This is a guest post brought to you by LGC California Chapter member Craig Yeager. Craig is certified as an EMT, a Bleeding Control Instructor, and will be commencing an accelerated Nursing program in June 2018.
Given the positive responses to the bleeding control courses that have been offered to Bay Area members the last few weeks, I wanted to take a chance to mention possible training opportunities you can pursue to become a more prepared member of the LGC and your local communities. This list will focus on first aid skills, disaster response, and individual preparedness.
First Aid Training
Bleeding Control – https://www.bleedingcontrol.org/
I highly recommend choosing the appropriate level of first aid training for what you might encounter. As an LGC member I encourage you to find a bleeding control course, in which you will learn how to deal with severe bleeding and how to use a tourniquet. This can be an invaluable skill in the case of an accident on the range or elsewhere.
CPR/AED/First Aid – American Heart Association / Red Cross
CPR/AED/First Aid training is also a valuable skill to learn and maintain for any kind of setting. The American Heart Association and The American Red Cross are both suitable providers for certification.
Wilderness First Aid / First Responder – NOLS
If you would like to expand on CPR/First Aid training, Wilderness First Aid is a great course to take, especially for those who hunt or go backpacking. You will learn how to improvise splints and bandages, deal with exposure to the elements, and lots of other useful skills. National Outdoor Leadership School provides a curriculum and training opportunities throughout the country, and the courses are often are taught at outdoor supply retailer locations. Another great resource is local community colleges, as they can provide affordable learning opportunities. Here in the Bay Area, we can recommend the course offered by Peak Skills LLC.
A step above WFA is Wilderness First Responder. This is a longer 80-hour course that covers many Basic Life Support skills. It can be taken through NOLS or through community colleges. You can also become certified as an Emergency Medical Responder, which includes much of the medical training of Wilderness first responders, and then add in a WFA course on top of that.
Disaster Response and Community Support
Community Emergency Response Team – CERT
CERT trainings are usually taught by local fire and law enforcement agencies. You will learn the basics of what to do in a major disaster, how to respond and support your community, how to triage a mass casualty incident, and how to assist with stabilizing different environments. Contact your local emergency response agencies to find opportunities to be engaged in your community’s safety.
Amateur/HAM Radio – ARES/RACES
Becoming an amateur radio operator, or HAM operator is a highly valuable skill. Many communities have local ARES/RACES groups, where you can learn how to operate a radio, use effective communication, and assist in disaster situations.
Coursera Online Course – Disaster Preparedness
If you enjoy learning how to be more prepared for yourself and your family, I highly recommend this online course offered for free through Coursera. It covers considerations of how to be prepared for disasters, how to look at potential threats in your community, and how to take care of yourself and your family in a disaster. It’s free and open to join anytime!
FEMA courses – FEMA ISP Courses
For expanding your knowledge of how an agency operates, FEMA offers free online courses for hundreds of certifications. I highly recommend any courses relating to the Incident Command System. The material can be a little tedious and repetitive, but it’s very informative!
Community College Courses
Make sure to check out any community college offerings in your area. A college with fire protection, EMT, or law enforcement courses often have classes where you can learn interesting and challenging skills related to disaster preparedness and emergency response.
None of these courses are required to be a member of LGC, but I highly recommend pursuing them if you’re interested in being a more prepared gun owner and a contributing member of your community. Learning new skills and getting involved with community activities in your area can do a lot to help present the Liberal Gun Club in a positive light!