First aid opinions...

2:36 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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I've read through a bunch of the older disscussions on here about about WFA training and I'd like some opinions on a question I have from those with more wilderness experience. How do wilderness medical trainings compare with non wilderness medical training? More specifically, I have an EMT cert and military field first aid training and I am wondering how much more a wilderness training would provide me. I assume it involves more improvised medical techniques but I'd like to hear from those who have experience in both. Thanks. :) -Geoff

3:21 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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I can't speak for the military training, but there IS a Wilderness EMT certification. Because of this, I must assume that there is still more to learn after regular EMT training.

http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wemt.shtml

I know lifetime EMT's who would not know the first thing to do in an emergency if they didn't have a trauma kit, litter, and an ambulance. this class is designed to help work those problems out.

3:59 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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The short (vastly oversimplified) answer is that the urban EMT training assumes you have a well-equipped ambulance/crash cart. Military EMT assumes you have the standard-issue medic kit. In both cases, you are assumed to have fairly rapid access to evac and hospitals ("fairly rapid" is relative, of course). Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, and Wilderness EMT all assume it will be an extended time before there is any evacuation or access to anything more than what is in your backpack. "Extended time" may be days or weeks. This means that there is a lot of improvising taught in these courses. And there are things in there that include the disclaimer "this is only for an MD to decide, but since you are in an extended time situation with no facilities, you might have to do ..." (well, do you let the person just die because the ambulance isn't here?)

In addition, WFR includes specialized evac and rescue training (the courses are tailored to high angle rescue for climbers, swift water for raft and kayak, and so on). WEMT goes still farther with the evac and rescue.

Eric Weiss has a couple of good books that will illustrate this - one is called "Wilderness 911", the other is a shirt-pocket sized book "A comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine". Paul Auerbach (who I saw on the tube last night just getting back from Haiti) also has "Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine (with Howard Donner and Eric Weiss as co-authors).

4:11 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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The short (vastly oversimplified)

?. Isn't that what I just said Bill? ;-)

6:21 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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I know SOLO has a WEMT component that is a 40 hour class that would upgrade an EMT-B to a WEMT.

http://www.soloschools.com/wemt.html

That is the link to the website, the info on the WEMT Module as they call it is in the top right. I am not sure where you're from but this is an NH company, I am sure that somewhere near you would have something similar.

8:31 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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Bill S said:

The short (vastly oversimplified)

?. Isn't that what I just said Bill? ;-)

Yeah, but then I overexpanded on the details.

11:47 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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ATRemy, I'm in Colorado Springs, I would hope there is something similar around here being this close to the mountains. And thanks guys for the input, I'll have to look into it some more.

2:11 a.m. on March 17, 2010 (EDT)
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Don't worry, your EMT and military certs are more preparation than almost anyone else in the wilds has.

November 21, 2014
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