Learn Wilderness First Aid in 2011
Take a Wilderness First Aid course and learn what to do when you are beyond the reach of ambulances and paramedics.
While coming up with your New Year's Resolutions for 2011, consider taking a Wilderness First Aid course. Wilderness First Aid is something you never want to use, but if the situation arises, you will be very relieved that you have the skills.
Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) courses are important for outdoor enthusiasts so that they feel confident in taking care of themselves and the people they are hiking with. These courses help participants understand what the real concerns are rather than being overwhelmed with all of the fears of what could happen. And they help us manage the risks we take.
You may already have taken a regular first aid course. Unfortunately, while valuable for urban and suburban situations, a standard first aid course is sometimes not enough for hiking. Wilderness first aid teaches you what to do when you're out of reach of ambulances and paramedics. You'll cover the basics of assessing an injured person, taking life-saving measures, protecting the spine from critical damage, and setting priorities for evacuation.
Each course has an in-class component followed by skill-building and scenarios. There is significantly more experiential learning going on in these courses than in standard first aid courses.
There are a number of courses offered in wilderness first aid. The WFA course is appropriate for hikers and backpackers who are traveling on more popular trails in moderate conditions. The WFR course is appropriate for anyone traveling in the backcountry for extended periods of time, off-trail climbing or skiing.
Interested? The University of Puget Sound is sponsoring a Wilderness First Responder course starting January 8th and a Wilderness First Aid course from May 21-23 that are taught by the Wilderness Medicine Training Center, which is also offering courses next year in Mazama.
Other organizations that offer these classes include:
- The Mountaineers
- Washington Alpine Club MOFA (offered in the fall only)
- National Outdoor Leadership School WFA
- Remote Medical International
- American Red Cross
Check these offerings out. They are usually 16 hours long and about $220. That's a small price to pay for acquiring the skills you would need to help yourself, your loved ones or even a stranger.