2024 Wilderness First Aid Course recap

Every two years the SRK Greenway organizes a Wilderness First Aid course held at Colby-Sawyer College for community members to learn how to stay safe on their outdoor adventures and how to assist others when an accident or illness occurs in the backcountry. Last month, there were 44 students and two instructors that spent two full days learning and discussing how to help someone who is injured, ill, or suffering from an environmental challenge, such as hypothermia.  

It was a great weekend with a lot of real-world examples and field scenarios that gave students a chance to discuss and practice their new skills. The Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is taught by instructors from SOLO based out of Conway, NH who specialize in wilderness emergency medicine courses. 

Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) was started 45 years ago by Dr. Frank Hubbell. In the early 1970’s, Hubbell came to the realization that there needed to be new methods developed in caring for the injured in remote places. There were too many injured skiers, climbers and hikers who were being rescued and brought to the Emergency Room — who could have greatly benefited from better emergency response. 

SOLO offers wilderness emergency medical courses — from the basic level to the very advanced.  The Wilderness First Aid course in New London was the most basic level that they offer. It was an intensive two day (16-hour) workshop that comes with a two-year certification. The course integrated both classroom lectures along with hands-on practical segments and testing. There was quite a bit of role playing and scenarios created where we were given the opportunity to be the “victim” as well as the “first responders”. All with the primary objective of giving us practice and learning from our mistakes.

Learning a system for dealing with a medical emergency in the backwoods is a pretty powerful tool. Thankfully emergencies don’t happen every day; but, when they do the more people that are trained to help the better.

For those of you who may have missed the course, or are looking for additional wilderness trainings, you can visit SOLO’s website at https://soloschools.com

SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course

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