First Aid Trauma & Casualty Care courses

FTACC CourseHaving sat on various first aid courses and having been a first aid instructor for a number of years it started to feel like we were very much doing the same thing over and over again.

Technology was changing, the emergency services were changing, healthcare as a whole was changing. But the ‘first aid course’ felt like it was stuck, trapped in a syllabus that didn’t always match the real world.

Some instructors, and we like to think we include ourselves here, regularly update their content and try to make it as relevant as possible.

But still it felt like it was time for a slightly different approach to first aid, a time for strong evidence based medicine and a time for a progressive training system which allowed people to develop. It’s also clear that the healthcare system in the UK has changed and we need to reflect that in the way we teach first aid.

This is when we discovered that The ATACC Group led by Medical Director Dr Mark Forrest and renowned for their ATACC their advanced trauma course, was launching a suite of a training courses including a one day ‘first aid’ course. The courses have already been adopted by numerous UK Emergency Services.

We were lucky enough to be a student on a Emergency First Aid Trauma & Casualty Care course (FTACC) and it was a revelation.

The course wasn’t: ‘death by powerpoint’, it wasn’t a case of the instructor telling yarns and it wasn’t irrelevant.

The course was: exciting, it felt like a series of Ted style talks woven together, it was relevant to real life scenarios you might actually see in the real world and it was based on real evidence based medicine. The course also included well illustrated, accurate video scenarios for us to discuss. Not over dramatic, not overly gory but quality moulage and quality scenarios.

ATACC CAS CARE CARDSThe other element we particularly liked was the FTACC Check Cards – a simple to follow, easy to understand guide. The check cards give you simple reminders of what to check for and then advice on where your casualty should go. Not every first aid situation needs a 999 call, and the check cards gives a normal every day person the confidence to make the choice between 999, a GP, or some simple first aid steps.

We see advice from the emergency services about only ringing 999 when we really need to and now we have simple to follow first aid advice that mirrors that.


FTACC also forms part of The ATACC Group’s Integrated Emergency Care Programme (IECP) which allows you to progress your skills from one day first aider up through the system up to the ATACC Course giving students a clear progression ladder.

We’re proud to say that here at Square Knot we fell for the ATACC approach and we’re now officially signed up as an ATACC Professional Partner delivering the 1 day and 3 day FTACC courses which meet and exceed the specified guidelines set by the Health & Safety Executive and meets the standard defined by the Faculty of Pre-hospital Care for B level providers.ATACC Group logo

New years first aid advice – burns

On New Year’s Eve it’s likely many of us (who aren’t working) will be out celebrating the arrival of 2019, and who can have a New Years celebration without fireworks. (Here’s some more advice on Fireworks)

Whether you’re off to a big display, nipping round a friend or family members or letting off a few rockets in the garden, there’s a risk that we should be considering, burns.

If someone has serious burnt themselves, please stop reading this and if they’re seriously injured and their life is at risk call: 999 or If it’s urgent and you need advice try calling: 111

Here are a few top tips for helping someone with a burn this New Year’s Eve.

The best way to help someone with a burn is with cold running water.

Here’s how.

First aid for a burn

1.  Make sure you’re safe to help them and then get the person away from the hot thing, then you need to cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes – do not use ice, iced water.

2. If you can remove any clothing or jewellery that’s near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies, but do not move anything that’s stuck to the skin.

3. Wrap the burn in clean cling film or a plastic bag to try and prevent infection.

4. Remember to keep them comfortable, keeping them warm and looking out for other issues.

More advice from the NHS on burns

If in doubt seek medical help

I don’t have access to running water. What should I do?

You may not be within reach of running water. If you don’t have fresh water to cool the burn, salt water will help to cool the wound but it’s likely to sting more and it might not be very clean.

Any other cool liquid such as champagne, beer or cider will work. The soft drinks would also do the same job so any squash or milk would work, the aim is to cool the area as quickly as possible using whatever cool liquid is available.

What shouldn’t you do?

A British Red Cross poll found that more than one in ten parents choose old wives’ tales to treat their children’s burns.

Over the years we’ve heard things like butter, lard and olive oil all mentioned as treatments for burns and scalds. These won’t help cool a burn, they might just fry the wound.

If you’re worried about what to do if face with a burn, get in touch and talk to us about our first aid courses which cover burns and scald amongst other injuries and illnesses.

(Advice from British Red Cross and NHS)

Sea Cadet’s Chosin Cup

Every year the Sea Cadets in London hold an “Adventure Training Competition” called the Chosin Cup.

This year we supported the event that was hosted in Sussex.

We provided medical cover, teamed up with paramedic Emma to run a first aid scenario for the cadets and supplied some water safety cover and risk assessments to an open water swim or wade.

Check out the London Area Sea Cadets Adventure Training team’s facebook page for more.

RLSS Water Smart Award

Jacob Leverett – Chief Instructor Square Knot.

At the annual conference the the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) announced their new Water Smart Award, a new award developed in line with the Curriculum Swimming outcomes.

With the summer months here and the sun well and truly out we’re seeing a spate of water related deaths. Inevitably we see  calls for children to be taught water safety at school in a belief that this will stop these fatalities. I’m sure it will help but there is no single ‘silver bullet’ to prevent drownings but a sensibly structured introduction to water for young people can only be a good thing.

The RLSS Water Safety Award seems to be a positive step to developing a fun introduction to being safe without the need for the stresses of an additional test or exam.

The minute the details of the award were announced I jumped at the chance to register as a provider and I’m happy to be able to now offer the award to young people and looking forward to the chance to pass on this essential knowledge to some young people.

The award’s focus is on five main areas, these include:

  1. Water Safety Awareness
  2. Getting In and Out of the Water Safely
  3. Safely Staying Afloat
  4. Safely Moving in the Water
  5. Performing Rescues Safely



A trio of governing bodies

In the last week and a bit our instructors have delivered a range of different First Aid qualifications to a selection of different students. Although each syllabus differs slightly the core message is about helping to preserve life in a safe and organised manner following the guidelines laid down by the European Resuscitation Council.

We delivered:

Emergency First Response Emergency First Aid at Work to a team of volunteers at a local youth charity.

RYA First Aid to selection of sailing instructors at a sailing club in Berkshire.

BCU Lifeguards Emergency First Aid to an event water safety team near Windsor.

First Aid Training near Windsor at Dorney Lake