Quite possibly by now, you might have heard about the new Boy Scout specific Wilderness First Aid (WFA), required by Philmont, Northern Tier, and now SeaBase. As of 1 March, 2010, the BSA started requiring that at least one, preferably two or more members of every crew attending high adventure be certified in the new Wilderness & Remote First Aid.
Now required by the Boy Scouts of America for its high-adventure bases: Philmont and Northern Tier, this 16- hour intensive course teaches students how to properly assess, treat, and manage common illnesses and injuries in a remote environment where definitive care of a physician and/or rapid transport is not readily available. In this class, course participants will learn how to assess, treat, and, when possible, prevent medical and traumatic emergencies within the scope of their training.
Time is the essential element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. 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 you beyond basic first-aid knowledge, and require the skills you will learn in this course.
Long hikes, extended lengths of rivers, large expanses of ocean, and miles of asphalt may separate the patient from a medical facility. You may have to endure heat or cold, rain, wind, or darkness. The equipment needed for treatment and evacuation 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 things may be a part of the world of WFA.
Prerequisitesinclude current Adult CPR/AED certification from a nationally recognized provider such as the American Red Cross or American Heart Association; and a minimum age of 14. Exceptions regarding age may be made on a case-by-case basis.
This 16 hour course meets current wilderness first aid training requirements for a variety of organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, American Camp Association and American Canoe Association and offers a certification which is accepted by the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA & JCC; valid for two (2) years.
Watch a video about taking a Wilderness First Aid course.