While outdoor rescues are commonly reported in the news, very little attention is given to the skills in wilderness medicine that are required in order to make these rescues successful. This oversight is not done out of malice. Rather, because TV news time is limited, only brief overviews of the incidents and relevant facts are reported. This is a shame because if more attention was brought to the skills associated with wilderness medicine, perhaps more people would become intrigued enough to seek an education in this skill area.
As much as we do not like to think about it, the fact remains that outdoor excursions come with certain risks. While most of these risks are not life threatening (granted, however, some of the risks ARE life threatening) they do come with a chance of injury. What complicates an injury in a wilderness setting is the inability to receive medical aid in a timely and simple fashion.
If you are 30 miles deep into the forest and suffer a broken ankle, you simply can not pick up the phone and have an ambulance come pick you up. Rescue missions are not that simple and they require the expertise of someone who has solid skills in the area of wilderness medicine. Luckily, there are a number of properly trained individuals who have great skill in this area and have provided valuable aid to those who have needed such air when an emergency occurred.
EMT, First Aid and More
If you are interested in developing skills in this area, you will need to take a course from a knowledgeable instructor who can instill the basics of proper wilderness medicine. These courses usually center on EMT first response, search and recovery, basic first aid, advanced first aid. While these courses sound complicated, they are really not difficult to pass provided you have a sincere interest in learning and are willing to put the work into the subject in order to retain the information and to convert the information into functional skill.
While some would assume that such courses are only offered in rural areas, this is an inaccurate assumption. In actuality, there are a number of affiliates of a variety of reputable wilderness medicine certifying agencies all over the nation. As such, it should not be difficult to track down a solid school within a reasonable commuting distance. Also, a number of schools can offer online study aids making accessibility of coursework attainable for all.