By Adrian
Sep 05, 2015

Adventures in Wilderness First Aid Training

Sandy, Utah’s Troop 411 does a number of high-adventure treks and monthly weekend campouts that put us, literally or figuratively, “in the wilderness.” Being prepared to adequately care for any injuries in such situations is paramount.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) defines “wilderness” as being one hour or more from “definitive care,” meaning a trauma-level hospital. Even a simple hike up Mt. Olympus—in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley with full cell phone reception—fits that definition of being more than an hour away from definitive care.

Wilderness First Aid

Going over some of the training prior to the field portion of the training.

Many scouting activities require that one or more adults be certified in Wilderness First Aid. Several of our adult members along with Scouts elected to take the Wilderness First Aid Course. We are lucky in that one of our adults is a Fire Captain and Paramedic who also operates a WFA training facility.

We spent quite a bit of classroom time going through the details in the WFA manual. We learned various ways to splint extremities, reduce a dislocated joint, treat heat stroke, stabilize and evacuate an injured person, and how to respond to a myriad of other possible scenarios.

Wilderness First Aid

Our realistic “Victim” Preston is assessed by Scoutmaster Doug Orr

Given that we live along the Wasatch Fault, capable of a 7.0+ Richter event that would kill hundreds and injure thousands, we realized these skills have many applications outside the wilderness.

After passing the class, we all felt better prepared to help others when the need arises.

After lunch, we regrouped on a hillside behind one of our members homes. Using Hollywood-style horror movie effects, we practiced on very realistic “victims”. The difference between the classroom work and field work was stark.

Wilderness First Aid

Scouts and adult leaders work together to determine the most appropriate treatment for Preston’s “injuries”

After passing the class, we all felt better prepared to help others when the need arises.

This is a post by Jim Palmer, our Troop’s Communications Chair and the father of Preston Palmer, our adorable “victim”.  He is also a City Councilman for the City of Holladay, so he’s a busy guy.  We appreciate him taking the time to create this post to highlight the importance of First Aid Training.

Adrian_Webversion_2013_04_closeupAuthor: Adrian | AdriansCrazyLife.com.  Adrian is a blogger who is passionate about helping parents with parenting tips, managing their finances, and organizing their homes. She has a full-time job in the financial industry and is part of the leadership of Troop 411 at Hilltop United Methodist Church in Sandy, UT.

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