As the class began I noticed the instructor had a unique way of speaking. He would begin speaking about a topic, burns for example and start telling us the steps we should take and then, abruptly stop. He would sometimes stop and look quite blankly at us (think Jim from Taxi). Other times he would look over at the television which was on a blue screen waiting for him to press play, which by the way he never did. After he stared for a bit at the tv, most of us started looking over at the tv too, as if expecting something to happen. No matter how many times he did this, we never failed to follow his gaze to the tv and not once did it do anything. He would also stop and just look down at the floor. Most of these pauses were followed up with an emphatic "check, call, care" from the instructor. He repeated "check call care" after every other sentence. "Do no harm" was his other mantra. If he didn't follow up a long pause with "check call care" it was "do no harm" He was once was an EMT and he also seemed to happen upon an inordinate amount of injured people. We listened to a lot of stories about his experiences. One of my favorites was the time he was at a baseball game and he saved someone's severed finger by tossing it into his cooler. He was like the McGyver of First Aid and used duct tape for everything; splints, neck injuries and even a gurney. He also detailed exactly how to preform CPR using plastic bags and tshirts if you don't have gloves and a face shield. He did not seem to appreciate questions. He either gave that Jim from Taxi stare or reminded us yet again to "check call care" regardless of what the question was. One woman asked if he would go over splinting an arm and making a sling and he told her "if you want to know how to do that sign up for the wilderness course. Just check call care and before you know it EMS will have arrived. DO NO HARM." I actually began to wonder if perhaps he had hidden the real instructor in the closet and was just some nutjob from the street.
I started jotting down some of his advice and comments because I knew I'd never remember them later (damn you, senility!) and they are jewels of hilarity.
- Children are like big people, but smaller.
- This is WAY too complicated...just check call care and wait for EMS.
- There is nothing YOU can do about a neck injury...check call care and do no harm.
- The only thing to take away from all that (chapter on heat stroke and heat exhaustion) is drink liquids like there's no tomorrow and if you stop sweating...start worrying.
- Let's go over a few things because there are some important things in here (said during the last 10 minutes of class in preparation for the big test).
- there usually isn't clean cloths whenever the body parts start falling off
- Not much you can say about poisoning...don't let your kids drink crap.
So I apologize to anyone who may need first aid and gets stuck with me. I can make a hell of a gurney out of duct tape and plastic drinking straws but I won't be able to do much else for you.