Picture this: You head out early after a spring rain with your paddling buddies to run some of the biggest rapids of the year. Everything is going awesome until… A paddler just down river from you flips, then egresses his kayak. He struggles to gain the upper hand on the river’s force, but his leg slides between some large rocks. The river rips his upper body down-stream, and, even over the whitewater roar, you hear an audible “THONK!” “It must be his femur!” you think frantically. But you are at least 2 miles walk to the nearest road… What do you do next? Are you prepared to help?
A similar scenario could happen during virtually any outdoor pursuit. Fortunately, there are some very experienced outdoors-men and women ready to bring you up to speed on how to respond. I recently had the opportunity to accomplish a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course put on by the National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI). Holy acronyms… Anyways, it was certainly a beneficial experience hosted in one of the most beautiful parts of the country– Tahoe City, CA. I had a chance to chat with our 2 instructors, Brandon Schwartz and Eli Helbert, and thought it would be cool to introduce you to them: