Hmmmm, funny, already tried to post this message.... where did it go?
For me, the best training out there is provided by Wilderness Medical Associates. They were founded about 20 years ago by a doctor who found that you couldn't do a lot with the known medical practice and training when you are in a wilderness context.
Wilderness context is everywere and every situation from where or wich it takes at least 2 hours to get you patient to the hospital.
They have legal precedence and stuff to back this up, wich is nice to know.
They have 3 different courses:
* 3 day Wilderness advanced first aid
* 8 day wilderness first responder
* month long emergency wilderness medical technician
I have twice followed the Wilderness First Responder and several recerts.
Even with my background as an EMT I find these courses extremely usefull and wouldn't go 'out there' without following one.
I use the knowledge and skills frequently in the street-reality and if I dear to go on a trip I better take a decent first aid kit with me. I always end up using it...
You'll learn a variety of skills going from splinting, traction into position, CPR, how stop bleedings, do patient exams, making litters, preventing or stopping hypothermia,reduce some dislocations,...
You'll even practice giving somebody a simple muscular injection.
All this is placed in a set of protocols. By taking the course you are supposed to follow these protocols and this is what will give you the legal backing.
There trainers are very skilled. To become one you need real time on hands experience with patient on a regular base. You must have an in depth background of outdoor activities. And you must have teaching experience.
They have given courses to military, FBI, Outward Bound Schools, coastguards, National Park Service,...
The courses are very practical. Daily hands on practice and simulations are normal. You end up with simulation-patients who are faking constipations or bloody ripped of limbs. The lectures are given in a understandable way, you don't need to be a doctor.
There is some study work in the evening, but it is doable.
The video-debriefings of the simulations are extremely usefull and from time to time worth a good laugh.
Only down-side is that they are quite expensive and based in the USA. But once a year Outward Bound Belgium organises a course and invites an instructor to Belgium. This course is open for everybody who is interested. Last time there where folks from Bulgaria and Slovakia.
You can check out there website for more info.
If you have a change to follow one of there courses, don't hesitate
If you consider to follow the course in Belgium this year just drop me a mail and I'll get you in touch with the person who is organising it.
If you wonna travel safely, do it prepared.
Safe travels to everybody!