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Ideal for scouts and leaders, our 16-hour Wilderness and Remote First Aid course gives you the skills and confidence you need to respond to an emergency when help may be delayed. Participants will learn how to assess, treat, and (when possible) contain emergencies within the scope of their training. The meals that will be provided are Crackerbarrel-Friday night, Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch and a light Saturday dinner.
This post is a teaser, designed to inspire you to sign up for a REAL WFA certification course. Urban first aid is defined as being able to get help (EMTs, ambulance, etc) in under 1 hour. You're hiking along in backcountry, and in the distance you see a crumpled body at the base of a small cliff. At first you see only 1 injured person, but if you stop to look around for others, you might see the guy 10 feet away who is even more badly injured. The most critical parts of the assessment are over, so you can take a deep breath and relax a bit at this point (unless the person died or something).
Start with the skull and face, lightly pressing different areas and asking if it hurts (if the person is conscious).
At this point, ask the delicate question of "is there any reason I should check your groin area?" If no (hopefully), continue the scan at the thigh. Finally, you need to carefully roll the person on his side, preferably toward you and pulling at the shoulder and waist.
Now it is time to check vital signs - pulse, rate of respiration, and rough guess about body temperature. I am much more confident about my ability to handle an emergency in the woods after this course.
I am a little confused about certain details, like: don't you have to do the ABC's to assess whether the person is dead or alive (5. The instructors gave us little fold-up waterproof booklets with a variety of potential injuries and sicknesses and how to treat them, whether evac should be rapid or not, etc. Sarah CornettSeptember 19, 2013 at 12:46 PMDid the class cover anything about getting an injured person out of the wilderness?
The WAFA course is designed for trip leaders and those traveling or working in remote areas who need a more extensive training program than the Wilderness First Aid course. Learning takes place both in the classroom and in outdoor settings regardless of weather conditions.
Certification: Participants are required to pass both written and practical examinations to obtain WAFA and CPR certification. Recertification: This course may also be used to recertify Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT (wilderness portion only) certifications. College Credit: 2 semester credits are available from WMI-affiliated colleges and universities.
Continuing Education: This course is pre-approved for 32 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours (CEH) by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). Scholarship: Individuals fluent in American Sign Language or Signed Exact English may be eligible to receive a full scholarship to their initial Wilderness Advanced First Aid course. The 40-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid course includes many topics that other programs leave out such as reduction of dislocations, focused spine assessment and epinephrine administration.
Note: This site is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or internet device. The last three days I participated to the last part of the Slipstream wilderness first aid training (click here for the article on the first part).

But the most interesting part was without a doubt the last day and a half spend to put into practice, during realistic scenarios, the knowledge and techniques we learned.
Finally, victim evacuation exercised confirmed my experience of the extreme difficulty to perform an auto evacuation. In short, I found this training very exciting due to the quality of its content, the pedagogy of the training and the trainer, the scenarios. The course meets BSA requirements for wilderness first aid training among all crews participating in national and council high adventure camps.
Youth and adult Scout leaders over age 14 are invited to participate and earn their certification. With urban first aid, the focus is on getting help as soon as possible: call 911, then do your ABC's and do CPR if necessary. CPR was not taught at the WFA course, but if you know it, and the person is dead, this is the time to use it.
If the person fell from more than 3 feet, you automatically assume a spinal injury and maintain stabilization. If it's -20 F and the person obviously has hypothermia, it's time to wrap her in a hypo-wrap (more on that later).
Starting at the head, you gently but firmly check everywhere on the body for abnormalities. Please leave a comment for any specific requests, or points of clarification, or if you see any inaccuracies in what I have presented. The WFA course included many, many practice scenarios; I have written this post not from my notes, but from memory. This 5-day course focuses on stabilization, treatment and evacuation guidelines for patients in backcountry environments. Successful course completion earns you a WMI Adult & Child CPR certification and a WMI Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification. Participants using the WAFA to recertify their WFR need to pass both a written and a practical examination. In attendance were Toni Aurilio, Kirstin Corris, Tom Corris, Tracy Dahl, Bob Gaylord, Cherry Grassi, Katie Keier, Keith Knipling, Alex Papadopoulos, and Bill Wandel. After very interesting first two days last week-end, I couldn’t wait to attend the last part. By pairs we alternatively played several time the role of the victim and the rescuer on accidents scenes that were unknown to us before the exercise. Looking at and learning from the errors of the others of course, but also looking at how much we get too focused and can’t see what happens around us when we are in the action. On an evacuation exercise with a well made makeshift stretcher it took the nine of us one hour to carry the victim on an uneven terrain that would normally take three minutes to walk! Someone asked me how much first aid knowledge I'd gained during my year at the Tracker School. If not, the person does not have a pulse and you need to jump on her chest if you know CPR. Stick your fingers inside the shoe, inside the sock of each foot to see if it is warm or cold. Have them squeeze your hands and wiggle their fingers, and grasp a random finger and ask them to verify which one it is. Then you check to either side of the spine, again taking time to check every little area and asking if there is pain. The course was taught through SOLO and featured classroom and hands-on practical components.

In one of the scenario, the coach was giving clear tips to my rescuer, through gestures and expressions. There are basic treatments you can offer the wilderness patient for most emergencies, but the primary skill of the WFA certified individual is assessment. These are "stop and fix" items, so if you find a problem, you don't move on to the next letter until it is solved. If the person is no longer breathing, this would be the time to give rescue breaths if you know CPR. If there is circulation outside the body, that person is bleeding and you need to stop the bleeding immediately.
But I feel much less vulnerable to bad decision making or freezing up in the event of an emergency. The scenarios were very realistic thanks to the simulation talent of the victims and the maque-up talents of the coach. But confused by the situation, not knowing what to do he was not able to see nor interpret those signs. If the person is having trouble breathing because they are in a crumpled position, this would be a good time to move them, taking care to stabilize the head and neck. Do a quick full-body check, examining your gloved hands for blood after each time you touch different parts of the body. Do they have any conditions like asthma or seizures? When was the last bowel movement and urination?What happened just before the accident?
In that case you need to leave all the info you acquired with the person in case someone else finds her. I think I will renew my CPR certification next, and am considering taking the 9 day wilderness first responder course.
What is a longer term solution for stabilizing the head and neck, if that is what is needed?
If you rush into a scene without assessing for ambient dangers, you could very easily create a more severe WFA situation by adding yourself to the list of injured people. If she has a spinal injury and you fail to secure the head and neck, they could go from a recoverable injury to paralyzed for life or even dead. Have the person locate their belly button with a finger and divide the abdomen into 4 quadrants. Now grasp a random toe on each foot and have them tell you, without looking, which toe you have. You do not approach an injured or sick person in the back country until you are reasonably certain it is safe to do so. Common sense tells me that if there is a way I can get them out myself, without further injuring them, as fast as I could go get help and return, I should carry them out. But that is not something they taught us.I think in most situations, you should leave the injured person there and get help. As I think more about it, there are probably VERY few situations in which you could get the injured person to advanced medical care faster by trying to carry them out than by leaving them and hauling ass to the nearest cell phone reception area.

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