What is Wilderness First Aid?
Wilderness First Aid expands on basic first aid training with advanced emergency management and assessment techniques. During a Wilderness First Aid course Scouters and youth members over age 14 learn how to assess, treat, and manage emergencies so they can safely take their adventures into areas beyond the reach of rapid emergency response.
When is Wilderness First Aid Training Required?
At this writing training is only specifically required for programs at BSA high adventure bases, but is highly recommended and encouraged in any situation where Scouts are travelling to areas where emergency response will be delayed.
At best polices and requirements can only supplement common sense. Wilderness First Aid training provides an added level of preparedness to the safety net for any Scouting activity, but is absolutely essential to safely conducting activities conducted beyond the reach of rapid emergency response. Exactly what “beyond the reach of rapid emergency response” means is difficult to define. If you are planning a trip that you think even remotely meets that description you need to take the course.
How long is the course, how much does it cost, and where is it offered?
The course requires sixteen hours of instruction. Through an agreement with the American Red Cross (explained here) Scouters are able to take courses at a relatively low cost. Each council taking advantage of the agreement has it’s own network of instructors. Contact your council to determine if a relationship exists and who coordinates Wilderness First Aid Training
Certified courses are also available from;
What’s included in the course?
The Wilderness First Aid Cirriculum (PDF file) contains the following modules
- Patient assessment
- Chest injuries
- Head (brain) and spinal injuries
- Bone and joint injuries
- Wounds and wound infection
- Abdominal problems
- Heat problems
- Altitude illnesses
- Submersion incidents
- Allergies and anaphylaxis
- Wilderness first-aid kits
Thanks to David Johnson with Troop and Crew 102 in Las Vegas for alerting me to the BSA Red-Cross relationship.