Well I passed my Wilderness First Responder Class! It was a long, challenging week and a half, but I’m really glad I did it! It was a wonderful experience for many reasons. The WFR certificate is the equivalent of an EMT, but the difference is, the WFR emphasis is on wilderness medicine where medical help might be hours or days away.
Why was this such a great experience? First, the sheer amount of knowledge that is imparted is amazing. Not only did I learn an incredible amount, but then being able to apply it in very real life wilderness situations just added a whole level to the learning process.
But, all this material wouldn’t have amounted to much if it wasn’t for people like our lead instructor Deb Ajango. Her endless real life Alaska stories were alone worth the price of the course! She has seen and done it all, I don’t think I have even had a more interesting educator.
Finally was the group of people I meet and worked with as part of this class. By it’s nature, the students in a class like this are the kind of people I find interesting – people making a living in the outdoors. The kind of people who make career decisions based more on lifestyle then financial gain. So the class is made up of kayak, climbing and hiking guides, and in Seward, kayak guides are definitely the majority. As the class progresses, this wonderful bonding experience is created as the group overcomes challenging, even stressful training.
So couple great material, a fantastic instructor and a wonderful group of students and I must admit, this class ended up being a far great experience then I ever expected! Hopefully I’ll never need to use these new skills, but it is sure nice to know they are there.