I am a Nurse but I was a Paramedic before that. I'm not sure of everyone needs to do a $160 course. At least get a basic first aid course from the Red Cross; hell even just read the book! I do think if you get further into any activity that takes you to remote places you should ramp up your skills so you can be as self sufficent and safe as you can be.
Agree. some times they are full equip in courses and can not help the leader when he hurt himself. When I was climbing in remote area, nobody around 20 miles away, I told my second to do nothig to save me...so he won't be hurt.
Never think that I was self sufficent and as safe as I can be, but I am still training other things than climbing hard...
courses create an obligation to be a first repondant, without courses you are protect by the good samaritan law. For me, climbing practice is better than taking a first aid course...althought I can know a lot of thing (aid nurse for eight year) by studying, in a 90 degree cliff, without any thing, it is hard to immobilize the climber any way.