Wilderness First Aid

Rifle High School hosts Wilderness Outdoor First Aid Training
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Over at Rifle High School, the Outdoor Leadership class is in its fourth year of teaching students how to safely run outdoor adventures for an organized group. On January 14th and 15th, students had the opportunity to take the Wilderness Outdoor First Aid Training course.

The 16-hour course is nationally recognized and is oftentimes a minimum certification that outdoor guides (hunting, fishing, climbing, skiing, rafting, etc) are required to complete in order to be hired. It is in partnership with Desert Mountain Medicine, which provides instruction. Students also get CPR certifications out of the course. 

The course covers medical emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes or diabetic emergencies and how to splint injured joints such as wrists, ankles or knees. It teachers environmental emergencies like heat exhaustion, hypothermia or frostbite and how to assess a patient, treat them for injuries and come up with a plan to get out of the woods. 

This is the fourth year that the Outdoor Leadership class—instructed by Nathan Perrault—has been at RHS. The Outdoor Leadership class is part of a partnership with the Buddy Program and is made possible through a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. Perrault says students will learn all kinds of emergency skills and procedures and practice them in various hands-on learning scenarios. This training is standard for all students in the class to go through each year. 

“I definitely think this material is important to know as I think everyone should have at least a basic level of first aid training,” says Perrault. “I have been trying to relate it to scenarios that we could see in the wilderness as well as front country emergencies where they might actually be there before an ambulance arrives such as car accidents, home accidents and other medical emergencies like heart attacks and strokes.”

In preparation for the training, the students have been going through some of the basics that the course teaches to help see the material multiple times in hopes of retaining as much information during the training as possible. 

“The students seem really excited about the material and are looking forward to the training,” says Perrault. “It's a really cool opportunity for kids to get this type of training and this is an expensive course that is offered free to the students!”

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