Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wilderness EMT

Head wound Harry
Wow! I can honestly say that this past month has been one of the busiest and best months of my life. I just finished getting my Wilderness EMT, which is a combination of a basic EMT certification and a Wilderness First Responder certification. For 4 weeks we had 44 hours of class a week, class from 8am-5pm and then from 7pm-9:30pm twice a week. We also had one 12 hour shift on an ambulance one weekend, and then an 8 hour shift in the ER in Fresno another weekend. We made this crazy hectic time into a truly great one. 30 strangers came together and formed some amazing connections. I have never felt so at home among strangers and I truly believe that our whole group chemistry was unique in its strength. One of the particularly fun aspects of the class were the scenarios. We would have mock patient/rescuer situations and the injuries were VERY convincing!

Jerome had a nice impaled eye from a hot air balloon crash.

During the same crash I received a sucking chest wound.

At the end of this 4 week course not only do I feel prepared to handle so many more medical problems in the wilderness setting, but I also feel like I gained some great friends. We had fantastic instructors who made spending 44 hours in class a week so enjoyable and 29 other students who made both the time in class and time outside of class a blast. Leaving was a bittersweet feeling, but I know that the friendships made and the knowledge gained will last me years. I'll remember my impromptu ballroom dancing with Tim, crazy night rescue scenarios, listening to country music with a certain firefighter, mancakes and ice cream sandwiches and so many other things. Thanks everyone!

I am currently in New Zealand getting ready to head out on my NOLS course tomorrow morning! I will be backpacking for a month with a group of 9 other backpackers and 2 NOLS instructors. I have already met two of the other backpackers and am so excited to meet the rest!

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