I’ve just spent the last 4 days based in North Wales on the REC First Aid Instructor Training course. Our base for the duration was Llandegla Forest and the awesome One Planet Adventure Mountain Bike Centre. The course was delivered by Leo Hoare and Nicole Henrikson of Getafix Ltd and was quite simply superb.

Shooting off from work on Wednesday, my car decided to get it’s revenge for being forced to lug Sea Kayaks and wet smelly paddling kit around 24/7 and promptly broke down delaying my start by a good 3 hours. However by 9:30pm I was on the road and arrived on the outskirts of Wrexham at 2:30am. After a much needed kip in a lay-by on the A5 I arrived at the Centre for a much needed coffee and ready to hit the ground running.

REC First Aid Trainers Course

Classroom - Our Base For The Week

What followed was four days of intensive training in all aspects of delivering REC First Aid Courses. We looked at first aid techniques and knowledge, teaching and coaching styles, presentation techniques, scenario setting and assessment. Each evening we were presented with homework, usually in the form of lesson planning for sessions to be delivered, observed and then critiqued the next day.

Despite long days I never once found myself willing a day to end, rather I found myself willing the days to be longer as the process was so engaging. I think all candidates found the course similarly inspiring and the difference in lessons delivered from Day 1 to day 4 was marked as we became tuned into the REC ethos and style of delivery.

REC Trainers Course

Outdoor Scenarios

REC Trainers Course

Acting As A Casualty

Home for the duration was the back of my estate car – back seats removed and a large inflatable mattress provided a comfortable bed whilst a power inverter allowed me to power my laptop from the cigarette lighter socket and churn out lesson plans. I parked up by Leo’s home so the view from the back of the car was directly onto the River Dee, upstream from Llangollen. Food and drink primarily came from the awesome cafe at One Planet Adventure with my MSR stove keeping me in mugs of tea and supper each night.

Having completed this course I am now in a ‘logbook’ period observing and assisting on courses before booking an assessment which will involve running a complete course under the watchful gaze of an assessor.

Huge thanks go to Nicole and Leo from Getafix for their excellent delivery of the course. Their obvious enthusiasm for what they do was infectious and they managed to foster a supportive atmosphere, providing huge amounts of salient feedback and advice throughout the four days. Huge thanks also to Dave, Ian and Archie – the other candidates for making a very intense and tiring process so much fun.

Useful Links

Getafix Coaching – Getafix First Aid Course & Paddlesports Coaching website

One Planet Adventure – Mountain Bike Centre Llandegla