When we started planning adventures in the back country with our kids, we knew it was time for some more thorough first aid training. I decided to sign up for a Wilderness First Aid training through RMI in Seattle. Originally we wanted my wife to go as well, but they don’t let infants attend. So, that left just me.
The course is two days and 16 hours of both classroom and outdoors training. I was really impressed with the amount of material covered, despite the obvious time constraints of a weekend course.
The first day was a lot of basics and a lot of hands on training about rolling, lifting and moving patients. I chose a 6 foot 200 lb guy to move and it really shows use how much of a challenge it can be and how to make it easier.
After every big section, we were brought outside where we had to “diagnose” and stabilize a patient in a scenario. Other class members filled in for injuries and small groups had to work through the triangle to figure out what issues existed and how to best act.
Here’s the Course Outline:
- Medical-Legal Considerations
- Patient Assessment
- Lifting & Moving Patients
- Head Injuries
- Spinal Injury Management
- Wound Management & Infection
- Musculoskeletal Injuries
- Respiratory Emergencies
- Cardiac Emergencies
- Abdominal Pain
- Metabolic & Allergic Reactions
- Cold Emergencies & Illness
- Heat Emergencies & Illness
- Immersion & Submersion
- Remote Medical Kits & Supplies
At the very end before discussing Medical Kits we had one last scenario where we grabbed what supplies we found and came outside to a scenario. It really drove home how nerve racking it could be. In our scenario we found a man who had fallen down a steep 40-foot slope. He was in shock, but had bruised and potentially broken femur, clavicle, elbow and spine pain. Oh, and he kept vomiting. We found him lying on the side of “broken” clavicle and on his “broken” elbow. What’s worse is that we had to move him to a site where the evac could come and take him away.
The teachers did an awesome job responding to questions and what ifs. Although I’m going to have to go through it all again, I feel much better about taking my kids out in the back country with us this summer.