Wilderness First Aid, April 26, 2015

The Schenectady ADK Chapter will be hosting a Wilderness First Aid and CPR class for current and prospective, Outings and Whitewater Trip Leaders on Sunday, April 26.

Wilderness First Aid is similar to standard first aid, but it is more than that. Standard First Aid is designed for 'front country' emergencies, in which an ambulance or doctor's office is available fairly quickly. But sometimes, emergencies happen in the 'back country' where an ambulance or doctor's office is more than an hour away. Whether you're on the river or in the mountains, an accident or illness can happen. What do you do then? You still have to provide standard first aid, but in addition, you have to be able to care for the patient during an evacuation. Wilderness First Aid (WFA) provides hands-on practice for dealing with these kinds of emergencies.

The class is taught by Rick Morse. He is a member of Johnsburg EMS and has been an EMT for 30 years. In addition, Rick is an experienced mountain climber, whitewater kayaker, and former river guide, having worked and played on the Hudson Gorge since 1980. He is a certified swiftwater rescue instructor and is an adjunct professor for Adirondack Community College, teaching 'River Safety and Swiftwater Rescue'. He is also a founding member of Adirondack TREKS, the outing club for kids in the Gore Mt region. It was as training director of TREKS that Rick started teaching Wilderness First Aid for people who want to lead TREKS trips. The class has been expanded to include anyone who wants to take it and is being offered to guides of rafting companies. Thus far, WFA training will be given to Square Eddy Expeditions, Whitewater Challengers, and BeaverBrook Outfitters. These guides will be well prepared for responding to medical emergencies on the river. Marko Schmale, Steve Ovitt, and Gretchen Stark have assisted during classes last year and will be helping with several classes this year.

Basic WFA and CPR for Schenectady ADK will take place at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek on Sunday April 26, from 9 am to 5 pm. It starts with instruction and practice with individual skills, such as splinting and CPR, during the morning, and then moves outdoors for a field experience during the afternoon. During the afternoon, students practice and apply the skills which they have learned during the morning. Students who complete the course receive a card for first aid and CPR which is good for 2 years. The cards are recognized by DEC as fulfilling the requirements for licensed guides. The sponsoring agency is ECSI, Emergency Care and Safety Institute, which provides training and certification for people who want to teach first aid within their community.

This class is being offered to Schenectady ADK Chapter Trip Leaders, on a first come basis and is limited to TEN students. Should there be vacancies left, they will be available to ANYONE interested. The cost for the day is $50 per person, half ($25) of which will be reimbursed to Trip Leaders, by the Chapter.

Larry Woods
(518) 810-7552