This past week, that point was very uncomfortably driven home.
We were preparing for a shooting event, 20 miles into the boonies, when one of the staffers collapsed. He was about 200 yards from the rest of us, at the bottom of a large hill.
It took less than a minute to get to him, but it was the longest minute I can remember. On scene were a former Ski Patroller, a Marine, and myself. Looking back on the event, our training shows through - the marine was immediately on the radio calling for help, I sent my wife for the first aid kit as I headed down the hill, and the ski patroller went immediately into securing and treating the patient.
As we assessed our patient, it was startling to me the things that I remembered, and the things which, in hindsight, I realized I had forgotten.
We were exceptionally lucky in this instance: Help was reasonably close; our patient regained consciousness on the hill and was unhurt and readily recovered; the hospital found nothing wrong with him and he was at dinner that night with us.
Morals of the story:
Get training. I know I need more training, likely an advanced first aid class or a wilderness first responder class.
Evaluate your gear. My first aid kit was woefully ill-equipped for this particular incident. I will of course detail the changes as they happen. Any incident, however, presents a chance for reflection and evaluation.
Practice, practice, practice. The things that I remembered and that immediately came back to me were skills that were drilled extensively in school. Know your gear, know how it works, and drill your skills until they're instinctive.