Posted by: csdailyblog | November 10, 2010

Conserve School Students Earn Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Certification

Students Annelise, Kira, Kaydee, and Johnny gently roll over Field Instructor Jess Kavanaugh, taking care to keep her spine in alignment, while instructor Cathy Palmer, Director of Outdoor Programs, looks on and evaluates their technique. The students are moving their patient on to a pad that will help her stay warm by providing a barrier against cold and moisture.

Field Instruction class has been devoted to first aid training for the past few weeks. By the end of their training, students will have earned certification in Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid. Taught by Director of Outdoor Programs and Residential Life Cathy Palmer and Sustainability and Health Care Coordinator Jean Haack, the course covers a wide variety of skills needed to care for injuries and illnesses in the backcountry when emergency health professionals may not be available for a lengthy period of time. Students have been learning about hypothermia, anaphylaxis, bone and joint injuries, wounds, burns, and a multitude of other injuries or illnesses.

Much of the class is learned through hands-on practice, with students taking turns playing “victims.” Staff members, too, occasionally bring their acting skills to First Aid class, donning pretend wounds and lying on the ground “unconscious” for students to find and treat. (As you can see from the photos, it can be hard for the victims to keep a straight face. )

This certication will be useful to students not only in terms of maintaining their own health and the health of group members while on wilderness trips, but also as a qualification for summer jobs and internships. Wilderness First Aid training is a required or preferred qualification for many positions related to outdoor recreation.

Mary Anna

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