Wilderness First Aid Course

teotwaki

Excelsior!
full set of pix are here http://suntothenorth.blogspot.com/2016/12/first-aid-in-wilderness.html

Owning all of the fanciest off-road or back country gear in the world may not save someone from a death due to a treatable injury. No one wants to be faced with asking themselves why they stood by helplessly watching someone suffer during a backwoods emergency.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) skills can apply in any location whether back country or during an earthquake because we may have to wait hours for help from EMTs or Paramedics.

I took the first step to improving my skills and signed up for the excellent Wilderness Medical Institute course offered under the umbrella of the National Outdoor Leadership School, or NOLS. Successful completion of the course earns you the WMI certification for WFA which also includes meeting the training standards for administering EPIPens (epinephrine auto-injectors) in California. Next year I plan to build on these WFA skills by taking the 10 day Wilderness EMT course.

Here is an outline of the 16 hour WFA course:

Learn how to administer first aid in a wilderness context.
The Patient Assessment System
Creating evacuation plans and wilderness emergency procedures
Spinal cord injuries
Shock
Head injuries
Wilderness wound management
Athletic injuries
Fracture management
Cold injuries
Heat injuries
Altitude sickness
Lightning
The Medical Patient
Anaphylaxis.

What sorts of instructors do they offer to guide you through the topics? The best! Danny is a 25 year EMT veteran, Dan brings 30 years of Paramedic experience and both are skilled outdoorsmen. They worked as a very effective team to provide spirited lectures, hands-on practice with medical supplies, solutions improvised from materials on hand and numerous medical emergency scenarios that students had to resolve.



The two days were jam packed to say the least yet the pace was perfect. It helps that everyone attending was keenly interested in leaving the class with a good handle on the course material. Unlike public schools, no one sat in the back hoping to get by unnoticed. Everyone took a turn at playing the role of the patient within the context of providing rescuers with a valid learning scenario. Students readily volunteered when the instructors needed a live "victim" to demonstrate solutions to particular medical challenges.



At various times my class roles included a head injury with mock blood dripping from my ear, Altitude Mountain Sickness effects on Mount Whitney or a broken leg due to a climbing accident.

These are some of my fellow students brainstorming to quickly improvise a way to immobilize my leg "injury". All of these scenarios were timed in order to add some urgency to the situation.



To add to the class handouts I took twenty-three pages of notes and included quick sketches or items to follow up on.



I cannot say too often that I am glad that I finally took this important step! You should take it too. Whether you are in an urban or wilderness setting the course can give you the confidence to address traumatic, medical, and environmental emergencies. You want to prepare to act if an accident occurs because waiting too long may have unwanted consequences.
 

keylay

Adventurer
Nice!

I took and passed a Wilderness First Responder course through NOLS in 2008, which has since expired. I remember the topics, practices and scenarios really well. I went on to use this training as a river guide in Colorado in 2008 as well. We dumped a boat in May, and myself with a couple other guides treated one person for shock and hypothermia.

Currently, as an Aquatic Professional, training over 1,000 people in Lifeguarding, First-Aid (Epi-Pen too), Emergency Oxygen, CPR/AED, i feel confident in the fundamentals, paired with experience in WFR and real world experience. It actually came into play in MY life in 2012, with me as a patient. I broke my ankle and femur in a bad motocross accident. Guess what they did? Pulled traction. It hurt, but one it was taught, INSTANT relief...maybe a 8 out of 10 compared to 10 out of 10, but felt SO much better.
 

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
I took my course with Sweet Otter. now since expired and hard and expensive to renew. Great course .
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
After I took the WFA class I applied for the California EpiPen Cert and now have my card for that too. There are a number of youngsters in my extended family that have to carry EpiPens so in a pinch I can help "stab" the young'uns. :)
 

FJOE

Adventurer
I took my WEMT at SOLO in NH with Dr. Hubbell and the gang. It was 23 days long, and pricey, though I used the GI Bill to pay for it. It was an outstanding course, and paved the way for more training that soon followed. I live in a pretty remote area, and work/travel all over the world, usually in somewhat austere places. Now work pays for my training and equipment, but the training, skills, and sustainment have helped me both save lives and assist others in saving lives countless times both in my personal and professional life. I can't stress enough the importance of quality training.

