BLS vs CPR/First Aid Classes

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  • This topic has 15 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by winston. This post has been viewed 79 times
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    • #91810

        Looking at various classes from AHA/Red Cross/etc in the civilian market, is there any advantage/disadvantage to taking the BLS calss or the regular non-medical person CPR/First Aid Combo?

        It seems that BLS covers the same things, but will more often than not toss in infants and children (which is a concern for us) on top of adults.

        Any other thoughts for local classes that you can get everywhere without having to go full-on EMT?

      • #91811

          I’ve taken the red cross CPR/first aid class a few times, most recently in 2015. They’ve dumbed it down considerably recently(or maybe I just had a bad instructor, idk). If it were me I would be looking for a TCCC course. Last year I tried to do just that but the closest instructor never replied to my email.

          Anyone attended a course through NAEMT?

        • #91812

            Ok, it looks like you have to be an EMT or some other medical professional or police/fire/mil to attend these?

            Too bad they only want to teach professionals, because only professionals have to deal with gunshots and stab wounds :wacko:

          • #91813
            Ronald Beal

              Generally “BLS” aka “Basic Life Support” is the equivalent of EMT-Basic in many Jurisdictions. It usually includes things such as immobilizing and packaging a patient for transport in an ambulance, Administering Oxygen, Starting I.V.’s etc. In order to Administer 02, or start I.V.’s you have to operate under the license of a medical director, so it isn’t valuable for most people that are not going to work in the EMS field.
              The next step down is “First Responder” which is geard for police, and fire fighters, based on providing first aid in the opening minutes of an emergency before EMT’s and paramedics arrive… This will probably be more useful to the average person, because the stuff taught does not require working under a medical license.

              There are some Firearms instructors that teach the civilian equivalent of CLS/TCCC.
              Hope this helps

            • #91814

                The wife and I have taken Wilderness First aid, its a two day class. If your in with Scouts you can get a good price on it. Basic premise is that help is like 12 hours away. Quite a bit more than the basics. There is also a Wilderness First responder course too which is a week long. CPR/AED card is a pre-req for the class.

                Wilderness Medicine Courses


              • #91815

                  I have taken over the last 30yrs BLS, ACLS, NALS, PALS, every two years. That said, the absolute best BLS class I ever had was taught by the local fire department, hands down, by a wide margin. At the time they were available to civilians as well. That policy varies depending on your area, so check around.

                • #91816
                  Virgil Kane

                    The last Red Cross class I took was shit. I got 4 certs, but the training was shit and that’s what I really went for. My Gradfather (WWII vet) always said the RC was shit after his experience with them. I haven’t seen anything to change that.

                    I also took the BSA wilderness FA. It’s not the same as you get from an outdoor school and it was pretty much shit too.

                  • #91817

                      My dad, WW2 vet, hated the RC. I will not relay the reason, suffice to say they sucked for treatment of folks back then. Another friends’ father, a vet also, relayed story of them trying to charge him for coffee because he was an enlisted man. He was a Marine from the island fighting in the Pacific. He came back with a grenade and threatened to pull the pin. He got his coffee. There are many allegations that they do not spend a significant portion of donations to their directed cause but to overhead, admin etc. No idea about their classes tho.

                    • #91818

                        You might want to checkout Dark Angel Medical

                        Class Description

                        The time to learn to use your personal trauma kit is not when you or someone is bleeding out!!!

                        When life expectancy is measured in seconds and help is minutes away, will you know what to do? Like we always say, “The time chooses you. Will you be ready?”

                        Dark Angel Medical, LLC, is proud to offer training and instruction in the use of the D.A.R.K.

                        Direct Action Response Training** fills a niche between military self-aid/buddy care training and civilian EMS training and is geared towards those with little to no medical training or background. It provides the student with critical, need-to-know information, which can be utilized in a myriad of situations and stresses the ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ principle as well as our own principle of “Simplicity Under Stress”.

                        The course is 2 days in length with a total of 16 hours of classroom work to include slide presentations, videos, question and answer sessions and hands-on practical skills application.

                        D.A.R.T. is approved for 16 hours of continuing education units for Nationally Registered EMT’s and Paramedics. Course number will be printed on certificates. If you require these hours, please enter your National Registry number and certification expiration date in the “Order Notes” section during checkout so that credit will be received.

                        A manual and all training aids will be provided.
                        A D.A.R.K. (Direct Action Response Kit) may also be provided to each student as part of the tuition.

                        ***There are no prerequisites for this class***


                        The course covers the following:
                        Physiological and Psychological reactions to environmental stress

                        The importance of having the proper Combat Mindset
                        Basic Anatomy and Physiology of life-sustaining systems

                        H, A, B, C’s—Hemorrhage, Airway, Breathing and Circulation

                        Breakdown and usage of Individual Med Kit components

                        Proper stowage and employment of the IMK
                        Hands-on application of the IMK

                        Basic and Advanced Airway management -treating and monitoring tension pneumothorax, sucking chest wound and flail chest

                        Airway adjunct device placement-Nasopharyngeal Airway

                        Basic First Aid and Advanced wound care
                        Application of Bandages and Hemostatic Agents
                        Application of tourniquets

                        Recognition and Treatment of various injuries (Gunshot, Laceration, Burn, Airway, Head, Orthopedic, Environmental)

                        Recognition and treatment of hypovolemic (hemorrhagic) shock

                        Moving and positioning victims with various injuries

                        Response to active shooter situation

                        Proper use of cover and cover vs. concealment

                        Casualty recovery in an Active Shooter situation

                        Mass casualty triage procedure by
                        Emergency Medical Dialect/Lingo (911 protocol, cooperation with LE, Fire and EMS and First Responders)

                      • #91819

                          I can second the “Dark Angel” training. It is not cheap, but I believe is worth the price of admission. Class offerings are limited, so finding a suitable location can be a bit challenging.

