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ham_solo

Wilderness First Aid: Training Disucssion Thread

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In my pack on every back country outing:

  • Personal locator beacon (at 406 MHz [low power transmit to 121.5MHz], Iridium, COMSAT and Globalstar)
  • EG18 high output smoke grenades.
  • Rhino 655t GPS unit with WX radio to NOAA (SAME codes for multiple areas).
  • 800# for the local care flight.
  • Sat phone (Iridium 9575).

Some redundant gear but you never know what's going to happen two weeks in the back country. Phone goes out, have the Rhino as back up. Stick to itinerary so that if we are no-shows they can see on the Rhino where we are and come get us if needed. Smoke for easy finding and PLB as a last resort if I lose everything. About $2k worth of gear, but how much is your child's life worth?

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Ya, but then some government guy is going to know where you are and what you're up to 24/7..... :)

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Ya, but then some government guy is going to know where you are and what you're up to 24/7..... :)

 

If he finds me, cool. I can erase my tracks later.  :cool:

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MODERATOR'S NOTE:

 

With Richard B of the National Executive Staff having weighed in, I have changed the title of the thread to reflect disucssion of the training and the certification

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Krampus:

 

That is a heck of a lot of nice electronics. 

 

I suspect if I added up the value of all of my personal electronics plus all of my camping gear it would be less than the cost for all of that. There are some of us out here that our cars are only worth a bit more than that (perhaps less if it really came down to finding a buyer).

 

A good multi-band two-way radio and the correct training and licenses would probably be my next backcountry safety investment, if I were going to make one, though it would have been more useful before the rise of encrypted digital radios in emergency service networks.

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Krampus:

 

That is a heck of a lot of nice electronics. 

 

I suspect if I added up the value of all of my personal electronics plus all of my camping gear it would be less than the cost for all of that. There are some of us out here that our cars are only worth a bit more than that (perhaps less if it really came down to finding a buyer).

 

A good multi-band two-way radio and the correct training and licenses would probably be my next backcountry safety investment, if I were going to make one, though it would have been more useful before the rise of encrypted digital radios in emergency service networks.

 

I spend a great deal of time in the back country, whether it is scouting, hunting or just off on my own (okay, the hounds come with so really not alone). A lot of the places I go are in very rural areas in west Texas, New Mexico, etc. We are miles away from any help. Air ambulance service is the only way out to live. If you've never been to west Texas or southwest Texas, you might as well be on Mars given how lousy mobile phone reception is. You want to make it out if there's a problem you need the gear. And let's face it, this stuff is my hobby so I drop the extra cash there (boys with toys). 

 

Some guys have man caves. Some guys have pools or patios. Some guys have massive grill/smoker set ups. My gear costs far less than those things. My wife allowed me to have a few $$$ worth of technology. She must love me because she wants me back safe...or at least a body recovered for the funeral.  :D

Edited by Krampus
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Asked my District yesterday. They looked at me like this... :eek: ...when I asked them if they were making WFA mandatory for all activities. Their direct quote I cannot post here, but their follow up response was, "Ah....no. No way." So at least my District is not doing it. ;)

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I know a fellow scouter that had to use his WFA training on a hike where a scout had fracture and had to be stabilized.  He said the training really helped him handle the situation.

 

We are really lucky in this area to have a Venture Crew that specializes in first aid and they do an incredible job.  They are so good that local hospitals have them run the moulage situations for the hospital staff.

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I'd say WFA is a good idea if a Crew/ Troop plans to do trips that are outside of prompt medical help. (Think hours instead of minutes.) Otherwise... summer camp, regular troop outings, simply do not require that level of training. It's an absurd waste of leaders time and money to take WFA for situations that a shorter, cheaper course would be more than sufficient for. 

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Realistically, is there any real reason that the BSA could not create our own self-certified course in WFA, in much the same way we have outdoor ethics trainers, or many other self certified courses.

 

In terms of Wilderness First Aid, I would have to believe that we (as an organziation) have at least as much credibility as ARC and probably more than many of these for-profit companies that teach the course.  OK, maybe we still farm out the CPR component, like we do for BSA Lifeguard, but otherwise - This is something BSA could offer for adult leaders, venturers, and older scouts alike; without an outrageous fee structure, and more tailored to not just what to do, but how to pre-plan for the event.

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Wasn't Outdoor Ethics created with the LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics and the Tread Lightly group? I don't think it was purely a BSA course.

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Wasn't Outdoor Ethics created with the LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics and the Tread Lightly group? I don't think it was purely a BSA course.

 

Developed, yes, and we could seek out help and specialties for developing the course, although the earlier pdf link implies BSA has already identified what the course should be.  I was referring more to actually running the courses and the trainer courses.

 

Also, despite being an outdoor organization with lip service to leave no trace, the Scouts, as a program, did not always have a good reputation on the subject matter.  First Aid on the other hand, we're probably second most known to the Red Cross.

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First Aid on the other hand, we're probably second most known to the Red Cross.

 

Really? Not where I live. We have one troop that does a great job at it, but it is in conjunction with the ARC. BSA had nothing to do with the training. The next most visible group is REI, but their program costs upwards of $200. Outside of our area, NOLS is seen as the big dog in this space.

 

I'm not sure the average Scout or Scouter thinks "BSA" when they think advanced first aid training. Does BSA actually design, develop and deliver advanced first aid programs in your area (beyond troops offering CPR/AED or MB colleges offering the MB)? We can barely get leader training more than once a year.

Edited by Krampus

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