Our Scouts care about others, and have many opportunities to be of service to their greater community. We also encourage our Scouts to achieve true proficiency in first aid, a skill they will need lifelong, and a skill they can use to help others around them. Our Scout Programs contribute to the development of “whole people,” by helping our Scouts be self-sufficient and helpful to those around them at all times.
First Aid in our Scout Programs
Our Scouts acquire true proficiency in first aid. Once our Scouts think they have the necessary skills, they demonstrate them in front of their fellow Scouts. Their fellow Scouts have these skills themselves, and are the best judges of proficiency since they have been in the same position, demonstrating their skills for other Scouts.
After true proficiency in first aid has been achieved, our Scouts must continue to prove they still are proficient. Periodically Scouts are asked to demonstrate the skills for their fellow Scouts again.
We issue a card to our Scouts to show they have achieved true proficiency. If our Scouts fail to demonstrate they still have true proficiency, one of the corners is immediately cut off. They have two more chances to demonstrate they are still proficient. If they cannot demonstrate they still retain the skills after three attempts, they lose the card, but of course get the opportunity to earn it again. The reason for this because when our Scouts say they are truly proficient, then they must be. In the case of an emergency, it is less important that our Scouts have a card saying they are proficient in first aid, than actually being able to perform the skills. In other programs, it is possible for youth to earn an award and then forget everything they knew! Proficiency takes practice and when our Scouts proudly say they are truly proficient in first aid, they mean what they say.
What a Community First Responder Is
Community First Responders are Scouts, aged 14 and up, who are highly trained in first aid. They train with professionals to acquire advanced skill levels. These Scouts have the knowledge and resourcefulness to act first in their communities, when someone is ill or injured, until the paramedics arrive. While our Scouts may not have skills as great as a paramedic, we expect our Community First Responders to be close. They act in a semi-professional capacity, similar in nature to volunteers EMT’s and firefighters. Scouts can participate as much as they want. A Scout who wants to become a paramedic may spend much time doing it, while a Scout who simply wants to be able to help out when needed may spend less time. Scouts will have an “on-call” schedule for time when they must available to respond to an emergency.
An injured person faces obstacles to getting immediate care: they must be able to get to phone, call 911, the call must go through, they must be able to tell the operator where they are, and then they must wait for help to get there. Immediate help can be the difference between life and death in instances such as choking or a heart attack. Community First Responders step in to help during the time between when paramedics have been called and when they arrive. Community First Responders can administer CPR, rescue breathing, and many are trained to use mobile defibrillators. Naturally, Community First Responders need to be known in the community and have permission to enter homes under the circumstances of a medical emergency.
The Place of the Community First Responder
There was a time when cities did not necessary have paramedics or police who could come quickly. Neighbors helped each other and many chose to acquire knowledge so they could be of service to their communities. Even today, volunteer firefighters and EMT’s exist and offer superior care for those in need. Our Community First Responders are similar in that they are highly trained and can be of invaluable service to their communities as semi-professionals until professionals arrive on the scene.