Our Wilderness First Responder Training stretched us. We were required to respond to various situations, all crazier than we will ever have to deal with (hopefully). The very first day we jumped into life threats such as punctured lungs and arterial bleeds. I learned about many traumatic injuries that I had no idea were even possible. I am much more prepared for any medical issues that could arise while in the backcountry. My first-aid kit might even expand to more than two band aids and ibuprofen. On the second day of training we felt confident enough to perform a head-to-toe examination, our instructors, Ramon and Dara, humbled us by having us perform an examination blindfolded. We grew as a team, forced to coordinate and designate levels of command to respond to a Multiple Casualty Incident which was acted out by volunteers. We looked for little details, or changes in a patient’s vitals, while the bigger picture of evacuation priority and scene safety couldn’t be ignored either. Our acting skills improved as we played patients that weren’t always very cooperative. We even got to talk to the crew of a medical helicopter that landed in the field. The final day, we heard an incredible rap on carbon monoxide poisoning performed by the trail crew.
After some intense days we roasted s’mores and worked on our ultimate frisbee skills too.
Carly Stinson-University of Montana