                          If you can find a place that offer’s CPR/AED training, you should consider attending. This is more of an “everyday” medical knowledge, rather than “prepper” related. If you can find one that uses the “feedback dummies” (adult and infant) your learning curve will accelerate. If it is video only or the talking hands instructor, than a “pass” in in order.

                        • #91820

                            Yup, Dark Angel sounds great. Definately something to save up to send myself and my wife to, thanks for that. I knew of them, but for some reason thought it was for EMTs/cops. Glad to know it’s specifically not.

                            Probably do a basic hands-on CPR/First aid course for us and then when REI does the next wilderness one we can get in on that, unless they have one coming up soon and that will tide us over until Dark Angel comes close and we have the cash.

                          • #91821

                              I’m finishing up an EMT-B course right now, utilizing the AAOS Tenth Edition orange book, and am surprised at how much I didn’t know. This book covers a lot more than just trauma!

                              At this point in my life, becoming a certified EMT is just another arrow in my quiver. I don’t plan on pursuing it as a career, but I’ll keep those skills sharp in case they’re ever needed.

                              Even if you don’t take the course and become certified, I recommend picking up a textbook like it and becoming familiar with the material.

                            • #91822


                                If you can share a link but he doesn’t open you can try another share a link & you should find a professional team I know after some time I suggest an American Red Cross CPR Training you should join a class & get the details either any problem you can ask here.

                              • #91823

                                  I conquer with Wildbill on Dark Angel Medical. I recently took a class with them here in Austin and it was an exhausting couple of days. Lot’s of info was given and we practiced what was preached. The biggest takeaway was how “easy” trauma treatment can be if you follow a basic formula, and of course you have your basic med kit (IFAK). (Yes I know your IFAK is for you, but if you are at the range or driving to/from, then you are a help to someone else.)
                                  While the course was not aimed at TCCC, the info could readily be altered to fit the combat situation.
                                  As to CPR, look into your local volunteer fire departments, they give the greatest CPR/first aid classes. BTW, the Boy Scout WFA class I taught was excellent.Like so much in life, it depends on the instructors to get the material out there in a full and proper manner.

                                • #91824

                                    Basic answer……. depends. What are your goals?? Taking care of minor injuries, thereby staying out of the local ED (Emergency Department)?? Providing life support (BLS, as described above by Ronald Beal) until the FD/EMS arrives?? Providing extended care while camping/hunting/hiking until rescue/extraction can be provided (as described by Trailman)??

                                    ANYTHING dealing with EMS (read as Emergency Medical System) is just a small part of the whole. I.E. EMT-Basic provides basic emergency care (CPR, bleeding control, Oxygen therapy, splinting, etc) until either ALS (Advanced Life Support) arrives or until the patient is delivered to a hospital ED. EMT-Intermediate/Paramedic provides Advanced Life Support (IV fluids, emergency medications, defibrillation, advanced airway protection, etc) until AirMed (HEMS) arrives for transport or until the patient is delivered to a hospital ED.

                                    Wilderness First Aid extends out the length of time in the field but even then the end result is rescue/extraction to a hospital ED.

                                    Considering above……the following is my recommendation for EVERYONE (1 and 2)

                                    1. CPR (American Heart Association) – recognizing heart attack or stroke. This course also includes rescue breathing, choking, and recovery position (Ask the Russians how important this one bit of care is, reference the Moscow Theater hostage situation, 2002). This is placed first due to getting this wrong leads to death or permanent disability.

                                    2. Basic First Aid – recognizing cold/heat/environmental emergencies, basic splinting, childbirth, etc. Often includes CPR/AED. This can be anything from a 1-day class (American Red Cross, American Heart Association, etc) all the way up to state licensure such as, in TX at least, Emergency Care Attendant or Emergency Medical Responder program (40-65 hours), found here Medical Response (EMR)

                                    3. EMT-B includes ambulance time and being inside the ED. This jump is in the 400-hour range. While a good basis, most everything here is under the assumption you’re part of a much larger system, i.e. hospital.

                                    3a. Wilderness First Aid/EMT – this can be done in place of EMT-B, if you’re wanting to understand how to work with a patient for extended time period, i.e. days instead of hours.

                                    Then there are the stand-alone classes, i.e. Dark Angel (discussed above).

                                    The next question is MOST important…..HOW are you going to stay current?? If you’re looking at this, I’d encourage you to take a CERT (Civilian/Citizen Emergency Response Team) class, usually put on by your local FD/EMS/Police. Without steady practice, these skills will degrade over time. Besides, you will then have an inside pulse of what is happening in your community.

                                    And finally, to answer your question, BLS (Basic Life Support) is the same concept as CPR/First Aid…….

                                    So the basic answer is….depends on what you perceive your needs to be….

                                  • #91825

                                      Good timing on bringing this back up. All my certs (including EMT-B) have now lapsed…but I still have some of the knowledge and coursework. I ran Vol Fire EMS in the 2012-14 timeframe but it was too much with a new job and “family issues.” Besides, the ALS teams kept us BLS volunteers off the “real/ cases anyway. Got to run elderly to the hospital for two years. We were Diesel Therapy and the blood cleanup crew after the ALS EMTs left. :negative:
                                      Anyway, looking to get back in the TCCC game and might try the Dark Angle class if there one nearby.

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