So, after what’s been an intense few weeks of studying, it was time to take part in a range of practical work starting with a two day first aid course.
Having previously been a Special Constable, I’d briefly touched upon first aid and developed a strong interest for it. I found this set of skills extremely valuable, so I was looking forward to refreshing my understanding, and learning some new techniques. The two-day course was extremely interesting, and we hit the ground running; starting with understanding the importance of the recovery position, and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). We were able to fully understand the process, then encouraged to put our learning to the test by practising these life saving skills on our colleagues. Continual assessment and feedback ensured we were all able to administer these techniques to perfection.
As well as the recovery position and CPR, we also learnt the art of bandaging for a variety of injuries, tourniquets and even what to do when a patient is suffering from shock. Once we had a good understanding of all these techniques, we were required to sit a knowledge check followed by a practical exam – which I’m pleased to say… I passed! So now I am now I am officially a certified first aider.
Wednesday of week five was no let off, as I had to quickly recharge from my first aid assessments, and get ready for a fitness test to ensure I was capable of being able to take part in the OST (officer safety training). If you haven’t done a bleep test before, then the concept is fairly simple; a recorded set of timed beeps play throughout the gym, and the runners are to run between two lines set over a certain distance. Failure to meet the lines within the beeps mean you’re out and, in this case, wouldn’t be able to take part in the practical side of the safety training. But, in this instance, I comfortably hit 6.3 which was enough to see me pass, as 5.4 was the required target.
As well as the practical side of the training, we began by learning our powers. The powers that would assist me in my career as a police officer, and would support me should I ever need to use force. We were taught Section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, Common Law and section 117 PACE, which then led nicely into the practical side. Here we were taught a range of techniques to allow me to quickly gain control of situations, and most importantly how to safely apply handcuffs.
Safe to say it’s probably been the most intense week so far, but these are skills that I’ll carry with me throughout my career as a police officer.