First Aid or Wilderness First Aid Classes - Hurricane/St George- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First Aid or Wilderness First Aid Classes - Hurricane/St George

    Had a mishap with one of the crew I was with on Gooseberry this past Saturday. Poor guy got a little bouncy on some rocks next to a tree and stuck himself in the bicep with a broken off branch. Went in a bit over and inch deep and he was squirting blood pretty good. He immediately applied pressure and began walking back to the truck. He is x-military and had plenty of first aid and wilderness first aid training. Two of us went with him, which fortunately was only about a 1/4 mile from the trailhead. He gave me a good education on the way back as to what might happen next and how to assist him. Went way beyond my basic first aid training. We loaded him into the back seat of the truck with our other escort helping to keep pressure on the wound and control the bloodletting. I called 911 and had some EMT's met us about half way back to the highway. Ambulance arrived shorty thereafter.

    Made me really think hard about how dangerous some of the riding here can be for those who are not prepared. Because of the amazing geography some of these trails are more remote than you might be accustomed to and on trail assistance can be almost nonexistent. Air rescue may not be able to land. So, can anyone steer me in direction of some local first aid or wilderness first classes?

  2. #2
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    I have rendered a lot of first aid over the years. I start with making them donate thier own shirt to stop the blood.

    About 15 years ago, I was all by myself and finished ripping up an already partially torn ACL out on Gooseberry. I figured out it was waaaaay less painful to ride my bike than to walk out. Thank goodness for that dirt road that runs down the middle, it was still a hellatious 30 minutes.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure what is currently offered, but about 15 years ago I sat through several lectures at a Wilderness EMT conference sponsored by these guys:

    NOLS

    The lectures and courses were amazing.

  4. #4
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    For a basic first aid course check your local Red Cross, they put them on frequently. The wilderness first aid are harder to find, usually around Springtime they have them but you'll have to drive farther. You can put together a pretty competent kit with just a few items, most stuff you can fabricate, using the persons clothing first is standard 😊

  5. #5
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    Check with Dixie State. They'd offer community classes like that.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  6. #6
    YRG
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    WFR is needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    Made me really think hard about how dangerous some of the riding here can be for those who are not prepared. Because of the amazing geography some of these trails are more remote than you might be accustomed to and on trail assistance can be almost nonexistent. Air rescue may not be able to land. So, can anyone steer me in direction of some local first aid or wilderness first classes?
    I'd say first aid classes are fundamentally useless. Wilderness First Responder courses are more in line with what you may wish to prepare for on a bike ride. Wilderness EMT would be great if you have that kind of time and money. WFR's aren't cheap and usually take several full days, but I believe anything less would just be a waste of time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    I'd say first aid classes are fundamentally useless. Wilderness First Responder courses are more in line with what you may wish to prepare for on a bike ride. Wilderness EMT would be great if you have that kind of time and money. WFR's aren't cheap and usually take several full days, but I believe anything less would just be a waste of time.
    I'm going to disagree here . . . the WFR course is a full 80 hours, and its intense. A Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is the same content, with fewer hours and less intense scenarios. No matter what, if you learn anything in a WFA class, it's going to be far, far better than no training at all.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  8. #8
    YRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    I'm going to disagree here . . . the WFR course is a full 80 hours, and its intense. A Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is the same content, with fewer hours and less intense scenarios. No matter what, if you learn anything in a WFA class, it's going to be far, far better than no training at all.
    I can see why you don't agree and I also agree that WFA is better than FA.
    I also think 80 hours is not much time to prepare an individual to deal with a difficult, stressful situation. I think a WFR is a good start and a nice minimum for getting yourself ready to be helpful.

  9. #9
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    80 hours of medical training is more than I ever received in my Combat Lifesaver course in the military. I guarantee you I've seen "difficult, stressful situations" and still been able to successfully use that training. Getting any type of first aid training is better than nothing, especially if it is outdoor oriented.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Getting any type of first aid training is better than nothing, especially if it is outdoor oriented.
    First aid taught by the Red Cross, etc doesn't apply very well in wilderness situations. Almost everything you learn assumes a certain kind of access to 911 services. A WFA or WFR is far more useful. I, too, was influenced by a nasty accident to get my sh*t together and get an WFR. A few thoughts:

    yes, 80 hours is a LOT. It was also one of the coolest, most interesting weeks I have ever spent learning something, and I had a great time camping with and studying with all the guides and other wilderness types that were there. Most people take a WFR as a part of an outdoor professional requirement, and it is a lot more fun than hanging out with office workers / daycare employees who just have to get their CPR certification. If you can make it happen and you are the type who likes to learn, its a sweet way to spend a week's vacation. I loved it.

    One thing you don't learn in a red cross class is decision making in a remote area away from help. I would say that learning how to manage and evaluate an emergency is easily 80% of the WFR. Do you stay and play, load and go, or try to call in the chopper? What if you can't call because there is no cell service? what then? The WFR gives you a great set of tools for this process.

    the other thing you don't learn in a standard first aid class is when you CAN'T do anything. This is a more valuable piece of information than you realize until you take the class. If your buddy has a severe head injury and is bleeding internally, you want to know what you can and can't manage.

    CPR is a small percentage of real life wilderness incidents, and there is a heavy emphasis on CPR in the standard Red Cross-type classes. You still get a CPR certification in the WFR, but it is one day of 5 or 6 total. For outdoor people, you are far more likely to encounter a collarbone or head injury.

    the other thing I learned is that "wilderness" is a lot closer to town that you realize. An injured rider 1/2 a mile up a trail can take hours to evacuate. Just because you don't go 50 miles out into the desert doesn't mean you aren't in a remote area, as far as the EMTs are concerned.

    Do it. It is AWESOME. Google WFR or WFA Utah and you will find lots of class options in the state. I did mine here: Wilderness Medicine of Utah
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    I'd say first aid classes are fundamentally useless.
    Generally, I would agree with this. They are not typically taught by First Responders and they don't teach you evaluation and management of an emergency. If it is all you have time for, you can still learn something, but the idea is to be prepared, right? not just to be prepared in the case of 1-2 very specific scenarios... we spend more time learning how to set up our suspension....
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  12. #12
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    I've been in lots of emergency situations in Grand Canyon and even seasoned folks with all the refreshers can become paralyzed. It's hard to think on your feet in an emergency situation. In a sense, YRG is right in that you really need the WFR to scratch the surface on truly being able to apply some meaningful first aid when the shit goes down. If anything, because in that class you have practice. But any training is better than no training. If anything to be more aware and in the moment when something does go down.

    We had a guy die on the trail last year because he was dumb. The two people that assisted him did not take the situation seriously until it was too late. A lot if it is about making good decisions in a stressful situation and being mindful and aware of what can happen. Like Wheelbender's buddy. He knew he was gong to go into shock. Just a matter of when.

  13. #13
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    I would highly recommend that 80 hour course. Something that can teach you ABC's, how to stop bleeding, stabilize a spine, open an airway, etc etc.

    If you can learn how to secure airway, keep people breathing, control bleeding and keep their spine stable and Get EMS there asap, you will be in a good spot.

    No amount of training in the world is gonna keep your heart from beating out of your chest the first time you see a trauma case. But if you have learned some BLS skills and some basic first aid, you will always be better off IMO


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  14. #14
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    Good stuff here. Since I have no aspirations to become an MD, I will have to settle for what I can afford and have time for. A good book covering the subject of emergency medicine/first aid/panic control conveniently placed next to the "john" will have to do for now. After all reading a good bike repair manual conveniently placed next to the "john" is how I became a bike mechanic. Seriously, I appreciate the information and discussion. I am first aid/cpr certified but quickly realized I was in over my head when dealing with gushing blood and a victim who immediately began a quick self evacuation. I admit, he knew more than I did. So I have to begin my education like most MD's I know, start reading about it from a book. Might just learn something that will result in a positive outcome from a bad situation. Just want to help my riding companions stay alive to ride another day.

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