Wilderness First Aid Course

What are people's thoughts on upgrading from WFA to WEMT?
Why not the intermediate (at least in terms of SOLO) Wilderness First Responder? (WFR). ~9 days vice 2, obviously more expensive, but a lot more time getting hands on and going a bit further. I got the sense that WEMT, as noted by Herbie, is a significant chunk of time/$ based off our instructor (who is WEMT certified).
It's a big investment. I'd love to be able to do it - I will never feel like I have "enough" training for every situation, but WEMT is a BIG amount of time/money.

Instead, I think we'd be better served to have *more* people in the party WFA certified. The next time I have an opportunity for a WFA class, I'm going to insist the Mrs. goes with me.
Excellent point about ensuring that others have good WFA skills.
Why not the intermediate (at least in terms of SOLO) Wilderness First Responder? (WFR). ~9 days vice 2, obviously more expensive, but a lot more time getting hands on and going a bit further. I got the sense that WEMT, as noted by Herbie, is a significant chunk of time/$ based off our instructor (who is WEMT certified).
You are exactly right. I now recall that my instructors talked about that but I never wrote it down in my class notes. I added a note to my post
I did WFA last year. I had a good time and learned a lot. I am considering upgrading certifications when it expires. It doesn't matter how much you have in your kit if you have no idea how to use it. I highly recommend it to anyone who spends any time in the outdoors.


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Wilderness First Aid. Everyone needs to know what to do. Most people don't have the time or inclination to take a hands-on course as above. For them, a minimum would be to familiarize themselves with a book i found by default on the Rubicon Jeep Trail. The book is called "Wilderness 911" and has an easy to read under pressure, layman's symptomatic approach to solving medical woes in the bush. Here's my story. While doing Rubicon's Little Sluice

it got too hairy to continue so my brother John winched me up from the pit. Unfortunately, he winched me right onto my side with a hard clockwise roll onto my bomb proof rocker panel guards. I stiff armed my hand out onto the passenger seat back to brace myself for the bang. Not. a. good. idea. It popped right out of the socket. Sitting there strapped in on my side I could not reach the ignition switch to kill the engine. My arm would not respond. I had to do it with my left arm. My wife Jean is an RN so I figured she could ascertain what to do in any wilderness first aid situation. But it's been a long time since she took a nurse's first aid course. We carry a large first aid kit with all the accoutrements in our exploration vehicles. Her area was L & D (she was on hand to delivered a lot of babies) and there wasn't much carry over in this case.

Jeanie and my brother John were worrying around about what to do when a hiker happened by and took stock of the situation. He said he had a book at his nearby campsite, called "Wilderness 911" and ran to get it. Meanwhile I'm in agony with pain. Soon, he returns with this little red book. We thumb right to the dislocation section and follow the easy to read instructions. It takes 3 people to reset a dislocated shoulder. Bending over, i was supported around the midsection by assistant #1. #2 assistant pushed his thumbs up against my shoulder blade, while #3 assistant pulled down on the offending appendage with a twisting motion. Voila! The shoulder popped right back in to the socket and the pain was substantially mitigated. To support my arm after reinstalling the shoulder we used a handy 'tree saver', a wide nylon strap used to protect trees during winching operations. The Jeep is now gone and we ply the byways of the West in this:

As a post script, driving out of the Rubicon with a damaged shoulder was not a cake walk with a wide ratio manual truck transmission in the Jeep. I could steer and work the pedals, but could not shift, so Jeanie did all the gear shifting all the way out. I ripped something in my shoulder and went to the doctor for assessment once we finally got home. The Dr. said I was too old (57) to try to repair the shoulder as the muscle and cartilage memory was too great. After P.T. the shoulder was never right again and has developed my only arthritic condition. I've learned to live with it, but lately it has gotten worse so I'm going to see another Sport Medicine shoulder specialist who has the most up to date fixes.
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Badger Wrangler
At 57, your shoulder is absolutely NOT too old to have corrective surgery, depending on your overall medical condition. Corrective shoulder surgery is routinely performed on people in their 70s and 80s.


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Thanks for the tip. I have had a few painful, immobilizing set backs in the 18 years since that roll over (yes, I'm now 74) and have finally set up an appointment to see a young Sports Medicine Specialist who has all the latest technology in shoulders. His patients report a much shorter full recovery period post OP. Our campsite in Eastern Oregon during last year's Total Eclipse of the Sun:

and a short vid of the actual eclipse itself: It makes your personal little woes seem inconsequential.
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Knowledge and the training as always a great thing, i feel that medical training and supplies ends up being one of the last things, if ever people go for. ( its not as sexy, or shiny maybe? ) However one of the most important, i think.

As far as upgrading from wilderness first aid-REMT/WEMT. Once you upgrade to a medical training that requires a license, national and state to practice. You need to know a few things 1) the "good smartian law" will no longer protect you, even if you had the training but did not keep the license. And the NREMT- requires CE hours to keep the licence, and each state requires separate CE hours, and most require a agency affiliation.

More. may not be better. Im glad to see discussion on this, one of my favorite sub forums.
1) the "good smartian law" will no longer protect you said:
This isn’t entirely true. In some states, CA is one of them, the Good Samaritan law actually protects licensed healthcare professionals more. Bottom line is don’t be afraid to help.

I do agree that training is key and more important than training is practice. The skills are easily lost and when faced with a stressful situation that you are not used to being in, those skills vanish. Also, before you start taking classes you need to decide what you are most likely to encounter. Yes trauma is exciting and everyone wants to learn how to deal with it but the most common medical issues are going to be cuts and scrapes, upset tummies, sunburns, etc. Trauma care in the backcountry is easy: keep air moving in and out and keep blood in. How you do that is based on your training, experience, and equipment. With that said, with the proper training and experience you don’t need a lot of equipment and having a full kit but not knowing how to use it is a waste. Balance your kit with your training and experience. You don’t have to know everything, just delay death long enough to get the patient to a higher level of care.
Wow, i just double checked. One thing California did correct. haha I will always prefer to sit on a stand and say" i did everything in my power" vs not helping.( so i will risk it) But im also over a decade in at this point. Not all states so lucky.... and unfortunately in multiple cases a precedent has been set. But know the laws in the states you work/frequent. Oregon, it will not. We had to study legal precedence in these cases and many did not go in favor of the EMS worker. ( off duty)

And as a licensed individual once you make contact with a PT, you also cant leave unless someone of equal or higher level of care takes your place, the PT is " fixed- or you *can* be charged with abandonment. If someone felt the need to push it.

Dont get me wrong, Im not trying to scare anyone. I just want to make sure someone is well informed. Like others have mentioned it can be a big time and financial commitment, not just a one time fee and your good to go thing. Im all for people getting training. X2 on practice and know your equipment, at which ever level you may be and equipment you may have. And the majority of stuff you see will be " sick call " and band aids and bo bos.
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I gathered up some scattered forum posts and built one blog post covering my WFA kit that lives in my truck:

At my blog I don't have it monetized but it gives me one place to maintain my writeups and pictures.
Excellent read! The post linked above is well worth a look for anyone building their own kit. It seems to be an very good selection of supplies based on the author’s training, trip length and locations, and worst possible scenarios.
With the exception of the airway device, all the supplies would be familiar to anyone completeing a Wilderness First Aid course that NOLS offers.