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Eagle732

Wilderness First Aid vs EMT

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My initial post just asked the question why doesnt BSA accept EMT as sufficient training in place of Wilderness First Aid? I thought Id post here to see if others have run into this problem too. Im not against additional training, just redundant training.

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I think that's been answered with the explanations of what is covered in the wilderness courses. Also, as I said in my last post, call Philmont and talk to them. They probably have very valid reasons for the requirement just like they have valid reasons for not letting fat guys climb mountains or people over 300 lbs, no matter how fit they are.

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It does indeed appear that National hasn't yet updated their website yet with the latest information - so mea culpa on that.

 

I went ahead and contacted Philmont - and they are requiring EMT's to get the Wilderness Certs as well - some of the same folks on their list provide Wilderness Certs for W-EMT (which isn't a recognized designation by the National Registry). So you can either get the Wilderness First Aid certs or the Wilderness EMT Certs (which I did get when they first became available - I can tell you that there was very little in that class that I hadn't already learned in Boy Scouts, and the only reason I went for the "W" Cert was that my college offered the whole course (which takes the National Registry Courses - required by 46 states to be an EMT) and adds a wilderness component and they arranged for all the EMT's that were certified before they started attending the school to "upgrade" for free (which took 2 days of 3 hour classes at the time). Eagle732 - I'd opt for the Wilderness First Aid course at this time, unless Maryland accepts Wilderness EMT courses for Continuing Ed for re-cert. I looked at the 5-day Wilderness EMT upgrade course (its now a 45 hour course) and there is little in there that I hadn't already learned in my initial EMT training - most of it will be review of things you've already learned - and unless you can get Continuing Ed certs for it, you'd just be wasting your time (because you could likely get it all again while taking Cert acceptable CE).

 

Of course, the question why the High Adventure Bases are not accepting EMT's without the W certs is one of those "who knows what they are thinking" questions, that may even be related to the recent questions about adding bullying to T-FC Requirements - it may be because its a new buzzword (thats been around for over 20 years) that they can trot out to parents to show how responsible they're being - never mind that if an EMT and a Wilderness First Aid certed person is in the same crew and there is an injury, the EMT is the one that will be the primary medical officer on site, whether he has a wilderness certification or not. Woe be the Wilderness First Aider that fails to accept the EMT's primacy, takes charge, and the injured party dies or is permanently disabled. The lawyers will have a field day with that person, and with the BSA.

 

Calico

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If I was at Philmont on a trek and the other adult leader is Bob, the guy who took wilderness first aid course in the spring, and works as a plumber, and one of the kids develops a problem and another crew comes by that happend to have an EMT who rides ambulances for a living, guess who I am going to think should be calling the shots? Even if Bob is a good friend

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Ok, here's the story of the honey bear enema. Actually, its become quite the private joke with those of us who took WFA.

 

Our course covered the required material in the WFA book

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wilderness-First-Aid-Third-Emergency/dp/0763751456/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203991360&sr=8-1

 

But our instructor, a National Safety Instructor, interleaved the required course material with real world scenarios. We would then, as a class, decide the appropriate actions.

 

Scenario: You are hiking in the wilderness and come across another party. They have an unconscious adult and have no idea what to do. He just dropped. What do you do? Well, we started asking questions. Trauma? No. Does he have a medic alert tag? Yes, diabetic. Bingo. OK. Glucagon? No or can't find. Gotta get the dude some sugar. He can't swallow. What do you do? What do we got? Some powdered Gatorade. No good. Some Jolly Ranchers. No good. A squeezable honey bear. Bingo. Ok how to get the sugar into his system. Squirt it in his mouth? Maybe, but might not absorb. What might absorb the sugar? His bowels! Drop his drawers and give him an enema.

Now before you cast stones, this is an actual scenario that Outward Bound came across (at least according to our instructor). They saved the dude by this method.

 

That's the difference between WFA and the other first aid courses I've taken.

 

So back to the private joke. Our position as prudent WFA certified adults is when faced with an unconscious adult (whether in medical duress or just napping) is to grab the honey bear. Safety first!

 

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An EMT, and Ill go out on a limb and say an EMT from any state since I have held certificates in 3 different states, exceeds the level of WFA Basic which is the standard that Philmont has set. Ive reviewed the Red Cross WFA Basic text and the only thing in there not covered in EMT is the BSA 10 Essentials. My department training officer reviewed the WFA handbook and agrees. I spoke with Philmonts Health and Safety Officer after trading emails and playing phone tag for the last two days. He agrees that EMT exceeds the standard of WFA Basic, However he answers to a Medical Director (an MD whose license the paramedics and health staff operates under) who does not agree. The Doc has the final word; those who work in EMS understand this principle. The Health and Safety Officer says hes received many calls on this subject is working towards having this policy changed. In the meantime it seems as if WFA Basic is required for this year. I would like to thank the Philmont staff for being so helpful and answering my questions.

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E732,

I feel your pain.

I'm a Red Cross certified lifeguard and water safety instructor. But BSA doesn't recognize my background and won't allow me the privileges and responsibilities of a BSA lifeguard until I take their training. I've reviewed their syllabus and found it to be about 30% of what I had to do get RC certified. Although I should just swallow my pride and take the BSA training, I'm too stubborn to bend to their will and my unit suffers for it.

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For me it's mostly a time issue. I work 6 out of 8 weekends, having only 2 weekends off in a 2 month period. As a SM I use one of those weekends to take my unit on a camping trip which leaves one weekend every two months for family stuff. On weekends when I'm working and we have camping trips I have to use vacation time. So spending a weekend taking a course that I don't feel will be of benefit is out of the question. I don't mind taking useful training, in fact I'm attending our council's University of Scouting next Sat. The other issue is the cost; I'd rather give $90 to FOS. Now in 4 years when my son is old enough to go to Philmont I'd be glad to spend the money for him to attend WFA since he has no first aid training other than First Aid MB. I think it would benefit him.

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OldGreyEagle:" If I was at Philmont on a trek and the other adult leader is Bob, the guy who took wilderness first aid course in the spring, and works as a plumber, and one of the kids develops a problem and another crew comes by that happend to have an EMT who rides ambulances for a living, guess who I am going to think should be calling the shots? Even if Bob is a good friend "

 

 

You can do what you want but as far as I'm concerned EMT's are a dime a dozen BUT a good plumber who is willing to work weekends is to good to turn down. There is no 911 for plumbers.

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GW ,

I may be wrong but I thought that was an agreement where the Red Cross would provide training at a reduced rate to Boy Scouts and Leaders (Good for us) in return they would be able to call on us for help in local disasters (Good for them and us).

 

It was up to each Council to coordinate and participate in the program - ours hasn't.

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Eagle 732.

 

Opinions are like sphincters. Each of us here has one. Nary a one of these opinions will get you the answer to the question you seek.

 

Calling or emailing Philmont, and asking for a reasonable explantion, will:

 

Philmont (575) 376-2281

 

camping@philmontscoutranch.org

 

Just make the call.

 

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John, maybe you should actually read the posts.

 

Eagle732 at 8:24PM on Feb 25,2008 posted this "I spoke with Philmonts Health and Safety Officer after trading emails and playing phone tag for the last two days. He agrees that EMT exceeds the standard of WFA Basic, However he answers to a Medical Director (an MD whose license the paramedics and health staff operates under) who does not agree."

 

 

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