Health & Safety Institute Blog

May 20, 2014

First Aid History and the Bureau of Mines

BOM FirstAidCertMany of you know one of my side passions is the history of first aid and resuscitation. Over the years I have acquired a variety of items related to this history. I recently found a Mine Rescue and First Aid Training certificate issued in 1919 from the Bureau of Mines, under the U.S. Department of the Interior.

One of the historical connections here is to our MEDIC First Aid brand. In the late 1970s, Peder Heineman and Maryl Barker, the co-founders of MEDIC First Aid were looking for a national certification that was comparable to other national brands so they could offer a similar certification with the newly developed MEDIC First Aid training program. Tom Ford, an early colleague of Peder and Maryl, submitted our programs, and got approval from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the modern equivalent to the Bureau of Mines, to use their little known national certification for MEDIC First Aid training courses.

Surprisingly, the certificate is quite large (10” by 15”) and, as you can see, resembles something akin to a university or professional degree. Most interesting is a single line at the bottom of the certificate that emphasizes the importance of undergoing “additional training every six months to keep in proper condition of efficiency.”

BOM FARenewal

It seems that things have not changed much in the almost 100 years since this certificate was issued. Retention of information and skills still remains a critical focus in emergency care training.

HSI, through our MEDIC First Aid and American Safety & Health Institute brands offers a variety of tools to help you in this important area. Repetitive exposure through our free student apps and Learning Links help your students recall critical care information. Our new LOOP Learning System makes ongoing skill practice more fun and engaging.

Stay tuned for more. We will continue to address this essential, and historical, aspect of creating effective approaches to maximize retention and create effective first aid providers. And, of course, we invite you to get trained yourself!

Find A Class, ASHI, MEDIC First Aid

(Bill Rowe has been involved in emergency care training since 1978, operating a private training center for 18 years in Eugene, OR, as an EMT program faculty member for the local community college, as a paramedic/firefighter/training officer for a rural fire district, and as the director of product development for MEDIC First Aid and HSI for almost 14 years. He is currently the VP for Business Development, 24-7 for HSI.)    






To learn more call 1-800-447-3177 or send us an email: