Wilderness Medical Associates and 360 Extremes

Posted: March 17, 2012 by None Smith in English, Training
Tags: , , , , ,

Last Thursday, upstate New York was blessed with warm temperatures and a long sunny day. What did this equate to for me? Another day at the Gunks! Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with another report on what I did up there – at this point it’s obvious.

It’s also very obvious how important rock climbing is to our training. We all practice it diligently and passionately and know that it encompasses many aspects of training.  There is one particularly important part of training we haven’t gone over yet, however. What do we do when we’re days away from civilization, out of any type of radio/cell phone contact and someone falls sick? Some of the more dangerous aspects of the journey – the poles – are the most isolated; the most lonely. If someone sprains an ankle or breaks a hand, the whole team could be in jeopardy. That is, without specific training.

For the next ten days I will be heading down to Philadelphia, PA to train as a Wilderness First Responder. Over the past 5-6 years I have been an Emergency Medical Technician in New Jersey, but sadly I’ve been out of practice in the last two years. In urban/suburban environments, an EMT is trained in package and transport tactics for patients – our job is to get that person to the hospital as fast as possible. Wilderness First Responder (or WFR) will delve into using all our resources to safely take care of the injured person and make the best decisions for saving that person  – and the whole team’s – lives.

Not only will this training instruct us in making sound decisions if an accident happens, but will effectively train us in making decisions to avoid any accidents in the first place. When it’s just us three in the middle of nowhere, this knowledge will be invaluable.

A big shout out to Wilderness Medical Associates for helping us get trained for this large expedition. I will be taking the class next week and without a doubt Ben and Natalia will be trained before we leave in 2014. Be sure to check WMA out on their Facebook, “Like” them and keep up to date with their courses. They teach some really cool things and hire the best professionals in the industry. As their bio says, “Face any challenge, anywhere.” Onward and upward!

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