as much with other participants as we used to so we have a full-body, advanced life support mannequin who speaks when spoken to. In addition to overcome the social distancing, I also installed an immersive classroom on-site so we can put you into any environment where you have to interact with a constantly evolving and dynamic scenario to make up for the lact of interaction with other participants. That all costs a lot of time and expense, coupled with the fact we only take 6 per course to give you more attention and keep you as safe as possible.

We could do the whole course outside. I did that about 15 years ago. In the Summer on a nice day it’s a great experience, but we still lose learning potential. Some people like to take notes, read, see a video, discuss AND do practicals. Luckily our training facility has a wide screen TV and immersive classroom located within private wilderness terrain. Ouside in the winter under a tarpaulin incase it rains: we did that years ago, and not for long as nobody likes the Tutor yelling above the wind on the theory behind asthma or listening to how to use an auto-injector with rain seeping into your jacket or wondering when you can go home as you are so cold (face masks are pretty useless when wet as well). Participants on our outdoor courses attend with good quality clothing but after a couple of hours in the cold, even moving about, start to lose the will to learn. I know because I have asked people.

I am not going to provide a course where you just meet assessment criteria on the day. I want you to meet the assessment criteria and retain it. So much, I put myself through an MSc in Risk Crisis and Disaster managment with a thesis on improving and retaining knowledge in scenario based learning. We are not the cheapest but we are always busy and I have now personally trained over 36,000 people.

COVID is serious, but you know that. I won myself a bout of COVID before Christmas on frontline ambulance work as a student Paramedic – even with the appropriate PPE. I see photos of outdoor courses being provided on the internet and have mixed emotions on people’s interpretations of what is and what is not COVID safe. COVID will not just stop overnight, even with the vaccine and when the warmer weather comes and you need to go back to work, there will be a rush to attend courses as there was last Summer and there will be more spikes of COVID cases.

I believe blended learning is the best current option to keep you in work, keep you as safe as possible and provide the best learning experience. This is a constantly evolving situation so we will look to extend this as long as is needed.

Open for training

New opportunities for learning. Due to local and possible national impending restrictions, we are offering blended learning on our courses for those who cannot or do not want to travel. This is being activated over the next 7 days to coincide with our new website.

The first qualification with this option is First Response Emergency Care (FREC 3). We are approved by Qualsafe to hold theory modules via your PC, combined with two days practical training at our three classrooms in the Peak District.

This interactive and tutor lead experience means you can interact via PC from the comfort of your own home, paying for FREC 3 modules as you go and at a time to suit as we have day, weekend and evening slots available. You can see details of how this works for the FREC 3 here

Further details will be released over the next few days for other first aid and prehospital care qualifications.

Outdoor First Aid 16hrs

Outdoor First Aid Courses are still held 8-10 times a month in the Peak District. There are plenty of scene changes with some lessons held in the immersive classroom, plenty of practical training for the use of haemostats and tourniquets and skill stations outside on the lawn or in the woods. We are managing the COVID-19 situation well by providing face masks for working inside or less than a metre outside. The outdoor first aid lessons are held in a variety of wilderness terrain right on our doorstep so we can still have access to hot soap and water for hand washing.

Course dates can be seen by clicking Outdoor First Aid.

Immersive learning for all First Aid Training

The first week back to full-time first aid training and introducing our immersive classroom. After 23 years of providing first aid training for urban and remote environments it has been amazing to see the results of immersive learning on our participants. The reduced group size due to COVID-19 has meant more time for practical work in and out of the classroom. Rotating through five individual scenarios for Primary Survey, CPR with management of Hypo and Hyperthermia has been incredible as it is possible to put every lesson into context if needed along with group discussions. This is active learnings at it’s best.

About five years ago, I thought an MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management at the University of Leicester seemed like a good idea. It did not cross my mind it would be a mammoth undertaking by distance learning whilst managing a very busy company. I survived: just. I concocted a dissertation that stated, ” Does competency in wilderness first aid training increase by using simulations involving injects and reflective feedback after active and experiential learning?”

The title seemed a good idea at the time until I found that there was only one, yes, only one other piece of literature available after a very extensive search. Staff at The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in the USA had written a paper. I figured they were the first and managed it so I could be the second. It worked, I passed and it wasn’t too shabby as I screamed into the finish line on time.

The immersive classroom though, is the final piece in the jigsaw. After one week of training I am amazed at the results I am having on our first aid courses. I also know that the first week has only scratched the surface of what can be achieved.

The first people to use the immersive classroom were the Wilderness First Aid 16hr courses. The next course will be First Response Emergency Care (FREC3) Having to adapt all first aid training due to COVID-19 was challenging but easily overcome by a combination of immersive classroom and the ability to step straight outside into wilderness terrain when needed.

I have spent a lot on PPE and specialized, sanitation products as safety is first over profit. I am extending this ethos to provide boxes of face masks at cost to participants for themselves and families. This week will also see the introduction of fill your own empty hand sanitizer bottles from our stock at High Peak First Aid, again at cost.

Last but not least, a big thank you to all the people who kept bookings at High Peak First Aid. As a Ltd Company Director I took the decision to not furlough as I could not have worked on the company and kept my customer service available.

I have personally trained over 23,000 people. I think I have it in me for another 23,000!

Twenty two years of first aid and pre-hospital care training

High Peak First Aid is now in their 22nd year of trading thanks to all of our clients. For 2019 we have made a significant investment into our training facility and equipment along with introducing new courses.

One of our key investments has been high fidelity moulage and models for wound packing and tourniquet training.  The treatment of life threatening bleeds is a feature on the High Peak Wilderness First Aid Courses.  The Wilderness First Aid courses are modular and range from 8-24hrs long and are suitable for use in the UK and overseas.  The High Peak Wilderness First Aid Module 1 is UK based and used by support staff on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and for some Governing Body Awards.  Module 1 and 2 or the High Peak Wilderness First Aid 16hr course is an outdoor first aid course for use in the UK and overseas. Module 3 or the High Peak Wilderness First Aid Expedition Leader module can be added at any time or completed as a three day course held once a month at our training facility in the Peak District.

In addition we have an onsite shop with a steadily growing product range including the full range of Celox products.  If you are attending an outdoor first aid course, First Response Emergency Care 3 (FREC 3), or First Response Emergency Care 4 (FREC 4) for example, we have twenty two years of experience to supply you with either a bespoke first aid kit or a full on pre-hospital care bag for use in the UK or in remote areas overseas.