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Emergency Preparedness Requirement 7A

I have a scout that started the Emergency Prep. merit badge at a merit badge fair last year and one of the last requirements he has to complete is 7A which is “Take part in an emergency service project, either a real one or a practice drill, with a Scouting unit or a community agency.” I know that he has participated in a few different district and council level first aid meets and has volunteered to help out as the “victim”. I would assume that this counts since it helps other scouts prepare for emergencies? Would y’all count this? any other ideas?

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I don’t know what a first aid meet is, but I would accept any decent size practice drill. As long as the scout can explain what was going on and understand the meaning of the actions and the purpose I would consider that requirement filled

I distinguish First Aid drills from Emergency Preparedness drills based on the scope of what’s being addressed. If you have an emergency scenario being drilled/demonstrated (e.g. motor vehicle collision, structure fire, natural disaster, mass casualty event, etc), then it’s Emergency Preparedness. If it’s a series of first aid skills practice stations, I lean more toward First Aid. Emergency Preparedness is more than just the ability to render first aid. It also extends to the organizational and leadership skills associated with emergency management, both at the “personal” level for more limited events like a motor vehicle collision or house fire, and at the “community” level that might be associated with a more broad event like a natural disaster. My understanding of 7 taken as a whole is for the scout to learn about what’s involved in an emergency mobilization, both “muscle memory” for 7a and “intellectually” for 7b.

I can see a case made either way, though, depending on the specific details of what was done. If I were on the fence, I’d ask the scout to tell me why he or she thinks that the particular event satisfies the requirement.

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You can also look for guidance in the Emergency Preparedness merit badge pamphlet:

Service Projects
To meet the emergency service project requirement for the Emergency Preparedness merit badge, you must take an active role. Merely being at an emergency is not enough. The part you play must be one that you have been trained for (or trained yourself for). You may participate in an emergency service project during a real emergency, but normally you will have to perform a practice drill with your troop or a local community service organization.

Some examples from the merit badge pamphlet:

  • Lost-child [practice] service project
  • Messenger [practice] service project
  • Other projects such as setting up an emergency camp from scratch (with sanitation, cooking, and dishwashing facilities for a large number of people)
  • Simulate a building accident or fire, with “victims” role-playing such emergencies as touching a live electrical wire, having their clothes on fire, or experiencing stopped breathing
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I don’t know how many times I’ve read this pamphlet, and I totally missed that section. It’s back near the end of the last chapter (“Community Emergency Service”) in my 2014 printing.

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First-aid per se? No. On the other hand, it would count if it it involved being a victim who needs aid in a broader scenario, e.g. a plane crashes or cars wreck and we need to get multiple agencies coordinated to mitigate the disaster.

The closest in-council thing that I can think of is the lost-scout or foul weather drills at summer camp.

It would be more rewarding if the scout contacted the local fire or police department (or airport) and see if there was a way he could help them. It could be as simple as he and his buddies would go camping in a wilderness area or even fishing someplace nearby but below a cliff and only key people would know the location. They’d spend the day fishing while the rest of the team would have to find them and facilitate extrication.

Our local CERT teams run an annual simulation event with local first responders, and they always need additional personnel to participate. It’s usually around the same time as National Preparedness Month (which is September). That might be something else that scouts in general could plan around.

https://www.ready.gov/september

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Look for a local CERT team, most counties have them.

Read the merit badge book?? How dare you?

I suggest all the time that our Scouts read the book before going to the Counselor. I wish that was a requirement. It is at the very least being respectful and prepared.
My favorite is Env Sci where all the major requirements are laid out in the book. I had one kid who thought I was refering to the worksheets when I asked him if he had the book. But then, his Troop is known for that.

Glad you found that. Amazing how the books are so good at defining the scope.

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I always say that most/all of the explain answers are clearly covered in the book. If a scout has decent recall, it makes it pretty easy. Now more complex topics are great for conversation with the counselor. Any of the skill/do type of items are harder for a book to cover, but all of the background is in there. I try to get the Scouts to understand that, and some do take advantage of it. When I was a Scout, I would read it cover to cover and then get started on earning it!

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