Emergency First Response

Emergency First Responder (EFR) course

Emergency First Response
Emergency First Response

I recently completed my EFR course in preparation for doing the Rescue Diver course (it’s a prerequisite).

I’ve done a first aid course before – it was a nightmare of hand-scrawled notes, sub-zero winter weather in a draughty classroom, and kneeling on a grubby floor faking CPR on a grimy dummy – but I really enjoyed this one. It made me feel important! Partly because I was given permission to tap non-responsive people on the shoulder and call out “Hello? Hello?” (there are times when I want to do this that aren’t medical emergencies…), and partly being able to announce “I am an Emergency First Responder. May I help you?”

The handbook is very well laid out, and will be excellent to refresh with in the future. I found the DVD pretty hilarious, with several fake accident situations played out by very serious American actors… But it gets the message across and makes it clear what needs to be done, and when.

The course content is extremely simple, and deliberately so. You don’t learn about the chambers of the heart, and which direction the blood flows. You don’t learn what happens inside your body when you go into shock – just what it looks like from the outside.

You learn a series of procedures, and rubrics to help you decide when to use them. The result is confidence – I am quite content with the idea that I know what to do, and when, even if I am not totally clued up on the biomechanics of what’s going on underneath my hands. This is how the EFR course differs from the first aid course I did (in my capacity as Health and Safety Representative at my previous job… sucker!), and I appreciate it.

I’m starting the Rescue course soon, on my way to Divemaster… Will keep you posted.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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