Course Review shared from forum.Brushbeater.org if you aren’t there I recommend going there. It’s a great source of all kinds of information.
Anytime I enter the classroom and there are handouts, there is a pretty good chance the instructor is squared away and the class is going to be good. Anytime I see the instructor putting together handouts into student folders WITH sleeve inserts, I know it’s going to be a top-notch class! And this TCCC class hosted by NC Scout and taught by MechMedic surpassed my expectations.
From the very first handshake with NC Scout, it was like I was talking with an old friend. When speaking with NC Scout, he made me feel like a peer, not a subordinate student. Not one single time over the entire weekend did he ever speak down to the class. When talking about radios, tactics or current events, it’s like he was passing information amongst friends.
This guy knows his stuff! He came to the class prepared and ready to teach about a subject he is obviously passionate about. But I’ll warn you, he is a loud and energetic instructor! His eagerness to share knowledge spills out into the classroom and because of that…this class rocks!
(For this TCCC class, NC Scout hosted the class while MechMedic taught the class.)
MechMedic brought a natural flow to the class and we didn’t bounce around from topic to topic. I don’t think he ever looked at an outline or syllabus when teaching, he’s just that good!
Each day, he was the first to class and the last to leave, always being available to answer questions. He listened patiently to everyone tell their stories and let the students actually be a participant in the class. MechMedic displayed the wisdom to chase the appropriate rabbit trails and not interrupt the flow. But, he also didn’t let us drift too far away from the topic at hand.
Day 1 – Classroom introductions. Basic explanation of terms and the theory behind TCCC. We worked though the through the MARCH acronym and spent time doing tourniquet applications, wound packing and treating casulaties.
Day 2 – Complete and through review of Day 1. Then it was back to more hands-on practice by preparing for casualty evac on a SKED. We had a break for lunch and then did another in-depth review of the class before doing our practical exercise.
Below are a few random thoughts about the class.
– The facilities were great. Plenty of room in the classroom to get the job done. The classroom had enough tables and chairs for everyone, with plenty of space to have our handouts in front of us while taking notes. I never learn well when the classroom is too crowded and it’s obvious that the layout of the room was important to NC Scout and MechMedic. There was ample room for people to lay on the ground to act as casualties while working through the MARCH acronyms. There was a huge 4 foot by 8 foot marker board that MechMedic used and it was COVERED with notes and ideas. I really liked that there were NO PowerPoint presentations!
– Instructor. MechMedic was well prepared. The class started off like a conversation and not a lecture. It was quickly evident that MechMedic was very knowledgeable and seasoned with a variety of real-world experiences. His stories supported the training material and were relevant to the topic at hand. The real-world situations that were shared were for reinforcing knowledge, not for ego boosting. Too many times I’ve attended classes where the instructors used the students as a platform to boost their own ego…this was far from the case here at the Brushbeater school.
– Hospitality. I can’t write enough about the gracious hospitality. Southern hospitality at its best. The conversations were engaging. The laughter was loud. The hosts were always helpful. The food was plentiful, hot and delicious. The BBQ was great, despite being from the swine family.
– Hands-on (classroom) portion. MechMedic brought plenty of gear for each student to use during the hands-on portion. When it came to tourniquets, he passed around enough for all the students, he didn’t just hold one up and refer to it…he gave you one to hold in your hand while he discussed design, use and application. All the equipment we used was new, or like new and in top shape. He was deliberate in making sure the students had a large supply of gear to use during the class.
– Hands-on (field exercise). On the last day, after lunch we did a practical and relevant field exercise. I don’t want to give away the scenario, but you better pay attention in class! During the filed exercise is when it all comes together. The scenario we encountered was well thought out and provided just the right amount of realism. The scenario wasn’t too extreme, and it wasn’t too simple, it was just right for this class. Everything explained in the class is needed to be put into use, under stress and in a very short amount of time. You better pay attention to everything in the class and don’t forget the simple basics!
– Gear recommendations. Over the two-day class, there were plenty of discussions about gear. MechMedic provided examples of what he carries/uses and explained why. I got the impression that MechMedic was not a gear snob…he carried what was proven to work. He explained the ins and outs of all the gear discussed and explained the pro/con of using alternatives.
– There were questions, a lot of questions. At the end of each training section, MechMedic would stop and ask for questions. Any questions. About gear, techniques or philosophy of use. A few times, I heard MechMedic say, “I don’t know.” And I loved it. I like hearing honesty from an instructor. Now granted, the question was hypothetical or something radically extreme, but MechMedic simply acknowledged that the topic was out of his scope and he didn’t know the answer. He didn’t guess, fumble through a made-up answer or bluff his way out…he simply said, “I don’t know.”, and that takes a lot of professionalism.