All that fancy equipment is nice in the back of your LandCruiser (80 series of course), but can you use it when it's -19 and you are in a ditch with an ejected snowmobile rider?
 

Ovrlnd Rd

Adventurer
We have a great school about 10 miles from my house, http://thehumanpath.net. My wife is taking the Herbal Medic classes and branched off in to some of the other areas as well. Many of the courses are on line but the Wilderness First Responder requires hands on training. The main instructor is a former Sprcial Forces medic.
 

Ovrland

Adventurer
FJOE, when did you do your WEMT with SOLO? I did this course with them in Dec 2006/Jan 2007 and then again in Dec 2015/Jan 2016...returning to work on my Geo Medic. Since certifying with them in 2016, I have been instructing WFR classes through SOLO.

I took my WEMT at SOLO in NH with Dr. Hubbell and the gang. It was 23 days long, and pricey, though I used the GI Bill to pay for it. It was an outstanding course, and paved the way for more training that soon followed. I live in a pretty remote area, and work/travel all over the world, usually in somewhat austere places. Now work pays for my training and equipment, but the training, skills, and sustainment have helped me both save lives and assist others in saving lives countless times both in my personal and professional life. I can't stress enough the importance of quality training.

All that fancy equipment is nice in the back of your LandCruiser (80 series of course), but can you use it when it's -19 and you are in a ditch with an ejected snowmobile rider?
 

FJOE

Adventurer
FJOE, when did you do your WEMT with SOLO? I did this course with them in Dec 2006/Jan 2007 and then again in Dec 2015/Jan 2016...returning to work on my Geo Medic. Since certifying with them in 2016, I have been instructing WFR classes through SOLO.
PM sent
 

Ray_G

Explorer
Just took WFA by MEDIC SOLO, hosted by Twin Mountain Off-road in WV. Phenomenal class, will be taking WFR at some point as a follow on for sure. Well worth the time/$.


We'd engaged the instructor to facilitate the final exercise being based on a vehicle rollover, using Twin Mountain's resources, incorporated it with pretzeled occupants, ejected passengers, etc.


Great facility, instructor, group. Can't say enough.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
This is one of the best things that you can do for yourself, friends and your community!

With my years as a business owner and guide, it has paid off. I had 2 occasions for clients that were for broken bones while the people were out walking and stumbled and fell.

It dose not all work out the way we want. Four months ago I was summoned to a neighbors house. I thought he had a stroke and called 911 got the EMP's there to transport to the hospital. They first thought as I did a stroke. They were then confused as the EKG did not show any problems. Well off to the hospital and with many test, X-rays and scans the result came back, it was a cancerous brain tumor. He passed away less then 2 weeks later.

The last time I used my training was just 2 weeks ago. I was out with a neighbor who I believed had a heart attack. With the symptoms I got him aspirin and I drove him to the hospital in record time of 5 minutes to the emergency room. The EMT's were 15 minutes away. and that would have taken exam time and transport time. The diagnose was a total blockage of blood to the heart. The result was he is home 5 days later with NO damage to the heart muscle. I got a big thank by ER and cardiologist doctors for the proper care and the time of the response.

Granted you may never have a chance to use the training that you should get.

You never know whose life you may save and a difference you can have in that persons life and their families life.

You will never know if you will know if you need it or when, but I am happy I had it.:clapsmile
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
What are people's thoughts on upgrading from WFA to WEMT?

EDIT 9/22: It should be about upgrading to Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
 
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Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
What are people's thoughts on upgrading from WFA to WEMT?
It's a big investment. I'd love to be able to do it - I will never feel like I have "enough" training for every situation, but WEMT is a BIG amount of time/money.

Instead, I think we'd be better served to have *more* people in the party WFA certified. The next time I have an opportunity for a WFA class, I'm going to insist the Mrs. goes with me.
 
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