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January 08, 2010



Friends have taken CPR and First Aid at the Arlington (VA) branch of the Red Cross and they thought it was worthwhile. The organization you linked listed a bunch of testimonials, at least one of whom is a PATC member. Those folks could tell you more about it.


Thanks for the CPR tips, Bill! I guess in terms of WFA what I'm concerned about is, can I go in with absolutely zero experience in wilderness first aid—or any kind of first aid at all—and come out after a weekend certified? Or are they expecting you to come into their classes with a modicum of knowledge?


Nevermind, I looked at the WFA site more closely, and they say no previous knowledge is required. Hooray!

Matt F

If you want to go really nuts, you can take a Wilderness First Responder course, it basically teaches you to be a backcountry EMT. Some friends back in Boy Scouts took it, they said it was pretty cool--you learn how to use a defibrillator and give injections.

They also offers wilderness first aid courses, it looks like, though you need your CPR certification in advance (I don't know anything about this organization, just googled around and saw they have classes at Georgetown U.)

Check around before you pick a course, there's not as rigorous of an accreditation process as you might think and some of them can be a little fly-by-night. The local Boy Scout council might have some recommendations.


I'd consider doing some of this with you, if you're looking for company. (At a minimum, the CPR part.) I was actually a first responder in High School and worked as a volunteer with an EMT organization. (Wow. That sure seems like a lifetime ago!) As I was reading your post, I realized how crazy it is that I used to be almost an EMT and now could probably not even do CPR if called upon to do so. Shameful.


You are on! Just emailed you.

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