If you live very far from town, one thing that deserves your attention is the quality of your first aid kit. Many people, including myself, really enjoy the peace and tranquility that living in the woods has to offer. As much as we might enjoy this lifestyle, one thing should always be at the forefront of our minds and that is emergency preparedness.
If you live in the boonies, it will take longer for help to arrive if you find yourself in need of emergency medical attention. Depending on the nature of the emergency, the outcome of the victim can vary significantly depending on whether or not you are properly prepared to provide first aid while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
The farther you live from town, the better prepared you need to be. Being “prepared” in this case means both having a well stocked first aid kit as well as making sure that you, AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, know how to administer first aid when it is needed.
I Don’t Think Many People Are Properly Prepared
I recently did an informal poll and I asked 10 people that I knew to list the items that they had in their first aid kit at home. I was quite surprised to hear that most of the people that I asked didn’t actually have a real first aid kit. They had some basic supplies like band-aids, and antiseptic but that was about it. If these people were to have a true medical emergency in an area like the one that I live in, they wouldn’t be very well prepared to provide first aid while they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
We live in the woods so I imagine that it would take an ambulance at least 20 to 30 minutes to arrive if we had to call them. That’s if the roads were dry, they actually had EMT’s available to dispatch to us, and they didn’t get stuck behind a traffic accident.
Volunteer EMT’s Provide Unique Challenges To Rural Families
One thing to keep in mind is that in many rural areas like ours, the local ambulance company is staffed by volunteers. This usually means that they aren’t always sitting in the ambulance waiting anxiously for the next call to come in. Instead, they carry radios with them. When there is a need, 911 operators will page them and the volunteers who are able to respond will. This means that if you live in a rural setting such as ours, you should expect it to take longer for the ambulance to arrive.
Living way out in the country is a great lifestyle but it does mean that you need to make some basic changes. One of the changes that should be at the top of the list for anyone who lives out in the country is to error on the side of caution and stock up on more emergency medical supplies than you think you’ll need and get some first aid training from a qualified instructor.