Of all the merit badges I earned, twenty-four as required when I made Eagle Scout, the First Aid Merit Badge has proven to be the most useful of all. I was in Boy Scouts in the early 1970s, so I earned it over 45 years ago. Since then, I have been the first responder in many situations where people were seriously injured. It was one of the most difficult merit badges to learn, mainly because the First Aid Merit Badge counselors in my district were the most strict of all. My experiences proved its worth.
In one situation, while I was jogging, a man had accidentally run over his elderly mother while backing up his car. His first idea was to immediately try to pick her up and drive her to the hospital. I immediately recognized the danger of possible internal injuries, as well as possible spinal injury, so I did my best, not so much as help the victim, but to calm down the son. I convinced him to call an ambulance so that professional medical people could safely transport his mother to the hospital.
Another situation involved a child who had run through a plate glass door. He had serious glass cuts and was bleeding very much. I applied direct pressure on the worst wounds and calmly talked with the panicked mother about what to do. She was not willing to have her son go to the hospital since she had no insurance. But it was very clear to me that her son needed professional help to make sure all the glass shards were properly removed, the wounds were cleaned, and stitches were made. Eventually, her other friends and neighbors convinced her I was right. In all, the boy had about twelve stitches. Other situations over the years involved heat exhaustion, bicycle accidents, and other injuries. If I had not have had the basic medical training from going through the effort of getting that first aid badge, I would not have been able to help those people.
Over the years since I got that first aid merit badge, I have gone to the American Red Cross many times to review my first aid knowledge and to update it. Methods for dealing with venomous snake bites have changed completely. CPR methods have changed, but most of the fundamentals are still the same.
Yes, the First Aid Merit Badge requirements should be difficult. If it is easy, go to a merit badge counselor that will make it difficult! It is truly the most important merit badge you will ever earn. The better you learn the material, the more helpful it will be. Be prepared!