Michael, Larke, JDH, and I took the Wilderness First Aid class run by SOLO during the weekend of May 9 to 11 at the Mohican Outdoor Center. I can’t speak for them, but I can say that it was a worthwhile investment of time and money that provided good and useful information.
There are closer classes, but I appreciated the weekend away to focus exclusively on this class. (But if you go to the Mohican Center, don’t forget beer. We ran through our stash on Friday night!)
The training was rather intense and quick, but the instructors (Jon and Dave) kept it lively while also stressing the overall gravity of what we were learning. We got the basics of how to assess a potential emergency and develop steps to either evacuate or keep the person stable. There were a number of role playing activities where rescuers had to figure out a situation and then take the appropriate steps with the patient – making splints, protecting the neck in case of a suspected back injury, or dealing with potential allergies.
We could quibble with a few things – it would have been helpful to talk over what to do with snakebites, for example – but I’d encourage anyone who was contemplating this course to go ahead and take one. As a trip leader and active member, it armed me with practical information. I’ll be making some modifications to my first aid kit like adding Benadryl and a pair of light plastic gloves.
SOLO courses are offered in every state. You can see the full list here.