Registration open for Wilderness First Responder training

Medical training for people who work or play in remote settings will be taking place at Brock University next month.

The Wilderness First Responder certification will equip participants with the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical emergencies in isolated and extreme environments. The training is open to anyone over the age of 18.

The intensive hybrid course involves about 30 hours of self-directed pre-course review of a textbook and completion of a study guide. Participants will also complete 45 hours of in-person training in Thistle Complex room TH 253 during Brock’s Reading Week, which takes place from Monday, Feb. 19 to Friday, Feb. 23.

“The Wilderness First Responder certification is industry standard for anyone working in outdoor recreation and is valuable for anyone working, playing or travelling more than a couple of hours from definitive medical care, such as an emergency room or a walk-in clinic,” says Tim O’Connell, Professor and Chair of Brock University’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

“It differs from traditional first aid courses in that it uses a body systems approach to give participants advanced skills to help them understand and directly manage a range of medical issues when 911 services are not immediately available,” he says.

The Wilderness First Responder certification includes fundamental first aid skills in addition to six wilderness field protocols that are beyond the techniques learned in traditional first aid courses: dealing with anaphylaxis, advanced wound cleaning, wilderness CPR, assessing spinal injuries, treating joint dislocations and responding to asthma attacks.

The course uses a blend of lectures and practical experiences to immerse participants in course material. True-to-life simulations, including makeup and fake blood, are included throughout the course to help students learn key concepts and practise skills.

Simulations usually happen outdoors so participants are prepared to deal with an emergency in real-life weather conditions and environmental surroundings using materials and equipment they have on hand.

“They learn leadership and critical-thinking skills and come away from the course confident and prepared to handle most emergency situations,” says O’Connell.

Brock University students taking the Wilderness First Responder certification are eligible to receive a 0.5 credit for the RECL 3Q46 Wilderness First Responder course through the University’s Challenge for Credit process, contributing to a student’s program of study as an elective. Registration for the Wilderness First Responder course is available through the Brock Recreation website.

For more information, contact Michelle Leone, Program Co-ordinator and Undergraduate Academic Advisor for the Department and Leisure Studies, at or 905-688-5550 x3236.

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