Everyone should be at least somewhat prepared for various emergency situations. Crap tends to hit the fan when we least expect it so having a steady base of skills that can save you or someone else in an emergency situation is always useful.
Calling 9-1-1 and getting a professional to help is the logical first choice but having knowledge on what to do until they arrive could be vital to someone's well-being. So the FT Blog team wanted to take a deep dive into some of the ideal skills and knowledge one should have:
- Rescuing A Drowning Victim
We all have that one friend who thinks they are Michael Phelps but look more like this when they jump in. Many drowning rescues can be avoided with a skilled swimmer watching over the lesser swimmers. (Looking good Hasselhoff). However, a scantly clad lifeguard is not always available so having the right safety items is something that can very easily be purchase in case of emergency. Safety rings, life jackets, and even pool-cleaning brushes are all ideal tools to save a drowning victim.
Swimming rescues are always the most dangerous as both the victim's and your own safety become compromised. The initial thought to dive in can be dangerous (especially in open water) so taking a second to asses the surroundings is vital. Disregard the stereotypical Hollywood-hero who dives in (after taking off their shirt of course) sans floating device; diving in with an aid is highly recommended as the victim will likely be thrashing and anything from a safety ring to an extra shirt can come in handy to give the victim to hold. Once reaching the victim the most important part will be getting them to calm down. After achieving that, hook your arms under the victims and tow them back to safety.
- Performing CPR
CPR is something everyone from children with younger siblings to grandparents and everyone in between should know. CPR is openly taught at firehouses, police stations, and EMT facilities throughout the nation and should be taken by everyone. For a CPR class near you visit the American Red Cross website.
- Treating bleeding
There are different forms of bleeding.
The first is capillary bleeding (the kind your parents tell you to 'rub dirt' in) which is easily treated by cleaning the cut, applying pressure with a clean cloth, and wrapping.
Secondly is venous bleeding (UFC style) which will feature a darker red of blood but will still slowly flow and not gush. Cleaning the wound and applying firm pressure until able to receive medical attention is recommended.
Finally there is arterial bleeding (Walking Dead style) which is the most dangerous and will find a fast/gushing flow of blood that will spurt in large doses. Severe pressure is recommended and in the bleakest of emergency cases tourniquets are used here.
- Delivering a baby
You should've read the baby books. Delivering a baby tends to happen only in the most extreme situations (traffic on the way to a hospital) but after calling 9-1-1 there are a few steps one can take to help deliver a baby. Once getting the mother into position remind her to breathe and push with the contractions. From there place your hands under the babies head as it starts to show. Do not pull, gently guide the baby as it progresses. After birthed gently push down on the babies nose to help release some of the birthing fluids. Do not cut the cord, place the baby on the mother's chest and have her sit up to help with the draining of mucus from the babies nose.
Moving someone heavier than you
Firstly, a person who may have a head, neck, or back injury should not be moved unless completely necessary. However lifting someone to safety in other situations is something firefighters truly excel at. The traditional "fireman's" carry is the ideal way to lift someone if you have the strength to do so. However dragging someone by their shoulders is ideal for people who will have trouble lifting a heavier person. Simply bend over and grab the clothing under the person's shoulders, supporting their head with your arm, and begin dragging. This allows you to "lift with your legs" and build the momentum needed to move the heavier person.
Have a skill you think everyone should know? Keep the conversation going by emailing Editor@firsttactical.com with your ideas.