“These WFR dreams are getting crazy!”

During a Wilderness First Responder course at the University of WI at LaCrosse, Ann Dunphy, one of WMA’s instructor’s, asked students about WFR dreams, as she does with all of her courses. Interestingly enough, one student, D. Crye, was willing to share his story, and thankfully for us, he also shared it with the WMA office. We just had to post it!

Did anyone leave a plastic bag in the refrigerator with a Leatherman Blast, smartwool socks and V8 Butternut Squash soup? Let me know!

Also, for those who want to hear a dream I had last night feel free to keep reading; I’ll make it short. I dreamt last night that I got to save a guy from drowning in a river after he drove into a frozen lake. It was crazy because we got him out of the water and carried him up a very steep bank. As we got him onto the street he starting throwing up gallon after gallon of water. It was a lot of water! The whole time we were trying to keep him stabilized because we were MOI spine of course. Well this guy didn’t want to stay still but we finally got him to stay laying down as we waited for the ambulance. But I was so excited that I was able to help rescue someone that I left my patient (not a good thing) to go tell Ann, who was down the road at some outdoor store purchasing a new first aid kit. I got there and started telling Ann how great it was and everything and then she was like “David, where is your patient now?” And I told her he was laying in the middle of the street by himself. So Ann said “Get back to your patient now!” So, I ran back. When I got back to my patient the ambulance had arrived and had him on a stretcher, but they also had two other people on stretchers too! I was freaking out because somehow there were 3 patients instead of just one! Furthermore, all of them were strapped down on there backs throwing up everywhere uncontrollably. I then sat down and started to realize all that I did wrong. First of all, I didn’t complete the first triangle to find out how many patients there were. Secondly, I didn’t complete a full SAMPLE history because I must have missed something because everyone was throwing up big time from something. And I shouldn’t have left my patient to go tell Ann what had happened. So, I learned some good lessons from my dream. These WFR dreams are getting crazy!

Snakebite Treatment Methods

Snakebite Treatment Methods – How to care for a snakebite wound.


Click on the link above to go to www.wildmed.com and ask Dr. Johnson a question!

I’m fact-checking a piece for a national outdoor magazine. I have several questions about snake bite treatment methods:

  1. Is there any benefit to the "cut-and-suck" method or should we get rid of it altogether?
  2. What is your professional opinion on the effectiveness of suction devices?
  3. Should a responder apply a tourniquet to a snake bite victim?
  4. Should a coldpack be applied to a snake bite victim?
  5. Is marking the edge of the bite to track the swelling helpful to medical personnel?


  1. No, none.  In fact, it could result in an infection, impair healing and the cut could cause an unintended injury.
  2. Useless.  A nice study done a few years ago demonstrated their lack of efficacy.  Their reputation was based on hype and not science.
  3. Never a tourniquet.  For some with neurotoxins, especially the most potent ones found outside of NA, a compression wrap may be helpful.
  4. It will not help and could cause more injury.
  5. Yes, it could be.

Remember all snakes are not the same.  There are different general kinds of toxins. The management of each is directed at the damage or harm that could result


Cross Country Skiers and Compartment Syndrome

In the musculoskeletal system lecture WFR students learn about the signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome. Repetitive stress is a cause for compartment syndrome to the lower legs.

These two articles are accounts from Olympic ski racers that are suffering from compartment syndrome.



Submitted by:
Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
President, Emergency Preparedness Systems LLC

CPR: Understanding the Rate of Chest Compressions

The CPR mantra is push hard and push fast. But what is hard and what is fast?

The utility of chest compressions in the wilderness context is dependent on the underlying cause for arrest. For example, a patient that has no pulse and breathing after a loss of consciousness underwater had a healthy heart at the time of arrest. Chest compressions and rescue breathing may provide the oxygenation and perfusion for return of spontaneous circulation. If the patient’s cardiac arrest was caused by a myocardial infarction CPR alone will not fix the underlying problem. It just buys time. The patient needs an AED, paramedics, and a hospital. Quickly!

WMA Assistant Instructor Tim Sheehan supervises paramedic students during their hospital emergency department training. According to Tim many students struggle to maintain the proper rate of 100 compressions per minute. Tim says, “If you are going to do CPR you might as well do it right.”

Well how do you know if you are doing 100 compressions per minute?

Tim tells us, “All of the code carts in the emergency department have a metronome.” A metronome is a simple tempo device that clicks or beeps at a prescribed beats per minute.

Two online metronomes are available at
http://webmetronome.com/or http://www.metronomeonline.com/. You might be able to load a metronome into your smart phone or PDA.

If you don’t have access to a web based metronome sing the famous Bee Gees song, Stayin’ Alive, as you compress. Barry and the boys are grooving at about 100 beats per minute.

Submitted by:
Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
President, Emergency Preparedness Systems LLC


Student From Ohio University

Another student sent this into WMA!

“My name is Chris and I have recently taken the WFR class at Ohio University Dec. 13-21. I just wanted to let you know how amazing my experience was. It all started with my absolutely outstanding instructors Darren “Daz” and Gary. My attention never strayed the entire week as I listened to every word. I was thrilled to go to class everyday and even dreamed about it every night. I wish my high school and college career were this interesting my classes would have been a breeze. Not only was I able to learn how to be a WFR but I also feel I learned something about myself too. This is one of the best weeks I have had and I hope your program continues to grow. Please continue to chose people like Daz and Gary to teach your classes and I am sure your program will have limitless success.”

New Hampshire: Search and Rescue Services to Recoup Costs

Last month New Hampshire passed a new state law that will allow the State to collect search and rescue costs from lost groups or individuals.

Read an article about the law at by clicking here.

According to the article the costs for search and rescue services could go as high as $10,000 and even include driver’s license revocation.

In every Wilderness Medical Associates course students learn the importance of prevention and early intervention. Always make sure you are adequately prepared with pre-trip planning, skills appropriate to the activity, and equipment suited to the destination, season, and activity.

During any outing, from an hour long hike to a multiple week expedition, continue to prevent injury and illness. If someone does become injured and/or ill, attempt to intervene early. For example, treating a cold challenge is much easier than treating severe hypothermia. Stop to rest and rehydrate in the shade during the high heat and sun of midday.

Submitted by:
Greg Friese
Emergency Preparedness Systems, LLC

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We are Wilderness Medicine!

A student recently sent this into WMA! Great picture! New t-shirts coming soon. Look out for them at our online gear store!

I recently went on a retreat with some friends. We went to red river gorge in KY. My friend has his Wildmed shirt on and we took a pic we thought you would appreciate. Thanks for all that you do!

Elliot O.
Asbury College, Wilmore KY

WMA Course in La Crosse Tribune

La Crosse Tribute just posted this great article about a recent Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course offered by the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse!. Click here to read the full article and watch a video from one of the simulations!

“If you want to be an outdoor professional, this is the certification you need in your back pocket,” said Ann Dunphy, lead instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates.”

Congratulations to those who completed the course!