Week 7 saw us out of the classroom and back at Rue Mangy scout hut in Guernsey. The first three days would consist of our First Aid course followed by a day of Coasteering on Thursday, followed by our search practical’s on Friday.
Monday and Tuesday started bright and early and while these more practical lessons are slightly more relaxed, we all understand the seriousness that surrounds a subject such as first aid.
The lesson began with our tutors telling us of our role as police officers in regards to giving first aid and that more likely than not nearly all of us will have to use what we were about to be taught at some point in the future. We were then given a small ST Johns ambulance box which contained a first aid manual, a small bandage and some rubber gloves, all of which we would need over the past few days. As the day went on we all took turns to apply bandages to one another and were taught how to apply pressure to various types of wounds. We then went on to learn about CPR which we would be practicing on a small prosthetic body known as ‘rescue Annie’.
Whilst giving CPR many of us were told that we were not pressing hard enough, we also were given “face shields” a piece of plastic with a one way breathing vent that enabled us to breath into a person’s lungs safely. We continued doing this exercise in pairs for two minutes each, we found that giving CPR for only two minuets was quite strenuous and we were reminded that we could be doing it for up to half an hour in the field. We also covered a variety of subjects including choking and heart attacks.
Wednesday the morning started with our tutors telling us of some personal experiences they had, had over the years, once again reminding us of what we may have to deal with over the next few years. We were also treated to a selection of various slides to show us some real life examples of what we had been studying, fortunate none of had weak stomachs, especially as it was straight after breakfast!
The next stage of the day had us pairing up and using our newly learnt skills in various role plays acted out by serving Guernsey police officers. One of these role plays had two officers splitting up a man and a woman fighting in a car park ad having to administer first aid but not before persuading the role player to put down a knife she was holding (no role players were injured during training... but if they were they would have been in the right place.)
Thursday found us starting our day in the woods for a morning of team building we were told before the get go that if we weren’t close as a group we would be afterwards.
We were split into groups and given challenges to do one of which involved crossing some improvised white water rapids (some imagination required) using only two planks of wood that had two be touching a wooden board (rock) at all times, while one group chose to send each other across individually the other group all huddled on one plank at a time and In some cases had to hug onto each other to stop from falling off. In the end the second team not only won but crossed back again before the other team had even finished!
The second part of the day had the team Coasteering. This consists of navigating around the coast of the island climbing, swimming, and squeezing through three holes and jumping (gulp) off of a cliff into the water below! For some this day was something they had been looking forward to but for others, myself included, it was something they would normally avoid. But after the afternoon was over we had all overcome fears, picked up scrapes and bruises and inhaled some of the English Channel, but in doing so had all seemed to have had a great time.
Friday had us back at the scout hut to learn more about searching. We started by all searching a room of a cottage for certain items including a gun, mobile phone, knife and in the case of the group searching the kitchen a tomato under the cooker that had been around longer than most of us. By the end of the day we had searched a car, a house and a whole field in a line on our hands and knees. By the end of the day we all came to realise how important and painstaking searching can be.
By the end of week seven we were all a little closer as a team, all a little more tired and all a lot more knowledgeable about what we are here to do.