Need a splint? Boy Scouts to the rescue

Michael Van Cassell

Copyright, November 15, 2009

Used with Permission
Troop 101 Home Page
CHEYENNE - If the legal age for driving an ambulance was sliced in half, American Medical Response's Cindy Osborne could have cherry picked a few hires from a first-aid training session Saturday.

About 50 Boy Scouts gathered at Freedom Elementary for a First Aid Rodeo competition Saturday morning to work toward earning badges.

It was the second straight year the event was held and ended with a mad lunchtime-rush toward the pizza line in the school's multi-purpose room.

Boys ages 10 to 17 practiced splinting broken legs and checking vital signs of volunteer patients painted with makeup to make injuries seem more realistic.

Bob Bolton, who is involved with the Scouts and helped coordinate the event, said Saturday's training was part of a competition but indicated that was not the main point.

"The value is they get exposed to first-aid scenarios," he said.

And while it's a good idea for everyone to know first aid, Boy Scouts could be confronted with an injury in a wilderness situation, far away from a hospital and ambulance service.

"It's traditional with the Scouts and if something happens, they can respond," Bolton said.

Troop 101 Boy Scouts Adam Wales, 16, a student at Cheyenne's East High, and Sean Webb, 13, a student at Cheyenne's Carey Junior High, both want to enter the medical profession some day.

Going into the training, Wales and Webb had a "decent idea" of how first aid works, they said.

Saturday's training improved their knowledge and helped ready them for a real-life event.

They learned important time management skills, Wales said, and how to entirely check over a patient.

"Time kills," Webb said.

For Wales, preparation is the key for first-aid situations.

"Our Scout master likes to say: 'You'll never rise to an occasion, you'll fall back to your highest level of training,'" Wales said.

Osborne, administrative supervisor with AMR, said it has been interesting over the past two years to watch some of the scouts grow.

AMR, along with the Bare Bones Conference, organized the training.

Scouts went through three scenarios, including medical first aid, trauma and a combination of the two, she said. The training follows guidelines for emergency medical technician and paramedic testing.

Each troop brought its own first-aid kit -- a varied assortment of items that included poles for makeshift wilderness stretchers.

As for finding a few recruits in the group, Osborne seemed serious -- at least some day.

"These guys are our future," she said.