Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is a 'Woofer'?

We professional types pronounce "WFR" as "woofer".

The WFR, or Wilderness First Responder, is a certification combining the Emergency Response Certification with additional hours of curriculum and practice for application in the wilderness setting. The ERC (a 48-hour DOT course certification) is required for police, athletic trainers and firemen in the USA, and it is administered by the American Red Cross (ARC). Due to the remote nature of our courses our lead field staff are required to have successfully completed the WFR course. Certification from ARC and CRROBS is valid for 3 years.

What do they do during a "woofer" course? At CRROBS, it lasts nine days filled with in-class instructions, case studies, patient care stations, skills assessment, and practical scenarios. Read below for a rough outline of their curriculum:

DAY 1:
Introduction (roles and responsibilities)
Anatomy & Phisiologyn
CPR, First Aid (for the professional rescuer)
DAY 2:
CPR, First Aid (for the professional rescuer)
(Click to watch: students practice CPR emergency breathing)
Patient Assessment
Bleeding & Shock
Head, Spine & Trauma
DAY 3:
Chest Trauma
Injuries to Extremities
Water Sanitation
Long Term Wound Care and Assessment
DAY 4:
Bites & Stings
Allergic Reaction / Anaphylaxis
Epi Administration
Hot & Cold Emergencies
DAY 5:
Abdominal Medical Emergencies
Chest Pain
DAY 6:
First Aid Kits
Improvised Litters and Splints
(Click to watch: students make a litter.)
(Click to watch: students learn to roll an unconscious victim.)
DAY 7:
Evacuation Protocols
Helicopter Use & Safety
Injury & Illness Prevention
Stress Management
DAY 8:
Practical Exams (performance in a rescuing scenario)
DAY 9:
Written Exams

The most interesting parts for the students as well as the instructors are the practical scenarios in which people pretend to be hurt, bleeding, broken, and distressed. The students in training must assess the situation an react quickly and reasonably.

All Leadership students and CRROBS instructors must take this course, which is quite rigorous. When asked about the training, the students generally say it was "stressful, but interesting and beneficial."

See photos of Leadership Fall 2009 Semester students during WFR Training on our Facebook fan page.

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