Environmental scientists and engineers often go deep into the wilderness to sample surface water, sediment, soil, and groundwater. Some sites may take hours to hike into, and others may only be accessible by helicopter. Taking samples is not highly dangerous in itself, but a medical emergency in a remote and unpredictable environment requires a different level of first aid training.
With this in mind, some of our staff recently took an intensive two-day wilderness first aid introduction to remote medicine. The course was led by paramedic and Mount Rainer guide, Carrie Parker of Remote Medical International. The material was practical and hands-on: patient assessment, traumatic injuries, medical emergencies, environmental emergencies, lifting and moving patients, and medical kits.
Realistic practice helped participants learn to handle serious situations when they are an hour or more from professional help. We hope they’ll never have to use these skills, but they’ll be ready if they do.