REC For Paddlers Testimonial

The course, run over 3 days at Plas Y Brenin, was delivered by Loel Collins and Leo Hoare. Rescue and Emergency Care are known mainly for their mountaineering and industrial applications and this was the first ever REC course to have a paddle /water sports bias.

Their philosophy is to be as practical as possible, with an emphasis on function rather than form. So, no more being told off because your bandaging isn't neat! Let's face it, when you have hauled someone out of the water onto a steep, muddy bank or a heavy beach dump, who would be able to manage pristine bandaging?

The course ran at a pace that suited most paddlers, with plenty of coffee breaks interrupted by short classroom sessions dealing with essential skills, followed by practical sessions on, in or beside the water looking at how a wet, windy, cold and often noisy environment focuses the attention onto what is really important, i.e. solid, simple protocols. Identifying the type of fracture is not important. What is essential is to recognise that it hurts, doesn't work properly and needs to be made as comfortable as possible until the cavalry arrives. The course was structured to present lots of scenario-based first aid situations that dealt with common canoeing injuries, from shoulder injuries to drowning and multiple casualties to spinal management.

The build up to the last day was progressive and procedures were revisited throughout the course until they became automatic reactions. The last session was a real eye- opener in demonstrating how effective you can be out on the water with an absolute minimum of kit and fuss.

This was a brilliant course and I would recommend it to all paddlers and coaches. I might now be more effective at saving a life, but better still there are now people out there who might be more effective at saving mine!

Many thanks to the staff at Plas y Brenin, especially Loel Collins and Leo Hoare.

Dave Luke
Level 5 Coach