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Who has taken a wilderness first responder course? And why?
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alpnclmbr1


Dec 30, 2002, 2:38 PM
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Who has taken a wilderness first responder course? And why?
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I am curious to see how many people on this site have taken a WFR course. Would the people that have encourage others to take the course. Is it part of being a "good climber" or is it something you only need to take for a job requirement. Do you think this site should encourage people to take the course?


Partner tim


Dec 30, 2002, 2:49 PM
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I took one in college, almost everyone in the course was there for job requirements, I took it in order to feel secure in my own self-sufficiency and be able to evacuate all but the most serious injuries.

I've since done 2 rescues (one on Whitney, one at Consumnes River Gorge), only one was serious (broken tibias) but that was at altitude, we found the Stokes litter, immobilized the poor sonofabitch's legs and spine, gave him my Vicodin, and lowered him about 4000' to Lower Boy Scout lake. Next day we saw the helicopter coming in to fly him out when we were standing on top.

Did one minor self-rescue when I broke and dislocated a finger in an aid fall. That was just common sense.

I should try and keep up-to-date and do mini-clinics of the things I'm most solid on, since that way I can make sure I still am doing them right, and other people can benefit. I have probably forgotten 90% of the stuff from my WFR course, but neck immobilization, body rolls, ABC, traction splints, and head trauma checklist stuck with me. Those seem like really valuable things to know, esp. since I've used *some* of them successfully (that guy on Whitney would have froze overnight, most likely, as it was about 20 degrees that night -- it was in April 2000).

Can't hurt, in any event.


esimhs99


Dec 30, 2002, 2:54 PM
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i havent,but i am planning to take on offered at my school this spring. i think that it is a good idea for people to do if they spend a lot of time outdoors, it just makes sense to know what to do, since wilderness first aid is completely different from "red cross" first aid.


heelhooker


Dec 30, 2002, 3:00 PM
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I refresh my wilderness first-aid every chance I get. It is important to me to be able to respond and give assistance. And... if it were me that was hurt I'd sure hope someone was around that had a good idea what to do and didn't mess me up even worse!

Your point is spot on. I'd encourage everyone to learn as much as they can or at least learn enough to act as far as they are comfortable.


alpnclmbr1


Dec 30, 2002, 8:45 PM
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Always reassuring that there are people out there with the forsight to do what they can.

Tim, how many people did you have to cart him down to lower boyscout. That must of been a bear.

So far I've been involved in two rescues and one body recovery.

the worst was a snowboarder who hit a tree at berthoud, we stabilized him and then helped the ski patrollers put him on a back board and put a cervical collar on. While we were doing this his belly was getting as hard as a rock. Internal bleeding. Found out later that he made it. This was two months after I took the course with my backcountry climbing/skiing partners.

recently did a evac using a mountaineers coil to carry him out, He swung into the rock at the red and broke his ankle


atg200


Dec 31, 2002, 7:18 AM
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i haven't yet, which i am fairly embarrassed about. i'm planning on doing a WFR course sometime this summer after i have a week of vacation built up. i think it is an awfully good idea for anyone who climbs anywhere more than a day from help.


on_the_bum_again


Dec 31, 2002, 7:43 AM
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I have yet to get my WFR, but I've been wilderness First Aid Certified for several years. Ths skills are extremely valuable, especially for dealing with minor injuries far from civilization.

I'm lucky, in that all I've seen are near misses and minor injuries, but I know the day is coming when I'll need to be there to provide assistance to someone in dire need. I'm not looking forward to that moment, but I'm trying to prepare for it.

NOLS is tops on my list for wilderness first responder or WEMT training.


crack_head


Dec 31, 2002, 7:43 AM
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i have thought about taking one this summer.

[ This Message was edited by: crack_head on 2002-12-31 07:43 ]


alpnclmbr1


Dec 31, 2002, 8:56 AM
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hey martha
berthoud and wolf creek were my favorite resorts in CO.

I went with Carl Weil and wilderness medicine outfitters, based in elizabeth, co.
Actual class was in buena vista, co. I donít think he is doing it anymore.

