Every year Chester County Council hosts the First Aid Meet, a competition between patrols to see who has the best knowledge of first aid. Any patrol from any troop in the council is eligible, and every patrol from Paoli 1 competes.
First aid is one of the most important skills taught in scouting. Almost every rank or merit badge has some sort of first aid component in one of the requirements. Paoli 1 has a special focus on first aid, as noted in theSydeny Walter LeSeur memorial plaque awarded at the Birthday and the corresponding First Aid Test. Boards of Review and written tests can only test so much though. The First Aid Meet is the closest scouts can get to the real thing without actually experiencing an actual medical emergency.
The MeetEditFirst Aid practice is the focus of many Winter Troop Meetings, all of which culminate in the March Meet. The event used to be hosted regularly at Great Valley Middle School but has moved in recent years. The 2012 Meet was held at the Oxford Area High School. The Event runs from 7:30 to 12:00 but much of the first hour or so is simply registration.
Traditionally, the First Aid Meet was a Class A event without hats and sneakers instead of boots. This however has changed in recent years with the addition of more realistic and simulated injuries. Thus it is now a Class B event but still with sneakers instead of boots. Sneakers are required because the event typically is hosted on a gym floor which does not take kindly to boots scuffing it up.
Once the event begins, scouts are given a write-up of a simulated accident and a victim to treat. The Patrol Leader must create a plan and then lead his scouts in treating the injured person. Scouts have a limited time to treat the victim and are judged not only on their successful treatment but also the speed with which they work and the cohesion within the unit. Paoli 1 regularly has at least one patrol place in the competition and often the Troop will secure the first place position.