AR15.Com Archives
 Training Priorities. Basic First Aid and Swimming.
ffsparky26  [Team Member]
8/18/2007 8:16:11 PM
Just an observation.


We have a guy in our training group that is an awesome shot, he always scores in the top 5 when he shoots IDPA. He is a kick ass rifle shot too. He takes lots of courses on shooting. He lives a lifestyle dedicated to the survival mindset.

He also loves to fish. He will go out and fish on his boat.

There is one problem he can't swim. One time he fell out of the boat without a life jacket on and almost drowned. And he had never had any first aid training.


So everyone needs to learn to swim, float and tread water. The Earth is 80% water, you are more likely to drowned than to need to shoot. All the fancy shooting won't save your ass when you drowned.

And everyone needs to learn basic first aid and first aid for the sort of trauma associated with a violent criminal encounter. It's great you killed the bad guy but if you or your loved one bleeds out while EMS is waiting for the PD to clear the scene it doesn't matter.

Make sure you cover all your bases on your training and prioritize. Swimming lessons and first aid can be had from the Red Cross and YMCA. You can get training on major trauma from a lot of the shooting trainers give courses on that. Save the advanced rifle course for next year, learn to treat you and your loved ones for major trauma, you may use those skills if you are in a bad car wreck.
ffsparky26  [Team Member]
9/9/2007 11:00:34 PM
No one likes to hear this I guess.
BoldAndDetermined  [Member]
9/9/2007 11:50:08 PM
True, if you don't know how to swim go to the damn YMCA. Most local JCs offer EMT classes, I just signed up for one, $55 (11 dollars a unit) + books and materials, which will probably be at least twice as much.
SlimHazy  [Team Member]
9/10/2007 12:06:19 AM
I'm always amazed at how many Sailors and Marines can't swim. Sure they passed the test, but that's not that hard. I swim a mile at lunch 1-2 times a week and in a year of doing it only one guy has tagged along. Not that you need to go that far, but being able to swim a few hundred yards or tread water for 15 minutes would be a start.

Not to say that poor swimmers are all dirtbags or anything like that. Once during a shipboard Damage Control drill I observed one of my Sailors doing a text-book perfect emergency repair of a simulated hull breach. I complimented him on it, and he told me he couldn't swim. I must've looked puzzled, and he told me, "Sir, if we ever take a hit like that for real, I have the rest of my life to fix it!"
ktrout01  [Team Member]
10/7/2007 9:10:53 PM
In my shop I think that I'm the only one who has ANY first aid training. I'm current with advanced life saving. I work in an industrial environment/engineering plant and the risk of serious injury is always there. We have the required/useless OSHA first aid kits but I keep my own field kit on my tool cart and most of the guys know that it's there. I've already used some steri-strips out of it for one guys hand and some OTC meds for minor stuff.

As far as the swimming issue, I noticed that while I was on active duty. Lots of guys aboard ship passed the test in boot camp but that was about all. They'd sink like rocks if we ever had to get wet.
Backstop  [Life Member]
10/7/2007 9:14:07 PM

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
No one likes to hear this I guess.


Your avatar scares me.



Basic first aid is not that hard, and can be taught/learned in a day or so.

ABCs baby.

JAV6  [Member]
10/9/2007 11:22:33 PM
Second that on the Avatar!
First Aid and swimming ARE just as important as shooting if not more so!
OEF_VET  [Dealer]
10/18/2007 2:47:23 AM
I have to agree, first aid/CPR training and swimming are easily as important as shooting. Even if you never get in a gun fight, you could easily find yourself at an accident scene, or have a family member injured at home, or maybe somebody has a negligent discharge at the range.

That's why I keep a decently stocked first aid kit in my car and my range bag, including Quik-Clot in the range bag.
SlimHazy  [Team Member]
10/18/2007 8:30:22 PM

Originally Posted By OEF_VET:
That's why I keep a decently stocked firat aid kit in my car and my range bag, including Quik-Clot in the range bag.
You're probably familiar with the requirement to post pics of a new gun; the lesser know corollary is that mentions of a FAK requires a listing of the contents. Out with it!
OEF_VET  [Dealer]
10/19/2007 4:50:58 AM
I'm not a high-speed, low-drag medic, so it's not really anything special. The FAK has the basics: bandages, dressings, medical tape, pain killers (aspirin / ibuprofin), alcohol pads, antiseptic wipes, Army-issue field dressings, insect sting stuff, tweezers, bandage shears, Quik-clot, assorted other OTC meds, emergency blanket, survival water packet, etc.. Like I said, nothing super special, but it gives me the ability to dress most wounds and treat many common complaints.

