MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Japan is riddled with mountains to hike, rivers to raft and places to explore for those with an adventurous itch for the outdoors, but with that itch comes responsibility.
Outdoor recreation aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, hosted the American Red Cross’ Wilderness and Remote First Aid Course inside IronWorks Gym, March 15-16, for station residents who feel the draw of the wild.
“It’s a great tool,” said Tasha Friedell, outdoor recreation manager. “A lot of people here are so outdoorsy and adventurous and when they go on their outings, it’s important for them to know first aid and how to modify what they have with them to use as a first aid tool, rather than bringing stretchers and splints.”
The first aid course teaches the basic, essential steps and procedures when caring for emergencies in the wilderness.
“I think what I learned in this course is basic knowledge everyone should have,” said Brenda Brown, a fitness instructor with IronWorks Gym. “I’ve been an emergency medical technician for a while, and there were a lot of things I learned in this class that I didn’t even think about before.”
Brown said the most interesting thing she learned was how versatile common items are when it comes to first aid.
“This class gets them thinking outside of the box,” said Friedell. “You can use a water bottle to make a splint or a sleeping mat for a hypothermia wrap.”
Marines receive first aid classes in recruit training but, according to Friedell, this course is more in depth.
“This course creates more realistic situations that Marines are more likely to encounter in the field or on a deployment,” explained Friedell. “The training they originally get is a really basic form of first aid.”
The first aid course is offered in the spring and fall to station residents 14 years of age and older. Attending the course requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator certifications which are offered monthly by the American Red Cross aboard station.
“Since we don’t offer the course that often, we are flexible for those who haven’t had the chance to get CPR/AED certified, but want to take the class,” said Friedell. “A person can take the course, but won’t get the certification until I see their CPR/AED certification.”
For more information about the first aid course call Outdoor Recreation at 253-3842.