“Because when we get into combat, the only person you can trust is yourself, and the fellow next to you.”
That’s what Bill Guarnere said when he was on the Samaria bound to England…or, at least, that’s what HBO wants us to believe. The point is, factual or not, there is some truth to what Wild Bill said. When the situation gets tough, the person who will help pull you through it all, aside from yourself, is the guy or gal beside you.
Such a trust can only be augmented by the proper knowledge in first aid. Given that the objectives of first aid are “to preserve life, to alleviate suffering, to promote recovery, and to prevent aggravation of the injury until medical assistance can be obtained”, it is only appropriate to know the fast and accurate way of administering your attention to the patient.
There were many facets to this training day. These were bandaging, the lecture itself, and the different carries. I’m sure that these pieces of information would definitely be useful one day.
Take for example the bandaging techniques taught. The cadets, with their triangular bandages, were taught the proper ways to address different types of wounds. From a burn in the head, to cuts in the arms, or wounds in the legs…who knew that with such a simple piece of cloth, one could remedy quite a number of injuries? Why, the officers of course! Being trained first aiders themselves, they were able to impart the knowledge necessary to ensure that the objectives of first aid are met.
But not all situations require the use of a triangular bandage. Some require a step-by-step procedure so that it could be adequately resolved. This is the part of the training day where our cadets are enlightened on the proper care for bites, stings, hypo- and hyperthermia, and other life-threatening conditions. Also discussed were the proper ways to execute the Heimlich maneuver and CPR.
As the students listened on, one can’t really help but realize that at the end of the day, it pays to know what to do and how to do it. The satisfaction and sense of fulfilment derived from saving a life, and successfully ensuring the continuation of one is incomparable to other earthly pleasures. To want to know how to save a life is one thing, and to actually know that you can do it is another. The first aid lecture was truly rewarding to, not only one or a few, but to most cadets. There’s no question about it.
Last, but definitely not the least, was the lecture and demonstration on the carries. While, from the outside, a carry can be viewed as nothing more than just, well, a carry, this would, perhaps, hold a deeper meaning as no other image can show the true meaning of walang iwanan. One man’s effort, or two men’s effort, or a group’s effort to ensure that no person gets left behind regardless of injury is proof enough of one’s commitment to uphold the trust that a person imparts to another in times of great adversity. Yes, on one side a fireman’s carry, or a piggyback carry, or such is just one method from another. But on the other hand, it is a testament to the willpower to ensure that the bravery of one will not be reciprocated by the cowardice of another.
ROTC is more than just marching under the sun, and push-ups, squat thrusts, and whatnot. No. ROTC is more than just executing the commands given in a very smart and snappy manner. No. ROTC is also about saving lives. In this day and age when more and more adversaries spring up to challenge us, when more and more difficulties are encountered, all of us are encouraged more and more to know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Yes, the idea is a bit abstract, and yes it is a bit idealistic, but what better place is there to start than knowing how to prolong life and alleviating suffering? What better place to start than upholding the trust that one’s comrades have given you…that when he is in need of a first responder, you would be there for him? After all, would he not do the same to you?