Firstly thanks to Tony and Matt for organizing this and giving me and several others the opportunity to be expertly instructed in the finer points of bushcraft and rescue related first aid by the Forest Knights team.
Wayne, the chief instructor, provided a superb woodland location as the base for the course. The natural flora and fauna really surprised me in its abundance and variety.
The course catered for both the complete beginners like myself and other more experienced first aiders who had previously been expedition leaders themselves.
How Wayne managed to get me past that first cry for help in the woods still perplexes me now, even as I write this.
That first cry resulted in a frantic scramble through the undergrowth until I stood ashen faced and stricken with fear, repeating to myself over and over that it was not a real situation but it didn't work, at the prostrate body of the casualty whilst more experienced team members treated the situation with the care and skill that Wayne was going to attempt to teach us all.
I had learned a heck of a lot within the first few hours.
From that very first staged situation Wayne continued over the next four days to saturate us all with every conceivable aspect of accident and injury management theory and then reinforce the theory with hours and hours of hands on instruction until each new technique and reaction process was mastered by everyone. The group covered burns and soft tissue injuries to broken necks and backs, emergency stretcher construction and even helicopter evacuation, phew what a journey. It has to be said that Wayne has a calm and reassuring style, it's suited to instruction, no matter how many times he was sidetracked by the jokes and laughter he always managed to get us expediently back on track and into the learning zone.
By the end of the course the group carried out a twelve man man search and rescue operation for five casualties at night in thick dense undergrowth, where the casualties with broken back , legs, knees and severe abdominal injuries were quickly found, treated and evacuated to safety.
If you ever get the opportunity to get on one the Forest Knights courses then take it with both hands, you will not be disappointed.
If you are particularly fortunate, then you will also get to know a fantastic group of people and have a good laugh along the journey.
Thanks to Aaron, Adrian,Geoff, Jamie, Matt, Matt, Peter, Rob, Sam, Sam, Sian, Tony, and of course Wayne for a memorable experience, A special thank you to Wayne for getting me from that panic stricken novice to the position of team leader when there were so many other talented people around. Cheers Wayne.
Last edited by Barney; 30-05-2009 at 22:50.
AH..... The Great Outdoors......Its for everyone you know, even those who want to stay indoors and look at it through the window.