WMI (nols) looks good to
I have heard good things about the team in crested butte
I did a quick search and most of the courses I was looking at before are no longer there. The best one used to be in alaska
I actually need to recertify
Am considering a wemt but you can do more with a wfr (less legal restrictions)

As far as Avy courses I would recommend the American Avalanche Institute. Rod Newcomb for the science and Ron Matous(head exum guide) for the practical. They are based in jackson hole

Do your own studying and take the level II and level III


Partner calamity_chk


Dec 31, 2002, 9:19 AM
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alpnclmbr,

I have the WAFA (wilderness advanced first aid) from WMA. The cool thing about this offering, which is unique to WMA btw, is that it's somewhere between regular first aid/wilderness first aid and the WFR, in terms of cost, skill, and time required to complete the coursework.

What's more, WMA offers a 'bridge course' where you can upgrade your WAFA to a WFR by completing a WFR renewal course (less time and money than the WFR certification class) in addition to some extra assignments prior to the course. (I plan to do this next spring or fall.)

My reasons for taking the course? I'm a single mom who has fallen hopelessly in love with climbing and want to take my son (6 yrs) to increasingly remote settings for hiking, camping, climbing, etc., and since my kiddo and I tend to get a little daring at times, it's very important to me that I have the knowledge/background to treat him (or myself) and to effectively communicate with any paramedics, should anything ever go awry. Plus, I'm not particularly keen on having to trust that someone else will always be there to rescue us.

Of course, the wildest thing that's happened so far is a tweaked ankle and a couple of minor skin abrasions, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

Finally, I was the only person in my class (~20 ppl) who was taking the class for personal reasons. Everyone else was affiliated with wilderness education in some form or fashion.

Sorry for rambling, but I hope it helped!
amber

PS: My course was 'hosted' by Adventure Risk Management there in SoCal, and the course took place on some land held by the UC System in the San Jacinto Mountains. Feel free to PM with any questions.



[ This Message was edited by: clymbr_chk on 2002-12-31 09:28 ]


micronut


Dec 31, 2002, 9:30 AM
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I took a weekend avalanche course with Telluride Helitrax when I was in high school. Then, I thought I knew something and almost got the "chop" a few times.

In my book, there is no substitute for going out regularly during the season and paying attention to conditions, every day if possible. I devolp a "feel" for the snowpack, and know what, if anything, has changed. When I travel to a different area, I try to find locals who I know know their stuff, and then get a good consoltation.

P.S. it looks like Mt. Baldy is coming into condition, anybody down to hit the only "real" skiing in So.CAl.? Backcountry, of course.


galt


Dec 31, 2002, 10:14 AM
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  I took my WFR course through WMA (Wilderness Medical Associates http://www.wildmed.com) because I knew I lacked the knowledge to respond in an emergency.
I'm an R.A. (Resident Assistant) at my college and we have a Police (not rent a cop) and Fire Department on campus. I responded to a girl having a Grand Mal seizure on my floor and it took the Police 10 min. to come after the 911 call. I held this girl in my arms for another 10 min. after the Police arrived waiting for the Paramedics to show up. I did what I could with the knowledge I had, but knew I needed more. So I made up my mind to take a WFR course because I knew it was the most for my buck. If I had my way I would have taken EMT or WEMT classes, but those were longer and much more expensive.
I spent $450 (for the course and a place to sleep) for the 10-day class. Possibly the best $450 I've ever spent.
After my course I've responded to 1 Dehydrated Unconscious Person, 1 Heat Exhaustion, 1 GriGri and steel biener falling on someone's head from 35 ft. (bled badly), 1 cut wrist, and many small cuts bruises and burns.
Those all occurred around me in the places I work (R.A., Rock Climbing Gym) and places I go on a regular basis (swimming pool). I say the world is a dangerous place, might as well be prepared for as much as you can.
Hope this helps someone.


[ This Message was edited by: galt on 2002-12-31 10:17 ]


coclimber26


Dec 31, 2002, 10:39 AM
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don't you need to take that class to get your guiding license?


alpnclmbr1


Dec 31, 2002, 11:15 AM
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Hey Amber sounds good, when I took the course most everyone was doing it for a job to.
Thanks for the link and info, the bridge course beta sounds usefull. Congrats on being a single mom and still getting out and living life

Jay: sounds like you have a good plan, when I was in estes we kept a data pit going all winter and took turn going to it, and doing updates. Is there a cali avy forecast.
Ps. I could be into doing your tour sometime, Iím way out of date for the high desert beta

Dailey: wish I was as smart as you are when I was 21, and it would agree, it is one of the best investments in time and money you can make.
thanks to all
keep it coming


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