Purpose: To provide a short program emphasizing safety, enjoyment, and skill acquisition for entry level wilderness first aid.

Prerequisites: None
Course Duration: Minimum of 2 hours, though optimal time is 3+ hours
Venue: Holyoke Parks

Course Content
The following is a summary of course content for the Wilderness First Aid skills. The content and sequence of instruction will be arranged to fit students’ needs, program location, and time allowances.

Introduction and Logistics (10 minutes)
Introduction of instructors and participants
Course overview with expectations, limitations, and time frame
Site specifics: sequence, regrouping, toilet facilities, and alternate possibilities

Personal Preparation (5 minutes)
Personal behavior:
Personal space, property
Etiquette (Leave No Trace)
Safety - Cold (clothing check)

Team Building (30 minutes)
Short, fun activities/games that set the foundation for the subsequent program;
“Mystery ailment” (participants will each have a piece of tape on their back naming an infirmity – their objective is to deduce what is wrong with them based on how the other students act towards them. Another way to play this game is the reverse – where each player knows their own infirmity and the others try to figure it out)
This can be incorporated into more active running games if the participants need to burn off some steam.
These activities will introduce key concepts while building familiarity and trust within the group.

Getting Started (45 minutes)
Introduce key concepts of wilderness medical first response:

  1. First assess the patient and survey the scene for hazards
  2. Determine the MOI (mechanism of injury)
  3. Ensure BSI (body substance isolation)
  4. Count the number of patients
  5. Establish a relationship
  6. Determine patient’s ability to respond to stimuli
  7. Control the cervical spine
  8. Look, listen, and feel as you go through the ABC’s
  9. Airway
  10. Breathing
  11. Circulation (and bleeding)
  12. Disability
  13. Exposure/Environment

These concepts will be slowly and organically introduced within the confines of a nature hike. Time permitting we will touch upon concerns with cold (hypothermia, frost bite etc) and heat (heat stroke, sunburn etc.)

Group Challenge (1 hour and 15 minutes)
Reinforce skills and knowledge
The group will come upon a staged medical emergency. This initial scene will be entirely enacted by program leaders. A certified Wilderness First Responder will demonstrate the appropriate techniques for handling the given situation.
Next, participants will be broken into smaller groups and given roles of either an injured person or first responder. Each student will have the opportunity to play out the role of both victim and rescuer.
These scenarios are meant to be fun, but with a level of seriousness so that the participants gain a basis of knowledge.

Conclusion (15 minutes)
Return to Base
Collect equipment
Course review