The New River Valley has a multitude of adventurous outdoor activities: hiking, camping, fishing and watercrafts of all sizes and shapes at all times of the year.
Although preparation is the key to success and enjoyment of the outdoors, accidents and illness do happen.
When it does occur, time is the essential element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. An American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid (WRFA) course is being offered March 16-18, 2018 at the Claytor Lake Aquatics Boy Scout Base (CLAB) in Pulaski County.
This event is sponsored the Boy Scouts Blue Ridge Mountain Council (BRMC ) and is open to Scouts and to any outdoor enthusiasts.
The Red Cross WRFA course is based upon the Boy Scout Wilderness Protocols and after collaboration to produce the WRFA curriculum and doctrine guidelines.
When calling 9-1-1 is not an immediate option, or when help could be an hour or even days away, the task of managing the injured and the ill will challenge an outdoorsman beyond basic first-aid knowledge and skills.
Long hikes, extended lengths of rivers, large expanses of ocean, and miles of asphalt may separate a patient from a medical facility.
The WRFA is a 16-hour program designed for those who live, work, or play in remote or rural environments.
Through lectures, skill stations and scenarios, WRFA students will learn emergency action steps and treatment of injuries or illnesses of a patient in heat, cold, rain, wind, darkness and other environmental conditions.
WRFA course contains substantial medical information and teaches skills to respond to medical emergencies in the wild. Many injuries will be discussed from wounds to spinal injuries along with sudden illness and other backcountry miseries.
The equipment needed for treatment and evacuation of a patient may have to be improvised from what is available, and communication with the “outside world” may be limited or nonexistent.
Remote locations and harsh environments may require creative treatments. All these skills plus preventing disease transmission and prioritizing care will be taught during this weekend session by WRFA instructors.
The WRFA fee for this weekend at CLAB is $125.00 and includes all course materials, lodging in the base’s warm cabins, access to a bathhouse and all meals on Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch.
Students must be 14 years old and older. Students will be required to hike short distances to remote sites to simulate rescues. Students should arrive by Friday, March 16th by 8 p.m. with hiking boots, indoor/outdoor clothing appropriate to the weather, flashlight, notebook, personal first aid kit, sleeping gear for a cabin overnights, and other personal gear.
Students are required to show proof of a current adult CPR-AED certification. If a student needs the certification, that student may arrive early Friday at 5:30 p.m. for a CPR-AED class at no additional cost.
Successful completion of the course with its practice and a written exam will result in a two-year certification when the course ends at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Afterwards, the outdoors and the thrills it offers will become more enjoyable while being better prepared with knowledge, skills and confidence if an injury or illness should occur miles from help.
To register by Friday, March 2 or to obtain more information, call BRMC at 540-265-0659.