Sunday, June 03, 2012
This weekend I spent most of Saturday and Sunday taking a Wilderness First Aid class from SOLO, a company based in New Hampshire. I've taken WFA a few times in the past - the certification lasts two years. I try to keep current with that certification and also with CPR, because it's a good thing to have when you're out in the backcountry with scouts or even friends/family. There are a lot of things that are done differently than typical first aid classes when you are faced with the prospect of being unable to reach help in "the golden hour" after an injury - a lot different from civilization where you're treated by EMTs or hospitals.
The course is a combination of classroom instruction, examples from the instructor from their own experiences, and wilderness first aid "scenarios" where we take turns being victims and rescuers. On Saturday we learned how to do primary and secondary assessments once we arrive on the scene. Later in the day we learned all about injuries to the muscular-skeletal system, how to splint, etc. Sunday was about shock, soft tissue injuries, environmental injuries/conditions, transporting the wounded, etc.
It was interesting to see how much more comfortable I was taking the course now that I'm at a normal weight. That might sound strange, but during the sixteen hours of training, there are multiple instances where we are working on one another, touching or manipulating or palpating potential injury areas, and even being lifted and transported. I can remember dreading those parts of the course in the past - always volunteering to be a rescuer instead of a victim. I hated the idea that somebody would be able to feel all my FAT. I worried that people would have difficulty rolling me to get me onto a tarp or sleeping pad, and made sure to "help" by propelling myself without letting anyone notice, for fear they'd be unable to move me. And of course it's always easier to get up and down on to the ground, kneel near victims, and travel through the woods to the rescue sites, when you aren't carting around the extra weight.
Saturday also marked my six month anniversary in maintenance on Spark. Woo hoo!
(Note: this is NOT me in the picture. I just WISH I was thirty years younger and had boobs.)