October 11, 2004

Wilderness medicine classes set for January

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - Here's a heads-up for extreme adventure lovers: You can learn life-saving skills for outdoor medical emergencies in remote locations or earn recertification at two short-courses coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Classes will meet in January 2005, and you may reserve a spot now. One class is for novices and the other for those seeking recertification in wilderness medicine.

SIUC's Touch of Nature Outdoor Environmental Center - - a perfect natural landscape dotted with cabins and classrooms - - will host the events. Professionals with the well-respected Wilderness Medical Associates, based in Maine, will teach the courses.

A $100 deposit will reserve your spot. To request a registration form, call Erik Oberg at the SIUC Touch of Nature Outdoor Environmental Center at 618/453-1121 ext. 260.

A closer look at each of the classes:

Wilderness First Responder is a 72-hour hands-on class that will meet from Jan. 3 -11. You'll learn vital information on infection control, how to respond to bone fractures, lacerations, burns, circulatory and respiratory ailments, hypothermia, a near drowning, childbirth and toxic bites. In addition, you'll practice such skills as extrication and how to safely transport victims on self-made litters.

These fast-paced classes emphasize practical skills. There are lectures in the mornings, while afternoons and evenings are spent outside working on everything from stretcher construction to full-scale simulations - - complete with fake wounds and stage blood.

Recommended for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts who spend time in hard-to-reach locales. Wilderness Medical Associates will certify graduates for three years.

Prices are as follows:

  • Commuter I: Class, supplies and daily lunches, $525;
  • Commuter II: Class, supplies and three meals daily, $600;
  • Resident Camper: Class, supplies, three meals and lodging, $725.

Recertification for Wilderness First Responders is a 16-hour, hands-on course that will meet Jan. 12-13.

This refresher class is necessary for those whose three-year Wilderness First Responder certification is about to lapse. It provides an intensive reminder and updated information on how best to treat emergencies like those in the introductory course.

There are lectures in the mornings and afternoons and evenings are for practicing hands-on skills.

Prices are:

  • Commuter: Class and three meals, $200;
  • Resident Camper: Class, meals and two nights lodging, $250.

Find out more about Wilderness Medical Associates at http://wildmed.com

Serving others is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence through Commitment, a master plan to propel SIUC into the ranks of top U.S. research universities by the time it celebrates its 150th birthday in 2019.