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Wilderness First Aid: Training Disucssion Thread

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I have a full time EMT as a leader in our Troop, they told me he still has to be trained through the BSA, Heck, he could teach it, I downloaded the syllabus and there is nothing in there he don't know. He is a Red Cross and CPR/AED instructor. Like a previous post, another way to draw funds. But then if everyone sold popcorn like they are supposed to I bet we would not have this problem

Edited by Mr Ed T24

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As a former EMT, I concur it is really stupid to expect them to take the course.  Yes, I'm sure he could teach it easily.  But one has to be careful.  What about doctors?  ER doctors? Urologists? Plastic surgeons? Psychiatrists?  And what about nurses, ER Trauma? Geriatics? Pediatrics?

 

I think a pass out option should be made available but then every two years, the person should be able to pass out and skip paying the stupid $150 every other year.  

 

This isn't an issue of making sure our boys are safe, it's an issue of legal and financial concerns of the BSA.

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What is the WFA take on snakebite in the deep woods?  

Say a Timber Rattler a solid day's hike out.  Is the current mantra 'wait for anti-venom', or is the old technique of 'cut and suck' still useful?

Edited by JoeBob

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I think the old "cut and suck" technique for those 2-3 days into the back country has been replaced by "hope and pray".  Did the snake give full venom or not?  That's the hope and pray part because there's really nothing anyone can do at that point anyway except hope and pray.

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What is the WFA take on snakebite in the deep woods?  

Say a Timber Rattler a solid day's hike out.  Is the current mantra 'wait for anti-venom', or is the old technique of 'cut and suck' still useful?

 

Send a runner. Pop smoke and make a landing pad. ;) If that's not an option, carry out with minimum movement for the vic. Basically if they're fully envenomated they have few options. Staying put is the worst.

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I have a full time EMT as a leader in our Troop, they told me he still has to be trained through the BSA, Heck, he could teach it, I downloaded the syllabus and there is nothing in there he don't know. He is a Red Cross and CPR/AED instructor. Like a previous post, another way to draw funds. But then if everyone sold popcorn like they are supposed to I bet we would not have this problem

 

Have him get certified to teach CPR/AED. You can then teach other troops and raise funds at the same time. :)

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Here is an interesting article that came out local to me today.  Reinforces my belief that we should figure out how to make AEDs more available to troops.  I know they are too heavy and expensive for backpacking but I hope technology continues to improve to make it smaller and cheaper.

 

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/nitro-swimmings-emergency-response-saves-15-year-olds-life/ 

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The lightest one I've seen is 3.3 lbs. Worth the weight in someone's pack.

oh cool, I haven't seen that one.  But you have access to secret government equipment :-)

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I have a full time EMT as a leader in our Troop, they told me he still has to be trained through the BSA,

 

WHO TOLD HIM HE NEEDS TO TAKE WFA?!?!?!?!?!  (emphasis, ok shouting in shock!)

 

My troop's Philmont expedition has an EMT going who went to Philmont 2 or 3 years ago, and his EMT cert allowed him to meet the WFA requirement when he went.  Has this changed?

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Let me get this straight.  Summer camp, no WFA, certified leaders?  Boys can't go. .... Yep, sounds like something BSA would require.

 

Adults can't camp 300' away, that's too far to be effective if an accident should occur.

 

I can hear the orchestra tuning up for my Swan Song already.  

 

At one point in my life I was a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician-Ambulance.and state certified Emergency Rescue Technician.  Even after many years in the field (15 years) I think I could comfortably handle any medical emergency that comes my way in the back country?  Snake bite?  treat for shock, send boys for help.  Broken leg, make comfortable, treat for shock, send boys for help,   Seriously people, other than basic first aid we teach S-FC, what is there to know that in the back country one can do without dragging an ambulance down the trail with you?  

 

So, riddle me this Joker, what first aid is necessary beyond FC Training and FC MB will the adult leader need to know before the EMT's arrive?   That information, if any is what everyone is going to pay $150 ever two years to learn.  Yeah, right!

 

  Your credentials are impressive for sure....  however, WFA certification training is for when the EMT is days or weeks away, not a simple phonecall to 911.... it's to ensure that you stabilize the patient, make him comfortable until help comes in days, not hours....  OR get him out of the back country alive and safe if needed....

  It is a different set of training skills then that of an EMT or Paramedic went through....  Although, any qualified Paramedic such as yourself, would be able to keep the patient alive....

 

 I encourage you to take the training and then report on your honest thoughts....  my instructors were both Paramedics and we had an ER doc on staff as well helping out...  it was very good training....

