Chapter Outings Leaders to Get Wilderness First Aid Training
Anyone who spends time in the outdoors can benefit from being trained to administer first aid. The national Sierra Club guideline is that an outings leader should have the level of first aid training and expertise that befits the outing being led. For most of our day hike outings, Basic First Aid, which can be obtained from your local chapter of the Red Cross, is sufficient. However, if help could be more than one hour away, it is preferable to have knowledge and skills beyond that learned in a basic course.
Many of our members are backpackers and are willing to take on the job of leading Sierra Club outings into the backcountry. At our last Chapter Outings Committee meeting, many members expressed interest in being trained and certified in Wilderness First Aid. Our timing seemed to be just right. When I arrived home from the meeting, I had a message from Steven Shewach of the National Outdoor Activities Training Program. He was offering Wilderness First Aid training to Hoosier Chapter members. Since he had contracted for only three such trainings this year nationwide, we are lucky to receive this benefit. The training will be held at the Hoosier Chapter office on July 19 and 20, and members will be paying approximately one-quarter of the usual cost of this 16-hour intensive learning experience. On completion of the course and passing the test, each participant will receive a three-year certification in Wilderness First Aid.
As we go to press, the class is close to being filled with Hoosier Chapter members who are willing to lead outings. Having so many of our outing leaders committed to their own development as leaders as well as having the desire to give of themselves is building a firm foundation to get more Sierra Club members outdoors learning and having fun—and coming back safe, happy, and inspired to do their part to protect the Earth.
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