KALISPELL – “Especially living here in the Flathead Valley where we have a lot of outdoor recreation. A course like this is invaluable for learning basic wilderness first aid and handling things like wound care and really helping to recover safely in the wilderness,” said Grant Hughes, a first aid student in the wilderness.
At Flathead Wilderness Medicine’s three-day Wilderness First Aid class, students learn everything from CPR to wound care and splinting techniques, and how to avoid getting into situations where there is a risk of injury.
“This is really important information. Right here we have a lot of wilderness area. Many activities that you can undertake can involve some risk in the wilderness. And so I think it’s just good information,” said Cameron Johnson, owner of Flathead Wilderness Medicine and teacher of wilderness first aid.
Students learn these skills through lectures, acting out scenarios, and hands-on activities. Although this is just a workout, Johnson tries to make the classes as real as possible, using various techniques such as pig’s feet to practice wound care as it is similar to human skin.
“We try to make it as realistic as possible. I think a lot of those scenarios are a highlight for people’s teaching because it can be entertaining, but we’ve also tried to make them serious because it adds some stress because you, you know, have an accident or something have that. It’s very stressful. So we tried to take them seriously, but inevitably they end up being pretty fun, too,” Johnson said.
Classes like this are typically held in the spring and fall to prepare guides for Montana’s various seasonal outdoor tours. But the knowledge gained through this course is valuable for anyone who enjoys outdoor recreation.
“Whether for me and my friends and family, when we’re relaxing in the backcountry, or if we happen to come across something while we’re out and about, it really gives me confidence and excitement that I’ll be able to make one.” difference,” Hughes said.
For more information or to find a course, visit wildmedcenter.com and flatheadwildernessmedicine.com. For additional inquiries and information, you can contact Cameron Johnson at [email protected]