Wilderness First Responder Training

Wilderness First Responder Training

This past month I had the opportunity to complete my Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Training through NOLS. It was a nine-day course, and we covered A LOT of material in those nine days. The class was structured differently and covered significantly more topics than any other course or first aid class that I had ever taken.

The instructors lead us through classroom portions of the class followed by scenarios. Scenarios provided great hands-on learning and application of the materials that were just being covered in the classroom portion. During these scenarios the class would swap out being the rescuer and the victims.

There were two sessions at night during the nine days that also focused solely on scenarios, and at the end of the course there was a practical exam as well as a written exam. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and this style of learning. It was empowering to gain the knowledge of what to do in an emergency, and what to look for in patients that might be having a medical emergency in addition to musculoskeletal injuries.

This class also encouraged me to look at the next steps of this level of training which includes, Wilderness EMT certifications and other EMT related courses and training. If anyone is interested in taking a more in depth first aid course with focus on wilderness medicine and field applications, I highly suggest looking into WFR classes near you. The instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and personable; I suggest taking a WFR with Nols or another well-known outdoor education program or school. These courses are offered all over the country, look great on a resume, and might help you save a life in the backcountry! I am considering volunteering for search and rescue this year, as well as attempting to gain experience applying my WFR knowledge in other ways.

Practicing one of the many ways to get a patient out of the backcountry. 

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