Early this month, a news piece hit the Denver Post, documenting a small but poignant portion of a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Recertification course. Joshua Berman, OutWest Columnist and NOLS Wilderness Medicine graduate, wrote a piece that opens with the scene of an accident. After walking readers through the initial steps of assessing the scene, Berman reveals the victim is an actor and the accident a scenario.
“I take this three-day recertification every couple of years and have used the skills while working as an Outward Bound instructor, wildland firefighter and international trip leader. My WFR training also comes in handy in the front-country — on the playground at the school where I teach and at home with my daughters,” he writes.
He adds that the medical skills are not the only lessons Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) students walk away with. Knowing when not to call 911 (and, in this instance, walk a patient to the trailhead) is an invaluable skill set. Having the competence and confidence to know when to call for help and when not to is one aspect of wilderness medicine training Berman considers worth noting. It is, of course, a skill we at NOLS stress as well: judgment.
You can read more about Berman’s practice of these skills here.