In the Army, I took the Combat Lifesaver's Course, so I've had a bit of training, as well as Red Cross CPR / AED classes. So, I feel confident I can apply basic first aid. To me, that means open the airway, control bleeding, keep the patient concious and mitigate the effects of shock until the trained professionals arrive on scene. I'm not there to perform emergency tracheotomies. I know my limitations, and I'm not about to attempt a medical procedure beyond the scope of my training or qualifications. I don't need to get sued for doing the wrong thing.
CAsoldier  [Member]
10/20/2007 11:17:04 AM
true some focus on the big sexy fun aspects of training and forget the mundane stuff. falling into water with your gear on and not knowing how to ditch it and swim will kill you just as dead as a bullet and 2K$ worth of gear wont save you. the more medical and similar training the better!

PS for medical if its not for trauma its just wasting space, a splinter wont kill you
OEF_VET  [Dealer]
10/20/2007 12:12:21 PM

Originally Posted By CAsoldier:

PS for medical if its not for trauma its just wasting space, a splinter wont kill you


True, but listening to the girlfriend bitch about a splinter can be bad enough to make a man wish he were dead.
tweeter  [Team Member]
10/21/2007 7:04:25 AM

Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
True, some focus on the big sexy fun aspects of training and forget the mundane stuff. Falling into water with your gear on and not knowing how to ditch it and swim will kill you just as dead as a bullet and 2K$ worth of gear wont save you (if you're wearing it... it will kill you instead). the more medical and similar training the better!

PS for medical if its not for trauma its just wasting space, a splinter wont kill you


My training priorities are... any situation you can come up with in these 3 categories:

Physical Training - This includes swimming, which I suck at... and hate.
Shooting - I use a lot of very basic drills and throw in some colorful ones to keep my head sharp.
First Aid/Buddy Aid - Again, any situation I can come up with. Ever try to move a casualty while you have to shoot? When do you stop focusing on the casualty and start shooting? I agree with your rule "stick to trauma" Leave that band-aids-for-kids scenario for the CA (civil affairs) doc.
Vehicle Operations - Did I say any situation I can come up with? Every try to jump-start a 12-volt system with a 24-volt system?

You need to stay focused on what your basic tasks are, your resources and your environment.
Master the basics and remember that it's OK to make mistakes as long as you're learning from them and making a real effort to not repeat them.
Aimless  [Site Staff]
10/21/2007 7:06:44 AM

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
No one likes to hear this I guess.


Or we all know how to swim
LawDog205  [Member]
10/26/2007 4:09:02 PM
Medical is a topic that most don't talk about for the simple fact that they are so used to seeing or getting EMS attention so quickly, they never think about personnal traning.

I believe that being well rounded will only prove to be benficial should any problems arise. I joined our Volunteer Fire Dept. before I turned 18... quite a while back. Well it finally paid off ..in dividends..they paid for my EMT school.

Just another tool in the box right...I agree that Trauma (at a minimum)should be studied by anyone who thinks they will go into, or end up in harms way.

If nothing else, ask your local EMS director if you can do any ride time...volunteer. You could pick up some usefull tips.

As far as swimming.....that sucks...I can swim, but limited...Guess I know were I need to practice
hispeedal2  [Team Member]
6/11/2008 11:01:32 AM
Swimming is a requirement in officer training programs as well. I was shocked at the amount of cadets that had trouble with swimming. Some cannot face the fear and give up on becoming an officer. Some face it and learn enough to save their own life (really all that is required). I grew up on lakes and rivers and swimming was something that you learned. Wasn't really a second thought. It's probably the single most valuable skill that you can teach your kids. Not just swimming but, calmness in the water.

ETA: Most gear floats, even USGI IBA loaded with plates, ammo, commo, food, and water- don't ask me how I know
If you aren't sure how your gear will act-bouyancy wise- try it. In the most extreme scenarios that I can think of you may be required to stay in your gear for an extended period of time on the move and it may require the crossing of streams. METT-TC- never forget time- you may not be able to make a one rope bridge, poncho raft, or other field-crafty way of crossing.
echofivekilo  [Member]
6/24/2008 9:18:20 PM
Good point about the swimming, I consider myself a pretty strong swimmer and yet, I almost drowned once. People watching were unable (unwilling?) to help. So, yeah, swimming is something to take seriously.
Medical is a good point as well, I got all the basic first aid training in the .mil and our corpsman would always take time to show us how to do stuff. However, its been a while and I really need a good refresher/update on all my medical knowledge.
R0N  [Member]
12/26/2008 9:08:12 AM
It is kind of screwed up but swimming qualification was a major hold up for sending allot of Marine replacements to AFG. Since most senior individual augments swimming qual had expired, they had to be requaled prior to deployment. Because there is more than just jumping in a pool and swimming it sometimes that can take weeks.