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Old 11-04-2011   #21
Shit Creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 277
I work as a nurse in a busy Level 1 ER, am a jolly volly firefighter, and used to ski patrol a bit, so I feel my training and experience helps me a lot. My first aid kit in my kayak is pretty good and includes a new CPR mask every season. My in-the-car and rafting 1st aid kit is really nice and can handle almost anything. I try to look at likely scenarios when planning my in-boat kit to cover most of the bases the best. I do think training is key and I try keep my buddies up to snuff on training and rescue planning, as I want them to be able to save my hide too.

Speak of Peace, (but carry a big gun)
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Old 11-04-2011   #22
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
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Originally Posted by Randaddy View Post
By the way, can anyone give me some information on becoming a Wilderness First Aid instructor? How about a SWR instructor? How many classes will I have to take for that?
I've been teaching Lifeguard Training and CPR classes for American Red Cross for 20 years. I started teaching Wilderness First Aid a couple of years ago when ARC came out with the new class. To be an instructor with them isn't hard- just contact your local chapter and find out when the instructor classes are. That being said- there are some places that are better than others. I've had people take my WFA class that have previously come from NOLS, RMI and AERIE classes and have said hands down that they learned more and got more out of my class than they did from the "big name" organization's class. Do I think the ARC material is better than the others? No- it's the same material. I'm just damn good at teaching it . I can't say the same about another ARC instructor who also does the classes. So the ease of becoming a WFA instr with ARC is great- but the lack of instructor training like some of the "big name" organizations can come back to bite you if you need a lot of hand holding to be a good instructor.

I took my WRT class through an amazing Rescue 3 instructor in Index, WA. I've looked into being an instructor through them but wow- what an astounding amount of work. I have a friend who just got certified to teach through Rescue 3 and it took him 2 years to fulfill all the requirements to be an instructor. I wish I had the kind of time! Do some digging and talk to the instructors in your area. They'll tell you what kind of hoops you need to jump through.

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Old 11-05-2011   #23
., ...
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 207
Colorado Mountain College offers a kick ass Wilderness First Responder Course out of the Edwards campus. They do the full week or weekends and for a rediculous price. Highly recommended!
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Old 11-05-2011   #24
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Kendi, I looked into it and it's 3 ARC courses for a total of just under $700 to teach Wilderness First Aid and CPR for the professional rescuer, a good combo in my opinion. The Rescue 3 will involve a WRT, SRTA, and a Professional Qualification course. This will be a little under a grand. It might take two years to get it all scheduled without travel, but I think I'll get it done inside a year.

I appreciate your advice. It's good to hear that there are good Red Cross teachers out there. I'm suprised to hear anything negative about NOLS/WMI. I've always heard excellent things about WMI and WMA. I guess it's like you said - all about the instructor.
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Old 11-05-2011   #25
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
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Randaddy-I'm not knocking NOLS/RMI or others programs... but when they run 40+ people through a Sat/Sun class out of the conference room at REI in 16 hours (including breaks)- the quality of the information retained is a bit lacking IMHO. Same can be said of ARC running a class out of the Cabelas meeting room- not very realistic. I do all my classes outside in the foothills of the Cascades over about 19-20 hours. It lets me spend more time on scenarios and such. It's purely my preference and the fact that I can teach the classes that way as opposed to the conference room approach.

If you're going to go the instructor route-look into your Instructor Trainers if you can. Good IT's make a world of difference. Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2011   #26
Kayak/SUP Instructor
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
I'm an EMT and also have an ARC CPR & First Aid card as required for my ACA Cert. I carry a good kit but most of my boating friends aren't trained and don't carry any aid. It makes me nervous. Kinda like the guy who shows up to ski the BC with me carrying a ghetto plastic shovel and an avi beacon he hasn't trained with in years then gets butt hurt when I don't want to ski steeps with him. Love your neighbor as yourself.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 11-06-2011   #27
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
Kendi - nice off season topic to get people thinking. You might only inspire one person who would make a difference IRL, but they just may.

Years ago I took the OEC class that was required to be part of the backcountry ski patrol. It was around 100 hours. Wednesday nights for most of the winter and then a couple of two day weekends for the practical applied stuff. Fortunately the worst I have had to do on the river was some cuts that probably should have been sutured and some burns which may have close to 2nd degree in small areas, including on myself.

Guest guiding day trips for another company I came upon one of their guides who had the guest in the head with their oar. Five of their boats in the eddy and no one even had a gauze pad and they all had their thumbs up their collective asses. Unbelievable.

Unfortunately I have been first on scene at several fatality car accidents, with other involved injuries. One had multiple compound fractures after being ejected at 80 to 90 mph. While many of those were just waiting for the EMTs, at least I had a good idea what to do from the ABCs to AVPU etc. to give the ambulance guys some good info about what they had to work with.

Hope I never have to again, but in the real life situations I was made to deal with, I was relatively calm and I think the training and scenario training helps with that.

Also taken a couple of weekend SRT classes that I parlayed into being able to successfully unpin multiple rafts and several IKs.

I could make the time but the money to take new classes ain't gonna happen for a while. My wife is back to work after nearly a year unemployed, but we are not out of the woods yet.

I would love to be part of the volunteer fire department and may end up doing that in the near future. They also have a swiftwater component too.

Random thoughts don't if this helps much.

Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
If there were more weekend river rescue mini-courses offered I think more folks would be inclined to take them as opposed to the weeklong more intensive & expensive SRT courses. I realize these mini-course weekend classes wouldn't be as in depth as the full-on SRT classes, but at least it would give folks a chance to learn some basic skills or refresh what they've learned in the past.
My two cents.
yes this.

Originally Posted by h2ocst View Post
One last word, liability; anyone out there know what finally happened to that guy in California? There was a lady in a car engulfed in a flash flood, guy saved her life by pulling her from the car & hurt her back in the process. California courts decided he could be sued in spite of the CA Good Samaritan Law. So it goes...
This is so wrong, I don't even know where to begin.
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Old 11-06-2011   #28
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
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[QUOTE=carvedog;254152]Guest guiding day trips for another company I came upon one of their guides who had the guest in the head with their oar. Five of their boats in the eddy and no one even had a gauze pad and they all had their thumbs up their collective asses. Unbelievable.


yeah- I've been on trips similar to that. Because I don't want to be caught with my thumb in an uncomfortable place- I always bring along my full first aid kit in my personal drybag. Annoying to bring the whole thing along for day trips- but can't think of a single time on the river in 3 years that something from the kit wasn't used by someone (advil seems to be very popular on early morning trips....)

And about the liability thing- when I teach my CPR and WFA classes- I have to spend a lot of time on liability and good samaritain laws. Kinda pisses me off that it's so necessary.
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Old 11-07-2011   #29
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
I had EMT back in the mid 1990's, WFR and Swiftwater around 2000, and more first aid and CPR classes than I can count since I was 15 years old. Current on first aid, but, my CPR is currently expired (as of last month). I also wonder what folks have in the first aid kit, as sometimes this is just as important for remote/long trips as skill. I think I want to beef up my first aid kit, and get refreshers on CPR and Swiftwater.

E.T.A. - When I took EMT, California was as a palce to concerned about liability. Colorado has good samaritan rules. However all the times I have needed to help, and I have saved a life or two, liability has never crossed my mind.

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