2013 Wilderness First Aid Training

As if being awakened from a beautiful dream reality… the end of summer came with plenty of warning....  a perpetual and steady downgrade. If you had signed up for the Wilderness and First Aid Training Course recently sponsored by OWA, one could not help but feel as though they were indeed headed into the heart of the storm. Record breaking rains and high winds would ultimately cancel SOLVS scheduled clean up on ALL of Oregon beaches and leave nary a dry “footprint” for a would be camper. Mother nature did not however seem to dampen the enthusiasm of any one of the 40 participants, and the numerous volunteers who convened at Dodge Park for an intensely informative and interactive 2 ½ days with Julie and Abi of Sierra Rescue. With curriculum that is no less than awe-inspiring, this dynamic duo bring their passion and a unique presentation, which at times will leave you breathless.

The first day would have us all working on our “roll” as we learned how to stabilize and properly position a potential victim with respect to trauma and musculoskeletal injury. Throughout the weekend numerous mock scenarios were presented and teams were facilitated by assistant volunteers: Julie Nathe, Taneka Burwell-Means, Joanne Edwards, and Dave Porter. Participants were guided through the Initial Patient Assessment with consideration of Safety, MOI, and Resources, while providing a very integrated, and hands on experience. From wound cleaning, and splinting, to dislocations and medical and environmental emergencies, this comprehensive course instills profoundly effective skills and useful information for any outdoor enthusiast.

Although there were only a couple of campfires…..die-hards! There was no shortage of river stories to be swapped, and what OWA event would be complete without the warmth and hospitality of a community potluck. Compliments to Cary Solberg, for keeping the “home fires” burning with his awesome chili; and to Steve Herring for giving us “shelter from the storm.”  Also, much appreciation to Cat Loke for organizing a delivered lunch, keeping the coffee pot on full brew and negotiating with the camp hosts.

It is the camaraderie and the strength of the hearts, minds and spirit that are clearly evident in this organization that not only inspire, but continue to imprint memories that will last a lifetime. Thank You to OWA for sponsoring such a great event!

Submitted by Lisa Carr