Wilderness First Responder course offered at U of O

Release Date: 4/26/2011

Clarksville, Ark. --- University of the Ozarks will host a nationally recognized Wilderness First Responder course presented by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) from July 23-31 on the Clarksville campus.

The certification course is administered by the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) and trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings. The course, which is the only one of its kind offered by NOLS in Arkansas this year, is being hosted by the university’s Ozarks Outdoors program.

“The realm of practice for a Wilderness First Responder is an emergency when and where other medical response is more than an hour away, like many places in Northwest Arkansas,” said Jamie Lewis Hedges, director of outdoor and environment experiences at U of O. “If you hike, camp, backpack, canoe or kayak, you are likely to be over an hour away from help. This course can give you confidence in the backcountry that you are equipped for the risk.”

The nine-day, 80-hour Wilderness First Responder curriculum includes standards for urban and extended care situations. Special topics include: wound management and infection, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long term management problems, up-to-date information on all environmental emergencies, plus advice on drug therapies. Emphasis is placed on prevention and decision-making, not the memorization of lists.

The course is designed to provide people with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. Half of the time will be spent completing practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge decision-making abilities. The WMI Adult & Child CPR is included in this course. The Wilderness First Responder course is pre-approved for 70 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours (CEH) by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).

The cost to register for the course is $520. There are also optional fees for meals and lodging during the week. Because of limited space, registration by June 1 is recommended.  For more information on the course, contact Hedges at outdoors@ozarks.edu or call (479) 979-1436.

Register Online for the Wilderness First Responder course.