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Be Prepared for Accidents

The knights of old days were called "Knights Hospitallers" because they had hospitals for the treatment of the sick, poor, and those injured in accidents or in war. They used to save up their money and keep these hospitals going, and although they were brave fighting men they used also to act as nurses and doctors themselves.

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem especially devoted themselves to this work eight hundred years ago. The British St. John Ambulance Brigade and the Red Cross today represent those knights.

Explorers and hunters and other scouts in out-of-the-way parts of the world have to know what to do in case of accident or sickness, either to themselves or their followers, as they are often hundreds of miles away from any doctors. For these reasons Boy Scouts should, of course, learn all they can about looking after sick people and dealing with accidents.

My brother was once camping with a friend away in the bush in Australia. His friend was drawing a cork, holding the bottle between his knees to get a better purchase. The bottle burst and the jagged edge of it ran deeply into his thigh, cutting an artery. My brother quickly got a stone, wrapped it in a handkerchief to act as a pad, and tied the handkerchief round the limb above the wound, so that the stone pressed on the artery. He then got a stick, and, passing it through the loop of the handkerchief, twisted it round until the bandage was drawn so tight that it stopped the flow of blood. Had he not known what to do the man would have bled to death in a few minutes. As it was he saved his life by knowing what to do and doing it at once.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


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