I did it. I finally received my certification as a Wilderness First Responder. That means I can administer first aid to others in a wilderness setting. So feel free to invite me on your next adventure, I would not mind at all. Having my wilderness first responder, or WFR for short, has given me the skills, and with the skills comes confidence in the sometimes wacky adventures I choose to pursue. Those of you who know me can name some sketchy situations, such as the avalanche incident Teewinot. Therefore, being a WFR is a huge milestone for me.
Some things I learned this past week during class that were important for me personally:
- There is not much you can do about snakebites in the wilderness. Just clean the wound and evacuate. Only about 15% of people who are bitten by snakes actually die. That was sort of a relief.
- Carbon monoxide from using personal cooking stoves inside an enclosed space, such as a tent, is a high cause of death in mountaineers. I used my stove in my car once…
- Dehydration can cause muscle spasms which could possibly explain why my knees cramped up towards the end of my marathons.
The most important thing I learned was how to deliver a baby in the wilderness, no joke. Hopefully I will never have to be in that situation, but if I am, I will know what to do!