NW-SCC to offer wilderness first responder course

Enjoying the great outdoors is often filled with fresh air and exercise. However, spending time in the wilderness can also bring injury and illness, turning an enjoyable experience into a life-threatening situation.

Northwest-Shoals Community College (NW-SCC) will host a course beginning March 21 to conquer those fears.

NW-SCC will offer its 14th Wilderness First Responder course starting at 8 a.m. March 21 and ending in the late afternoon of March 30. Classes will be held on the Shoals campus and will last between eight and 10 hours a day.

The training teaches people what to do when calling 911 is not an option.

Dr. Bob England, Program Director for Outdoor Leadership, explained that the course’s foundation is a simple patient assessment system developed by the Wilderness Medical Associates, International, which has trained thousands of outdoor and rescue workers in governmental agencies, the armed forces, and civilian companies.

“Coaches, overseas church mission trip leaders, and lumber crew managers, rural fire-fighters, and law enforcement officers who operate miles from definitive care find the course particularly useful,” said England.

Ann Dunphy, who has conducted the course for NW-SCC for the past ten years, works for a back-country EMS unit in Wisconsin. She teaches a variety of certification classes for WMAI.

“She is one of the finest instructors I know with her ability to get the best performance out of her students,” England said.

The course is divided equally between classroom work and practical applications. The tuition for students not enrolled in the college is $700, which includes lodging, all course materials, instruction, light breakfasts, and one evening meal.

Students enrolled at NW-SCC may sign up for EMS 101, 100, and 105.Those seeking recertification should enroll in ODL 250 only.

“We hope anyone who travels with students, leads out-of-country church mission trips, or seeks a career in the outdoors takes this training,” England said.