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Taking an emergency course can save a life

A friend suggested recently that I write about safety. I know I have mentioned boating safety, nighttime fishing safety, early ice safety, and overall ice safety. His suggestion was about the importance of overall preparedness and the difference that can make in saving lives.

His motivation for the suggestion was prompted by a terrible accident that occurred on the way home from an outing this last fall. They did nothing wrong to cause the crash, but one thing is for sure in this world, none of us has any control over the action of others that we encounter.

That was the situation for Joe and Jim. They encountered some challenging weather on the trip home and were making good decisions about safe travel. All it took was one other person on the road with them that did not have safety on their mind. The fact Joe has had several first aid and CPR classes made the difference for him and Jim getting back home to family and friends. They both now have the opportunity to continue enjoying family, friends, fishing, and hunting.

The time invested for taking safety courses can be life changing. We all hope we never encounter the situation or circumstance that the training will be needed, but if we do, we will be more prepared to respond appropriately. I have taken CPR certification and basic first aid. In all the years of guiding I am thankful that I have only had to deal with very minor first aid problems on the boat (mostly on myself!). I hope I never have to use the training, but you just never know what life is going to throw at you.

As Joe shared his story, it made me stop and think about myself, my decisions, and my responsibilities. As outdoor enthusiasts we are all at greater risk than the couch potatoes, so get prepared. Put together a first aid kit for you boat and truck. Make a winter survival kits for your vehicles. Read up on boating, hunting, and recreational safety. Take a first aid class. Buy a first aid book as a reference book if you make an extended fishing or hunting trip into remote areas. Take a CPR class.

You just never know what could happen, even if you are an extremely cautious and conscientious person. The life that you save might end up being that of your best friend and outdoor partner.

(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)