By Madison Austin
Jan 17, 2019

Learn First Aid, Save A Life

When two shoppers were injured in the shooting at Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah on Jan. 13, 2019, several bystanders sprang to action, working quickly to call 911, comfort the victims, and control the bleeding from their injuries. These ordinary people demonstrated exceptional courage and calm as they jumped right in to help.

Not all first aid situations are as serious as the incident last week. But odds are that at some point in your life, you’ll come across someone with an injury who could use help. With the right education and practice, anyone can be prepared to step up and help when others are injured. For over 100 years, Scouting has been teaching youth and adults the basic principles of first aid. Each year, thousands of Scouts use what they’ve learned to help others in need. 

Education Can Save a Life

The Deseret News spoke to Dr. Mark Stevens, a Level 1 trauma surgeon at the Intermountain Medical Center where the victims were taken.

Image from Steve Griffin, Deseret News

“Education is leading people to want to do something to prevent unnecessary bleeding and unnecessary death, and we encourage that. But I think it’s really important that people come and get the necessary training,” said Dr. Mark Stevens.

“We wanted to empower everyday citizens to know how to deal with life-threatening injuries at the scene,” Stevens said.

Matthew Thomas, a Murray resident, was shopping at the mall during the incident on Sunday. After the shooting stopped, he went back inside to see if there were any victims he could help. Thomas said he had not had first aid training, but he still wanted to do anything he could to help the victims.

When disasters occur, it is usually up to normal, everyday people, like Thomas, to provide initial support until medical professionals arrive. And while this is always a valiant cause, being properly educated in first aid can save lives and ensure that any support is given correctly and safely. 

You Can Get Educated

The Boy Scouts of America, our council and other community events provide many opportunities to get trained in first aid. Whether you encounter an urban disaster or a small hiking injury, you can be prepared to help yourself and others. 

Attend a training

Wilderness First Aid – For adults and teenagers, this hands-on 2-day course empowers attendees with the knowledge and confidence to save a life during the most critical minutes, whether they encounter a disaster zone, a wilderness accident, or more. Earn the SOLO WFA 2-year certification, approved by the ACA, BSA, and more. Find a date near you:

  • Salt Lake City, UT – Feb 9-10 
  • Ogden, UT – Mar. 30-31
  • Logan, UT – May 4-5
  • Provo, UT – May 18-19 (held at the Orem Scout Office)
  • St. George, UT – June 1-2 (held at Zion Base Camp)
  • More dates and locations across the country can be found HERE

Altitude Sickness – Training for Scoutmasters, troops, youth, families, and anyone else who is planning on spending any time in high-altitude areas. This training will help you learn how to identify the serious symptoms of altitude sickness and how to treat and prevent them in order to save lives. Scoutmasters, parents, and youth leaders are especially encouraged to attend. Many people are unaware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and their severity. Taking the time to complete this training could help you save lives. Upcoming dates at the Orem Scout Office: 

University of Scouting – February 23, 2019 – This one-day training event is filled with classes covering all topics of Scouting. However, if you are particularly interested in first aid and wilderness safety, you can register for those classes. Some of the topics that have been covered in the past include wilderness first aid, Man vs. Wild: Surviving in the outdoors, backpacking safety, and more. You can register HERE.

Other Resources

Wilderness First Aid

Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge

BSA & American Red Cross training

First Aid, CPR and AED



Author: Madison Austin | Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council 

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