 

 Mike B

Edited by Exibar

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Exibar,

 

I think the issues a lot of us old fogies have is that the first aid training in the past WAS more along the lines of wilderness first aid and not what is taught in a standard first aid class today. Trust me, I would not use the AHA Heartsaver First Aid video to teach the merit badge. It needs to be more hands on, and more relevant to an outdoor environment. In that respect from approx 1972 to 1989, EVERY Boy Scout had the necessary First Aid skills for HA since First Aid MB was required for First Class Scout in that time period.

 

Also, the requirement for WFA for HA is a relatively new requirement in BSA's history, and some see it as a way of CYA.

 

Other factors that affect folks view on WFA as mentioned are costs, availablity, and the need to use outside agencies for this requirement. If this was a course offered at a summer camp, or regularly by councils, great. But How many councils do?

 

It reminds me of the LNT trainer POR a few years back that required the Scout to go through a LNT Trainer course. Minimum age BSA put on the POR was 14, but some courses you had to be 16, and some you had to be 18!

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@@Exibar

 

I have no doubt that for the newbie the training is fantastic, but many years of experience, most of which was on the fringe in rural areas, I do know that time is a major factor in the patient's survival.

 

EMT-A's are trained to scoop and go, stabilize on the way.

 

EMT-Parametics are trained to stabilize and then bring the patient in.

 

2 days worth of waiting?  NOBODY knows how that's going to work out very well.  

 

So one treats the life threatening issues like bleeding, if you can't stop that the patient is not going to make it.

 

Make sure s/he's breathing, without that, the patient is not going to make it.

 

Snake bite?  It's a crap-shoot as to how much venom the patient got, there's nothing that can be done anyway with a two day wait.

 

Broken bones? Stabilize and hope there isn't much internal damage to blood vessels.  There's nothing that can be done anyway.

 

CPR - Don't even bother without an AED....

 

Head injury?  Not much one can do  the brain swelling is going to do what it wants to do.

 

Other than stop the bleeding, make sure they are breathing, treat for shock, keep them comfortable and send for help there's nothing more that would be of any benefit while waiting.

 

An ER doctor has all the latest and greatest right at his fingertips immediately.

 

A Paramedic might have some of the most important equipment for emergency situations, but is still fighting time.

 

A SM in the back country has limited equipment and waaaaay too much time to deal with.  My major concern with the training is the false sense of hope it offers to those who really care about doing it right.

 

On some of my serious runs?  Guy gets leg and arm caught in a corn picker.  Wife brings him supper in the field and finds him, calls 911  it's now 2 hours into the trauma, but fortunately the pressure of the corn heads keeps him from bleeding out.  We respond, add 15 minutes we were all volunteers not at the station.  2 responded directly with jump kits the third crew went for the ambulance.  Meet at the farm,  Need equipment and backup.  Call 911 to send fire department with Jaws of Life.  Second ambulance with higher level of training paged out to the scene.  They are 35 minutes out, FD is 10 minutes.  They get there try the Jaws.  They aren't strong enough, corn pickers are not meant to bend, 1/2 hr wasted.  Cutting torch is used to cut heads apart.  That's another hour.  Heads release, patient starts to bleed but our crew and back up better equipped at scene.  Get the guy to the hospital, 35 miles away.  He doesn't make it.  ER doctor attributes it to the time between the accident and arrival at ER way too long.  This is the NORMAL way of doing things in rural America every day.  14 CPR calls, none of them successful.  

 

So, now take a few hours of training, remove most of the medical supplies, and multiply the time factor for waiting 7-10 times.

 

Which takes me back to the original comments being made.  The Wilderness First Aid needs to be replaced with Wilderness ACC"IDENT PREVENTION training...then I would consider taking the training.

 

I hope and pray that you wasted your money and you never have to use that training.  :)  If you do have to use it.  I hope it works for you and your boys.

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Which takes me back to the original comments being made.  The Wilderness First Aid needs to be replaced with Wilderness ACC"IDENT PREVENTION training...then I would consider taking the training.

 

I hope and pray that you wasted your money and you never have to use that training.   :)  If you do have to use it.  I hope it works for you and your boys.

 

@@Stosh, we don't disagree much but I will here.

 

I think WFA does cover some great scenarios; mostly those are are very dangerous but maybe not as critical as the example you use. I would agree in those scenarios (heart attack, severe bleeding, intense venomous snake bite, etc) the vic has even less chance of making it in the back country. I would also agree that prevention is a key training too. But overall WFA does help with triage and situational awareness. It helps with less critical situations or events that could get worse if not treated fast.

 

Does it have a place in BSA training? Sure. Is it going to save lives? Possibly. But in very critical cases its not going to give the vic any more chance than he would have elsewhere. It is merely a way to *try* to save someone given the option of do nothing or do something.

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