CENTRAL – Responding to an accident or other medical emergency at home or at work is a challenge, but what if something goes wrong in the backcountry?
Southern Wesleyan University will offer a course that will better prepare those leading groups on a hike or other wilderness experiences to deal with broken bones, snakebites and other emergencies that could arise when beyond the reach of readily available medical help or a cell signal to call 911.
The Wilderness First Responder course is being offered May 10-16.
This comprehensive six-day course focuses on the principles of long-term care, improvised resources and varying environmental conditions as the framework for learning. A typical day consists of a mixture of lecture and hands-on practical skill work.
Topics covered will include urban vs. wilderness, biological hazards, reducing dislocations, wilderness wound care, hypothermia and hyperthermia, patient assessment, altitude illness, evacuation and survival, medical problems in the wild, improvised splinting, wilderness wound care and helicopter operations.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will receive WFR certification from ASHI (hsi.com/ashi/wildernessec/). This is a nationally-recognized certificate that is valid for three years. This is a three-hour credit May Term course available for credit or audit. Both taking the course for academic credit and auditing the course will lead to WFR certification.
The lead instructor is Ernie Dewitt, lead instructor for Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT programs. Dewitt has been a paramedic for 28 years and teaches classes that include Basic Wilderness Care, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
Dewitt’s wilderness experience includes Arctic training as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army; private pilot in Anchorage, Alaska; trans-continental bicyclist; hiking, climbing and kayaking throughout the U.S. and Canada including trips to Denali, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in adventure education and experiential learning.
The cost for the course is $450 for audit; $1,050 for academic credit. Space is limited, so register today by contacting Dr. Roger McKenzie at (864) 644-5685 or email [email protected] Deadline for registering is May 1. More details are online at swu.edu/wfr.