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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2009 > How To Handle Backcountry Emergencies

Press Releases

How To Handle Backcountry Emergencies

March 16, 2009

Northern Virginia Community College is sponsoring a hands-on Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course in Springfield, VA on 3/7/2009 - 3/15/2009. This intensive backcountry medical training course will show students how to deal with medical emergencies when they are miles from help and dialing 911 is not an option.

Wilderness Medicine differs from traditional first aid in three respects. First, transport times are measured in hours and days rather than minutes, so many phases of patient care that usually occurs in a hospital must be carried out in the field. Second, severe environments dramatically increase the complexity of any emergency and heighten risks to patients and rescuers alike. Third, limited equipment makes improvisation and resourcefulness essential.

These issues and more will be addressed by professional instructors from Wilderness Medical Associates, leaders in the field of wilderness medical training. Classes are fast-paced with an emphasis on practical skills. Mornings are devoted to lectures, while afternoons and evenings are spent outside working on everything from stretcher construction to full-scale rescue simulations. A number of realistic simulations, complete with fake wounds and stage blood, will be conducted. Past students commonly report of real-life rescues that, "felt just like a simulation."

This course is recommended for all outdoor professionals and enthusiasts who spend time in remote areas. Graduates will be certified by Wilderness Medical Associates. Call 703-323-3230 and ask for Nancy Chamberlain at Northern Virginia Community College for logistical and pricing information or Wilderness Medical Associates at 1-888-WILDMED for curriculum information.

*** With advance notice, we occasionally allow reporters and film crews to attend the final simulation on either 3/15/2009 or the day before. Please call in advance.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site,