Last weekend I spent three days in the beautiful Marin Headlands learning how to save big deal.

Specifically, I took the Wilderness First Responder (WFR)-Refresher course—affectionately known as the “Woofer.” This course is put on by the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), which is part of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

WFR, WMI, NOLS…it’s difficult to keep the three-letter acronyms (TLA) straight, let alone pass the course. Anyway, the Woofer is the industry standard for wilderness guides and outdoor educators as far as first aid goes. The initial course is 80 hours and every two years you must take a 24 hour refresher.

Sound heinous? You won’t think so when your guide needs to give you a little TLA treatment such as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), AED (automated external defibrillation), or PAS (patient assessment system). In actuality, the Red Cross says that these skills start to perish after only 3 months!
In one month, I will be offering a condensed version of the Woofer, known as the Woofa, WFA, or Wilderness First Aid presented by the Red Cross. The course is two days and will be in the San Jose area (Los Gatos Creek County Park in Campbell to be exact.)

To get you (and me) pumped up for the upcoming course, I will be reporting on WFA topics which will be covered in the course for the next few weeks. Stay tuned for Part I: Patient Assessment


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