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!