Re: Wilderness First Aid
blaine a. jackson (blainej@JUNO.COM)
Wed, 14 May 1997 09:01:07 EDT
On Mon, 12 May 1997 05:46:12 -0700 "Timothy J O'Leary"
>Note that I am not an ER-doc or a surgeon, but I think Jon has mostly
>a very reasonable approach.
I certainly agree with Timothy and Jon about actions to take in the event
of such an injury.
I disagree, however, with a post which I believe implied that there was
no reason to get advanced training because there was nothing you could do
I am not an EMT, Paramedic or MD. The "Doctor" part of my degree only
allows me to doctor with laws. I am rather proud of the fact that I am a
WFR, however. If you are not familar with the abbreviation, it is often
pronounced "woofer", and stands for Wilderness First Responder. I am
certified by Wilderness Medical Associates and by the National
Association of Search and Rescue.
While in many cases, I may not be able to do any more that was described,
I believe that I am better trained to determine what is appropriate, and
to implement the proper action. I have studied how to deal with the most
common backcountry problems as well as the most severe. I may not have
seen it in real life, but I have probably dealt with it in very realistic
As an example, in my final practical problem in my WFR course, I
correctly performed primary and secondary surveys of my "patient",
stabilized him, made a correct assessment of the fact that he probably
had a partially detached aorta, and implemented proper protocols until
the time of his "death".
Prior to taking the WFR course, I completed the Red Cross First Responder
class. It was a very good class, and very complete as long as I am in an
urban setting. It basically served, however, as only a preliminary
course for WFR. The WFR course began assuming that I already knew
everything I had covered in the Red Cross class. It did not, for
instance, deal with multiple lightening strike victims, diabetic coma in
the backcountry, removing a patient with a spinal injury from 6 feet up
in a tree, assembling a hypothermia pack, making a litter from a coil of
In addition, the WFR course has varying protocols from a typical First
Aid class; these are designed to deal with wilderness problems.. A WFR
graduate is trained to make decisions and take some actions not covered
in an urban setting. A statement in one book we used said (paraphrased),
"In a wilderness medicine setting, a team of sled dogs is more valuable
than a team of surgeons."
I know that I am somewhat predjudiced, but I do believe that a fully
trained WFR will be more valuable in a Wilderness setting that an EMT or
Paramedic without his/her toys. In some cases, this may well apply to an
M.D. (No offense intended to Bates Noble, etc.) I know that I am
certainly better prepared to take care of scouts on an outing than I was
after the Red Cross course.
Blaine Jackson, email@example.com
SM T-450, 1st SA Jambo T-1807
I used to be a Bodacious Bobwhite
I am a Razorback
I am raising Eagles
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City