[at-l] wilderness first aid

Carla & Dave Hicks carla_dave_hicks at verizon.net
Fri Apr 2 11:30:00 CDT 2010

No disrespect intended, but I've taken RC, SOLO, WSC, WMA (and a couple of 
other I don't remember the alphabet soup for) WFR courses over the years and 
RC was the weakest of the bunch.

Again I am out of date and RC could have improved, but I suggest one check 
around for options.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Judy Gross" <heartfire at heartfiregowns.com>
To: <at-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2010 11:15 AM
Subject: [at-l] wilderness first aid

Mara is exactly right in this.  WFR is the guys that showed up with SAR
(search & rescue)  WFA is for the hiker.  I teach this for the Red Cross,
and this guy did EXACTLY what he should have - check for life threatening
stuff (did the guy have a heart attack and need CPR etc, any broken bones -
he checked him all over, then the major concern is the elements and
protection from the cold (try lying around on the cold ground for 2
minutes).  Plan how you are going to deal with the situation - move to the
shelter and then try to get help.  He was lucky he was able to get a cell
and call 911.

The only thing Mara had wrong in her post is the cost of WFA - the Red Cross
charges about $125.00 and the class is 16 hrs.


>>>>>Message: 4
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2010 08:19:25 -0400
From: Mara Factor <mfactor at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [at-l] Rescue at Rice Field Shelter
To: Black Wolfe <blackwolfe at charter.net>
Cc: at-l <at-l at backcountry.net>
<o2tdce16ed1004020519w2ec5501es9da778b3cf5b8024 at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

I'm pretty sure she meant Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training.  While
WFR is a great idea, it's a huge commitment, taking about 80 hours.  It's
also prohibitively expensive for many hikers at about $400.  (According tot
he SOLO web site.)

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training, taking only 2 days, is a course most
hikers who spend a lot of time in the backcountry could find time and
resources to take.  It costs about $85.

I recommend WFA training.  It goes well beyond what is taught in urban First
Aid classes.  Rather than the golden hour, you're taught to deal with the
golden day, the longer timer period necessary for evacuation from the
backcountry.  And it doesn't start with the recommendation in emergencies to
yell "call 911."  Hmm, or at least, it didn't 11+ years ago when I took the

Though my training was a long time ago and I haven't be recertified at all,
I do review my WFA materials from time to time and the training has come in
useful a surprising number of times.

Stitches, AT99

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