|Enjoying the great outdoors is often filled with fresh air, exercise and camaraderie, particularly for those who love to hunt or camp. But spending time in the wilderness can also bring injury and illness, turning what was meant to be a fun experience into a life-threatening situation.
Western Illinois University's Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course provides a way for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts to prepare for wilderness-related and other injuries. The 70-hour course is slated for Saturday, March 13 through Sunday, March 21 (during WIU's Spring Break), at Western's Horn Field Campus near Macomb. For those who have been WFR certified in the past, a 24-hour WFR recertification course is slated for Monday, March 22 through Wednesday, March 24 at Horn Field Campus.
The WFR Course will be staffed by professional instructors from Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA), an organization founded in 1981 by Peter Goth to provide medical training and risk management in the wilderness context.
"This is an intensive training course, recognized as the world's leading provider of remote emergency training," explained Mindy Pheiffer, Horn Field Campus program coordinator. "During the course, students will be trained in wilderness rescue and backcountry medicine."
The curriculum includes lessons about the patient assessment system, environmental topics, musculoskeletal systems, practical skills and critical systems, she added.
According to the WMA, the fast-paced course includes lectures, study times and exams. It also provides the opportunity for hands-on experience in a number of rescue simulations in the woods at Horn Field Campus. Graduates of the course will receive the WMA WFR certification, as well as certification in anaphylaxis and PLS (Primary Life Support)/healthcare provider-level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Cost for the 70-hour course is $650 on or before Jan. 29 ($700 Jan. 30 and after). Cost for the 24-hour recertification course is $275 on or before Jan. 29 ($310 Jan. 30 and after). Registration deadline is Feb. 5, and the registration fee includes all course materials, lodging (bunkstyle cabins, which offer heat, restrooms and showers) and kitchen use.
Each student will need to bring a large daypack, water bottle, rain gear, comfortable and warm clothing, a watch with a second hand, bedding and toiletries and a set of old clothes that can be damaged during simulations.
To download the registration forms (PDF documents) for the 70-hour course and for the 24-hour recertification course, visit www.wiu.edu/RPTA/HFC/HFC_Training.html.
Horn Field Campus is located south of Macomb on China Road. From South Johnson Street (past Macomb High School), turn right on China Road and follow the road one-quarter of a mile to the Horn Field Campus entrance. Parking is permitted on the HFC lot.
For more information about registration and payment options, contact Pheiffer at (309) 833-5798 or MJ-Pheiffer@wiu.edu. For curriculum information, contact WMA at (888) 945-3633 or visit www.wildmed.com.
(Western Illinois University)