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How a Wilderness First Responder certification can apply to all aspects of your life

By: Broadreach HQ High School Adventures, Scuba, Medicine

The Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification is an 80-hour course is designed to provide participants with the knowledge needed to assess emergency situations and administer appropriate medical care. While this course, which you can earn on Broadreach’s Dominican Republic summer adventure, is largely targeted toward handling situations in more remote locations as an expedition leader or outdoor professional, it can easily be applied to everyday life.

Learning what to do in an emergency

Accidents happen, and the actions taken in the first five minutes following a critical accident are crucial. The WFR course educates participants on how to quickly and calmly assess the situation, decide on and begin administering care, and who to reach out to for advanced medical attention. The skills learned during this course are not only valuable in a wilderness situation where additional help may be farther away, but prepare participants to react upon witnessing an accident in their day-to-day lives.

The broad applications of the skills taught in the WFR course should be advertised more to the public, not just to those in specific outdoor professions. Babysitting, playing at a nearby park, exploring an unknown location or even walking down a crowded street can bring you in contact with situations where medical attention may be needed. Wilderness First Responder skills can not only help you keep yourself safe, but could also allow you to save the life of an endangered neighbor or stranger.

Offering the course to students

Whether taught as a full core course or as a semester-long elective, the knowledge learned and the practical application of a WFR course makes a valuable addition to a student’s everyday life, and would also be beneficial for job applications and transcripts.

To study for this certification, individuals must be at least 16 years old, meaning that high schools could offer the course for juniors and seniors. By including the WFR certification in course books, school systems could provide students with these valuable skills that may not be able to learn otherwise. Similar to an AP course, students would pay a final certification fee upon completion, in turn reducing high fees.

Building confidence

Upon completing the WFR course, earners are equipped to respond quickly, appropriately and confidently to emergency situations. Whether walking to lunch, taking a day hike, or even heading out for a longer expedition, they possess the skills to keep themselves and others safe in whatever situations may arise.

Broadreach’s emergency medicine program in the Dominican Republic teaches the WFR certification along with real world emergency medicine. Students have the chance to shadow doctors in a small rural clinic while contributing to the local community in needed ways.