The Importance of Carrying a First Aid Kit

University of Montana Grizzly

Following her dreams in 2017

In the fall of 2017, we had the pleasure (and pain!) of delivering our oldest daughter to her new life at school at the University of Montana. We thought it would be fun to make a road trip out of it and see some sights while in Montana, so we took the RV. We stayed at the KOA near campus. It was a great campground, the sites were meticulously groomed, there was a clubhouse where they hosted a breakfast buffet and ice cream social hour, a swimming pool and hot tub, and a miniature golf course (it was VERY miniature, but still amusing). I would definitely stay there again if we are in the RV and in the area.

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Danger on the road

I’d love to be able to share all of our adventures from our trip to Missoula, but we really just spent the whole trip in University orientation meetings and tours, and helping the child get situated. This post isn’t about all that anyway. This post is about a terrifying event that made us take First Aid a little more seriously.

2017 was a terrible year for forest fires in many states, including Oregon and Montana. The smoke was so bad, it looked like twilight all day. Many portions of our drive through Montana were adjacent to and surrounded by fire activity. There were signs and flashing lights everywhere, reminding drivers to proceed with caution and alerting drivers to the possibility of fire being just around every corner. 

Why you need a first aid kit

As we rounded one of these corners, I saw what I thought was a gust of smoke from the flames exploding across the highway. As I caught my breath, I realized it was a car tumbling across all lanes of traffic right in front of us, and coming to a violent stop in the center median. Norman pulled over to the shoulder of the road and parked. As he leapt from the RV to help anyone in the overturned car, I grabbed our first aid kit. We had a big kit, that was good right?

First Aid Sticker

When we took this RV on its maiden voyage, we didn’t give much thought to first aid. Of course we made sure to have board games and video games and books and treats, but we tossed in an old first aid kit as an afterthought. Then forgot all about it. For years.
I ran to Norman and the overturned car with said kit in hand. Norman met me in the road, preventing me from coming any closer because it was bad. Other cars were beginning to stop to provide aid. Luckily one was a nurse (she didn’t even have a first aid kit in her car!) and another was a doctor. 

Keep your first aid kit stocked and ready

Norman returned to the accident with our first aid kit only to find it was practically empty! There were no antiseptics or large bandages or anything you might need in an emergency. Norman came back to the RV to retrieve towels and a blanket. There was only one person in the car and her injuries were serious, but not necessarily life threatening. We waited anxiously for paramedics to arrive before collecting our composure and heading on our way. We hope and pray the woman involved in the accident is now safe and well.

As soon as we were in cell phone range I began shopping for first aid kits. I chose small kits for each of our cars, a larger, more comprehensive one for home, and an extensive kit for the RV. Many of the places we travel to are far away from a hospital and we are not getting more fit as we age.
Hopefully we will never come upon another accident like that, but if we do we will be prepared.

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