Wilderness First Aid training is different from standard first aid training in that it expands the skill set of the student beyond 'call for help and expect professionals in a few minutes'. The “Wilderness” has been defined as 4 hours from being in a hospital or as 30 minutes from an EMS accessible road. But Wilderness is more than set boundaries. Citizens of New Orleans and Fukushima found that sudden, unpredictable and overwhelming changes in the environment plunged them into a wilderness right at home in the blink of an eye. WFA class teaches what to do when the WFA student is all that another human has as a caregiver for hours or days. We will teach our WFA students how to be a caregiver and how to integrate into the chain of care for a patient. I have been the Emergency Room doc receiving patients from the back country, and in the IWME WFA class we will teach you what I would want done for my patients.
Wilderness First Aid is for those who wish to be more independent and self reliant. WFA is for families that enjoy the backcountry. WFA is for guides whose job is taking others into the backcountry. WFA is for adult leaders who take youth into the backcountry. The Boy Scouts of America now requires WFA training to participate in all of their national camps and strongly encourages WFA training for all backcountry trips.
If you are a person who is responsible for others that you take into the backcountry for any reason, you should ask yourself why you don’t already have this training.
IWME teaches our WFA students how to examine a patient and how to obtain a medical history for the purposes of caring for patients and for integrating to a higher level of care when needed. We teach how to care for many skin and orthopedic injuries that would otherwise be “trip enders”. We teach care for many routine illnesses and injuries. IWME teaching places a heavy emphasis on prevention of illness and injury.
WFA teaches how to improvise care with what is available where you are. I asked my US Army, 10th Mountain division, Medic students how they would apply their skills without a supply chain of infinity. Backcountry is different from planned and supplied. It is improvised and adapted.
In seeking an Asian partner for teaching Wilderness Medical skills, I found an ideal candidate in the form of the SP Campers of Singapore. They are well situated and appointed for teaching all over Asia. My time in Singapore proved to me that these teachers are quite competent not just to teach the medical skills but to inspire students to cross the lines of ‘traditional care’ to provide medical care in the Wilderness when an emergency strikes.
Wilderness medical skills are not just gathered from a textbook. WFA students need intelligent and imaginative instructors who are not afraid of challenging questions. WFA instructors must keep current with the ever changing science of medicine in the backcountry. I have found these instructors in the SP Campers.
I have decided to trust my name, my organization, and our reputation in Asia to SP Campers.
IWME Wilderness Medical Training.