Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WFR training

I arrive at Philmont on Saturday morning after a 2 day bus ride, and just hung out all Saturday.

Sunday morning started WFR training (Wilderness First Responder) which is basically learning how to treat all sorts of injuries in the backcountry, where medical help is quite a ways away, either in time or distance. I figured this would be pretty useful for me, either for any type of future outdoor job, or just for personal use, since I'm almost constantly in the woods somewhere.

The classroom lectures go over all the medical conditions and proper treatment of almost any type of injury you might find in the woods. We've covered trauma all over the body and all types of environmental events, such as hypothermia or snakebite. The classes can get pretty long, but they cover all the information pretty well, especially different scenarios we might encounter an injury in.

The more exciting aspect of the course is the hands on scenarios and simulations. We started with basic patient examinations, to determine vital signs and obvious injuries. This course is nice because we actually get into makeup and do a more realistic simulation, rather than just trying to fake a broken leg. Our first major simulation was a car crash caused by a seizure in the driver. We had a total of 13 patients with a variety of injuries all happening at the same time. One particular patient was on a bike and had been run over by the car. He had broken both femurs and had brains spread out across the pavement (obviously dead). The instructors had bought sheep brain and threw it on the road, and dumped several gallons of fake blood under the patient (people only have 5-6 quarts of blood). It actually looked really realistic to have someone laying in a large pool of blood, with bones sticking out of their legs.

Tomorrow is another major simulation, in which I will get to be a patient. I will be told what my injuries are, and the instructor will add makeup, broken bones, and fake blood, depending on what the simulation is. Its actually really fun to act like you are injured, especially if you are supposed to be antagonistic towards the rescuers. This can be pretty realistic of patients in a traumatic event, often in ASR (shock).

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