Wilderness First Responder Course Held at Garrett

The Adventuresports Institute (ASI) of Garrett College recently held a SOLO (
School of Outdoor Learning Opportunities) Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course designed to prepare trip leaders, guides, rangers, counselors, and those who travel in remote environments to handle medical emergencies. This 80-hour certification course curriculum meets and exceeds the Department of Transportation’s National Standards for First Responder with additional protocols for extended care situations. The instruction emphasized prevention and decision-making with plenty of “hands-on” practice.  

The SOLO WFR training addressed the issues of mediocolegal concerns, blood borne pathogens, and infectious diseases. The Patient Assessment System, the foundation of the course, focused on determining what is going on with backcountry patients. Other sessions provided instruction in traumatic situations as well as medical emergencies. Environmental issues, such as hypothermia and heat injuries, were dealt with in detail. Practical simulations and labs concentrated on backcountry leadership and rescue skills.

Participants who met the classroom criteria and passed the appropriate practical and written exams were certified in SOLO Wilderness First Responder and American Heart Association CPR.
According to Mike Logsdon, Director of ASI, learning the skills associated with becoming a first responder is accomplished through mastery. “It is expected that students will demonstrate written knowledge and hands-on field skills at a high level of performance,” he said. .

Instruction was held both in classrooms and outdoors. “SOLO students are also on-call as volunteers for real mountain rescue evacuations in the event of an emergency so it is our expectation that students will willingly go out on rescues, if they are healthy, and will help to carry rescue gear or transport patients in litters if asked. In other words, they need to be generally fit with no underlying health problems that would prevent you from meeting these expectations. A good minimum guideline is that they are able to pack and carry at least one quarter of their body weight four miles in four hours,” Logsdon explained.

Information on SOLO training is available at http://www.soloschools.com/soloshome.html To learn more about the Garrett College Advesturesports Institute one may visit www.garrettcollege.edu/educationalopportunities/creditoptions/academic-departments/asi or call 301-387-3330.

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