FPC Wilderness First Aid Course
Happened: March 28-29, 2015; 16 hour course
Where: Rockwood Park Interpretation Center
Instructor: Andrew Cuthbertson (Sirius)
The Fundy Paddlers Club scheduled a Wilderness First Aid course over the weekend of March 28-29, 2015. While we had to give up exploring for a weekend, the course was a great opportunity to become better acquainted with the other folks in the club and to build confidence in our abilities to manage medical emergencies in remote areas. While most of the assessment and care are the same, some things are different when you are hours or days away from an ambulance or hospital, in places without roads or wheeled access and with a minimum of equipment.
(To see slides, click the dots in center above)
To view more of Tom's photo's taken at FPC's Wilderness First Aid Course, click here.
The course included lots of practical sessions, both inside and out (in the snow) as well as a review of Standard First Aid theory. As a former paramedic, I found the class and hands-on to be a great review and confidence builder.
As explorers in the wilderness areas around Southern NB, we are often in remote places like the Fundy Footpath, and along the many brooks and rivers that lead to the Bay of Fundy. We drive a four-wheel drive as far as we can, but that’s just where we start. Day hikes often find us several hours (and kilometers) walk from the nearest road or ATV trail. And if you’ve hiked the Footpath, you know that a 200m vertical climb for each hill is a really big deal. And there are lots of hills.
Exploring the Bay of Fundy by canoe brings other challenges. Besides tides, wind and waves, there are places were you can’t get ashore for several kilometers. Some of the most interesting beaches are at the base of cliffs and not reachable by foot. Our footprints are often the only ones we see (and the only thing we leave). We almost never see Sea Kayakers, and have yet to see anyone else in a canoe.
So it just makes sense to be better prepared for whatever the adventure brings us. We are cautious, but it’s good to be prepared for the unexpected. It’s about gear, but even more about skills. Wilderness First Aid has added to our skills list.
During breaks and afterwards at supper, I had a chance to chat more with fellow FPC members about their outdoor adventures and to share some of my own. I am really looking forward to joining the FPC folks on the rivers and lakes this summer, and to having them join Penny and I on and along the Bay of Fundy!
Thanks to the Fundy Paddling Club Inc for organizing the course, and to Andrew Cuthbertson for keeping us busy all weekend!
- Reported by Tom Raithby, FPC Member and Photographer