These classes are generally held once a year, in the winter months.  The winter 2016 schedule was:

  • CPR - January 13, 2016
  • Basic First Aid - January 19, 2016
  • Wilderness First Responder, Weekends! January 23, 24, 30, 31, February 6,7,13 & 14, 2016
  • Wilderness First Aid - March 5&6, 2016.  

CPR Class
January 16, 2014     Cost: $30 for CPR ClassCOP Members Only.
Heartsaver® CPR AED covers
  • Adult, child & infant CPR (with a mask)
  • AED (automated external defibrillator)
  • Adult, child & infant choking
          Location: The COP Office, 1525 Bethel Road, Ste 100, Columbus OH 43220
          Refunds: Refunds will only be considered if you contact the COP Office one week prior to the first day of class.

January 19, 2016          Cost:  $30 for First Aid Class, COP Members Only.

 These courses are designed for anyone with limited or no medical training and are suitable for people who expect to be within reach of an EMS system (911). Those who go more than an hour from help should seriously consider the Wilderness First Aid Class or Wilderness First Responder rather than the Basic Class.
       Heartsaver® First Aid Basics includes
         . Scene safety, finding the problem, calling for help and more)
         · Medical emergencies (including actions for choking, breathing problems, shock and more)
         · Injury emergencies (including actions for bleeding, broken bones, burns and more)
         · Environmental emergencies (including actions for bites and stings, and temperature-related and poison emergencies)
        Questions? Contact Ann Gerckens at the COP Office
 or 614/442-7901 evenings

Wilderness First Responder Weekends!
January 23& 24,  30& 31,  February 6&7,  13 & 14,   2016

The minimum standard for outdoor professionals, this 72 hour advanced first aid class is for people who get more than an hour away from definitive care.

COP is one of the few places in the world you can take this class without using at least a weeks worth of vacation time.  You will need to be present all day, all four weekends. Course description can be found at

Questions?  Ann Gerckens at the COP Office or 614/442-7901 evenings

       Wilderness First Aid  
            March 5 & 6, 2016
16 hour first aid class for people who travel more than one hour from definitive care.  
Requirements for the class are that you be physically able to complete the class, 16 years or older and be registered. Parts of the class are taught outdoors, so be prepared to be outside no matter what the weather.  Go to the SOLO website for the complete course description,
Questions? Contact Ann Gerckens at the COP Office or 614/442-7901 evenings


Concerning COP Leaders Providing First Aid

As an outdoor education and activity organization, COP is very involved in training members in activity specific skills and leadership skills.  Activity groups provide various opportunities for developing skills either through formal classes or informally during activity events.  Recently, the Bicycling activity had a Bicycle Leaders training event to provide an opportunity for leaders to refresh knowledge of COP leader expectations and to share knowledge with fellow leaders.

During this event, discussion arose concerning COP's requirements concerning first aid training and trips.  The COP Trip Leaders Manual states on the inside cover (under requirements for trip leaders) "Be trained in first aid to the degree appropriate to the activity or have someone on the trip that is."  On page 6 where risk issues are addressed, the Duties section indicated that leaders have a duty to "provide healthcare/first aid (within your level of training, but to a level appropriate for what you are doing."   While these statements are accurate as far as they go, they do not include any context that provides guidance to leaders as to what level of first aid training would be appropriate on a given trip.  Therefore, this issue was referred to the   Risk Management committee.  After some discussion, we developed the following text as an expansion on the existing Trip Leader Manual statements:

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 

Providing healthcare/first aid is different than personally performing healthcare/first aid.  Based on that, one needs to look at the environment the activity is being pursued in along with how that environment affects access to - and response by - community/area emergency services.

In the case of bicycling, the event (we’re assuming a typical weeknight or weekend ride here) is on public roads that provide quick response and direct access by emergency vehicles to the incident requiring medical attention.  Given the populated areas we ride in, even if no one at the scene has a cell phone handy to call for assistance, someone can quickly ride to a nearby residence or business to make an call for emergency services.  Additionally, these bike groups – though massed at the start – tend to string out and disperse in the course of the ride.  There is no guarantee that the leader or other person on the ride that has suitable first aid training will be with any given part of the group in the case of an incident.  Even if they are behind the incident, changes in route choice may mean those persons will not happen on the incident to provide their assistance.  This means that those on the scene still need to address the incident (including any medical needs) in some fashion which may well be to call for help. An urban neighborhood walking group would fall in this same risk category.

Therefore, this means COP does not need to require bike leaders to personally have first aid training nor do they need to insure that someone on each event has such training.  We think it is a good idea to have first aid training. COP encourages leaders and all members to get first aid training, but it is not absolutely required for this class of event.

For other kinds of trips that venture away from quick, easy phone and road access to outside assistance, it is essential that leaders and/or other trip participants have suitable first aid training.  Hiking and backpacking trips, flatwater and whitewater paddling trips, climbing trips and other trips into more remote areas would fall into this category.  

- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- - -- --- -- -- -- -- -- --

This text will be added to the latest revision to Trip Leaders Manual as a supplement to the existing statements. 

As a long time outdoor activity enthusiast and leader, I have taken many first aid and rescue classes.  I consider them to be a small investment in being able to understand and manage risks whether I am a leader on the trip or one of the trip members with another leader.  As a leader, I appreciate it when other trip members have taken first aid and rescue training.  Their training provides me some of the same benefits that my training provides for others.  Sometimes, the trip leader (or primary first aid person) is the one in trouble or is the injured one.  Having more than one person on the trip with rescue/first aid skills makes it more likely that every member of the group has someone to help them if needed.  Your fellow trip members are your friends; it’s good to be able to help your friends if they need assistance and to know that they can assist you if you need it.

Another part of providing assistance (besides the knowledge part) is having a basic first aid on hand.  It doesn’t need to be a big one to provide value.  At a caving convention many years ago, I attended a session on first aid that advocated a minimalist four-item first aid kit: 4x4 gauze pads(cut or fold if smaller one is needed), duct tape (or first aid tape), zip lock bags (irrigation, occlusive dressing, bio-hazard gloves) and safety pins (pin sleeve to jacket to improvise sling).  Supplemented with the items in your day pack, bike bag or dry bag, this minimalist kit provide just what is needed with minimal bulk.  The only things I would add are vinyl or nitrile gloves (the bags are awkward) and a COP incident report form  and ballpoint pen.   Liability waivers and other forms are also available on line at or on the COP home page, click ‘Leaders’ in the menu, then click ‘Leader Forms’ and scroll down a little.

Thank you to Bicycling Activity Chair Suzanne Birk and the Bicycling leaders for forwarding this issue for further discussion and expansion.  Many thanks to all COP leaders and members who have taken first aid and/or rescue training in the past or plan to in the future.  If you are interested in taking first aid or other training to develop your skills as a COP leader, there are Leadership Development funds that can offset some of your costs.  Contact your activity leader for details.

See you out there,

David Seslar, March 2011

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