Wilderness First Responder Workshop

Every Spring at Tappaan Lodge, Norden, CAContracted by the Sierra ClubCheck out the calendar to sign up for this year's workshop.Workshop GoalsThis 72-hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is a fast-paced and demanding class that mixes scenario-based learning, hands-on practicing of skills with evening reading and homework assignments. You will learn how to recognize, assess and treat common wilderness emergencies while building confidence in your patient assessment skills.Typically a WFR course lasts 80 hours and includes a day of CPR. In order to maximize your time practicing wilderness based skills, this course will be a 72-hour course spread over 9 days where you will need to take professional level CPR class prior to the course (more information below). This course does not include CPR. Foster Calm follows the Department of Transportation National Standards for WFR and the Wilderness Medical Society's protocols for wilderness care. Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a 3-year WFR from Foster Calm - First Aid and Leadership Trainings (contracted by the Sierra Club).The focus of this course is to build your competency at patient assessment and providing care. At the end of this course you should:
  • Understand how to prevent common wilderness injuries and illnesses and how to treat minor problems so they do not be-come major ones.
  • Perform good patient care on most types of wilderness injuries.
  • Improvise treatments with the limited resources you commonly have on an outing;
  • Understand the group dynamics in a wilderness emergency.
  • Recognize types of situations your group has the resources to handle alone in the wilderness and what types of situations will require you to get outside assistance.
Course PrerequisitesTraining participants must:
  • Have a current professional level CPR at least through the end of date of the course:
    • American Heart Association: Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers. (AHA Heart Saver will not meet this requirement.)
    • American Red Cross: CPR for the Professional Rescuer. (Adult CPR, CPR Child and Infant, First Aid and CPR, Lay Responder CPR and First Aid will not meet this requirement.)
    • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI): The CPR for the Professional Rescuer.
  • Complete and return the completed Medical and Liability Form (sent upon registration).
  • Bring a copy of CPR card to give to the instructor.
  • Read the Wilderness First Responder by Buck Tilton
  • Optional: Complete the homework that accompanies the text. (These will be formally assigned and need to be completed during the training.)
Requirements for successful completion of the courseTraining participants must:
  • Demonstrate all required hands-on skills and pass all skills tests. (Second chances are available on all the tests and quizzes.)
  • Pass all WFR homework assignments, tests and final written exam.
  • Actively participate in scenarios, scenario de-briefs and course lectures.
  • The course fee includes food and lodging 
  • You will have a day off from the training (food and lodging are still included this day). 
  • Transportation costs are not included.
HomeworkOnce you have registered, submitted your forms and are approved, the WFR text and homework assignments will be mailed to you.
  • Our days will be spent in classroom sessions interspersed with indoor and outdoor scenarios. Our approach to teaching first aid depends heavily on hands-on practice. In order for us to have the time to do this, it is expected that you read the WFR text prior to the first day of the course.
  • Though not required, you may consider completing the completing the homework that accompanies the text. (These will be formally assigned and need to be completed during the training.)
Course Format & DifficultyThis course is rated light in physical strenuousness. A large part of the time we will be sitting in a classroom setting. During indoor scenarios and practice sessions, we will be laying on the floor, bending, kneeling and carrying. For outdoor scenarios the same activities will take place, but quite likely we will be working in the snow. We will be hiking with daypacks at altitudes of 7,000 to 8,000 ft, which will greatly affect your cardiovascular ability if you live at lower altitudes.Since this is a "hands-on" course, we will be focusing on patient exams and professional touch. You will be doing patient assessments on fellow classmates and having them performed on you. You will have several opportunities to be a patient and a rescuer. Therefore it is recommended that you wear old clothes that are comfortable and durable (especially ones that you don't mind being stained by stage blood that may not wash out).