Thursday, February 25, 2021

Preparing for the Unthinkable, Part 1- Until Help Arrives Training

Last week Shira and I took Arlington County's Until Help Arrives (UHA) training. This is one of the County's strategies for preparing for mass casualty events, like shootings, terrorist attacks and other unthinkable events.

UHA focuses both on mindset and skills. The skills are designed to deal with a handful of medical conditions that meet two essential criteria: they're deadly and they can be easily treated. This all took place over Zoom, though I assume we'll follow-up with in-person training in the future.

I recommend the course, and think it compliments CPR and other first aid training well. It gives you specific skills you can use in a crisis without information overload.

If you're on the fence as to whether this training is for you, or you're not in Arlington County, I'd suggest watching the prerequisite video. This isn't a replacement for the class, but does provide a significant amount course material and is well done. I've embedded the video below.

Another resource to check out is the Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Guidelines for Active Bystanders. UHA is based on these guidelines. You could assume, like I did, that a document with such a verbose name would be a dense and complex read. You'd be wrong. The TECC Active Bystander Guidelines is essentially a 3 page, bulleted list of what a non-trained individual can do to help in a mass casulty event. It's quite accessible.

Whenever I attend training like this, I try to take action afterwards to cement my learning. I'm currently listening to the book, Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley that they recommend during the session. I've updated my First Aid Cheatsheet to include the TECC recommendations. Heck, I'm publishing this blog post. However, the main action I've undertaken is to organize a trauma kit. That's the subject of part 2 of this series; stay tuned.

Update: your wait over. Check out the trauma kit post.

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