Wilderness First Aid Field Services - WFA-FS
The only Wilderness First Aid course that meets the specific needs of industry, technical, research, and field support employees in remote areas.
The 24-hour Wilderness First Aid for Field Services course provides first aid for industrial, technical, and field support staff in remote areas. Although the fundamental medical portion of this course is similar to those in a WMA International Wilderness First Aid course, the applied context is different.
The primary demographic includes workers involved in activities such as mining, forestry, oil drilling, construction, and scientific data collection in the field. The teaching focus is on medical conditions and response that will be relevant to this group. Each group will be slightly different but generally there will be a greater emphasis on the following topics:
- CPR - Practice and understanding. Students should understand what the usefulness and benefits and limitation of CPR in both front country and remote environments.
- Cardiac-related diseases - While cardiac-related diseases are often thought of as an urban based problem, additional critical thinking is required to manage the treatment and evacuation of patients in remote and low resource settings.
- Lifting Moving Extrication (LME) - Successful moving and extrication of patients with focus on remote industrial contexts including confined spaces (such as mines, structures, construction areas) and vehicles. Appropriate practice time in extrication is included.
- Spine boarding - If students have access to spine boards at their workplace then a commercial (non-improvised) method of spine stabilization is practiced including the management of longer transports. . Improvised boarding is taught if relevant to the group.
- Splinting - Improvised splinting materials may be quite diverse and specific to worksites, therefore learning and practice focuses on concepts and comfort of stabilization rather than specific techniques.
- Use of other rescue equipment - Different worksites have access to other rescue equipment such as KEDs, traction splints, and rescue baskets. If it is directly relevant to patient care, these products will be included in scenarios and discussions including their uses and limitations in the wilderness context.
- SOAP notes – Communication of patient injuries are covered at our highest level including the concept of “radio” SOAP.
- Med/legal - Good Samaritan versus Duty to Act is covered. Relevant workplace safety regulations in most regions also require students to know first aid kit content and location requirements.
Workplace Environment and Student Identity
Direct access to motorized vehicles including but not limited to all-terrain vehicles, motor boats, snow machines, and possibly aircraft is a defining criteria of these remote industrial environments. This should be considered for evacuation purposes as well as mechanisms for injury.
Possible shorter duration of time spent in a remote area. Students may only be in a remote area for a single work shift and then return to their own home. As such, wilderness management of acute problems such as angina and myocardial infarctions may be of greater concern than gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation.
This course is scheduled for 3-days or 24 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Wilderness First Aid, standard/occupational First Aid certification, and Adult CPR. Certifications are valid for three years.
Students will receive the following books for this course:
- The Field Guide of Wilderness & Rescue Medicine
- SOAP Notebook
- The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook
We ask our sponsors and course hosts to provide any specific gear relevant to their employees when in remote and austere environments. Wilderness Medical Associates International will supply a specific equipment list to cover simulation, medical education, and classroom needs.
There is pass/fail criteria. A written test exists but is not necessary on this course. Failure criteria could be due to lack of attendance or participation; inability to demonstrate CPR, epinephrine injection, or patient assessment. WMA International is committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs.
Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course, or have parental consent. Those under 18 years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian.