It is nice when events meet and then surpass your expectations. The planning for this event started back in January when Dave MacLuskie passed along a recommendation for the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class taught by Matt Rosefsky. I had been keeping an eye out for a local WFA class since I needed to renew my certification. But, as I looked at Matt’s website and spoke with a few others in DCUL, I thought it was worth investigating the opportunity for a private class for organizers and members.
It definitely was worth it. This past weekend, we had 17 DCUL members receive their WFA through this class. That’s impressive.
It also was rather impressive to see everyone spring into action during the disaster scenarios. Although Prius might quibble with his treatment during the last one....
Other fun moments from the weekend:
• Causing traffic on Blair Road during our final scenario as drivers tried to figure out why there was a pile of backpackers under a tree.
• Discovering those who had a flair for acting during the scenarios.
• Splint making!
For me, the benefit of taking a WFA class is that I walk with away with a checklist of steps to take if something does go wrong. We went through a number of scenarios over the two days, and it is amazing how nerve-wracking it can be--even when you know very well that it is fake blood on a friend. Having that checklist forces you to take a step back, assess the situation, and then move forward.
It helps to have a good teacher. Matt Rosefsky connected us with a great instructor who he had personally trained, Dallas, for this weekend's private class. He kept us on track and even laughed at our bad puns.
There's a good amount of practical advice you get during these classes. For example, I will definitely make some adjustments to my first aid kit. I had added Benadryl after my first one, but I'm planning to add better oral rehydration tablets. I tend to default to Gatorade but--and especially as we are moving into the warmer months--I should adjust this. Dallas made a convincing case to carry a small (hotel-sized) bar of soap. I typically carry tweezers, but I'm also planning to add a tick key. Given the forecast for it being a particularly bad tick season, it certainly would not hurt to have that handy.
I'd like to see DCUL make a habit of offering this private class on an annual or biannual basis, but I also highly encourage anyone to take an open enrollment class. Matt Rosefsky offers several throughout the year, and will posting them on DCUL's website. So you'll start getting announcements for his local classes. If you're on the fence, get off and take a class. You'll get more out of it than you thought you would.
Kudos to everyone who made this weekend possible. Takoma Ranch was an ideal spot!
I am so happy that Dallas exceeded your expectations, and all went so well. It was an honor and pleasure for us to serve y'all. We look forward to more encounters together. Cheers.
Jen - I am going to order a tick key - looks like a great invention. I've had Lyme's Disease once and been treated for it at least two other times. SE Pennsylvania has one of the highest incidents rates in the U.S. Great "trip" report and photos - looks like you guys had fun while learning.