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Wilderness and Remote First Aid
Pre-Course Suggested Self-Study Material
The American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid class is a hybrid course that builds on skills and knowledge
offered in basic community level First Aid classes along with an introduction to some of the more advanced techniques
presented in programs like BSA Lifeguard, American Red Cross Lifeguarding and First Responder level classes like the new
American Red Cross Emergency Medical Response class. The skills presented are more or less the same skills taught in a
basic level class with additional instruction on how to improvise and adapt them to a delayed care environment. The
knowledge presented is tailored to how to help a victim when professional care will be delayed from just a few minutes to
several days. This includes how to complete a scene size-up, recognize and handle immediate life threatening conditions,
techniques to conduct an initial and ongoing patient assessment, techniques to deal with potential head, neck and back
injuries and methods to move or transport an injured victim when necessary. Participants are taught to see an emergency
situation through the eyes of a professional first responder.
The NBO Scout Training Team offers WaRFA classes at several wilderness venues in the Houston Texas area. The class is
16-20 hours of instruction and includes presentations, videos, demonstrations, patient assessment practice on “real” victims,
and realistic, fully moulaged multi-casualty scenarios. The multi-causality scenarios are the highlight of the class. The
scenarios require the proper use of the skills and concepts taught in the class and require participants to work together as a
The WaRFA class is open to mature teenagers, fourteen and older and their adult leaders. Youth and adult participants should
be comfortable with basic first aid skills. Current Adult CPR/AED certification is a prerequisite for this class and current
basic level certification in First Aid is highly recommended. The NBO Scout Training team offers basic level CPR/AED and
First Aid classes designed for Scouts and Scouters several time a year at BSA Camp Strake and other locations in the
You will get a lot more out of your WaRFA training experience if you have good basic level skills coming into the class.
Here are some suggestions and resources that will help you prepare:
Scouts should review what is covered in the First Aid Merit Badge requirements. Make sure you are very comfortable with
the Tenderfoot through First Class rank first aid requirements too. You may want to practice your skills with a friend. The
better you are at the basics, the more fun you will have with the advanced stuff! Scouts and Venturers that have taken a health
elective in high school that included a First Aid component will find that a very good source of review material too. If you
have not yet taken an Adult CPR/AED certification class, find one that includes First Aid training too.
Scouters and our older Venturers should also review the basic materials for BSA youth rank advancement and the material
covered in the First Aid Merit Badge requirements. If your Adult CPR/AED certification class also included First Aid skills,
please review your participant’s manual from the class and make sure you are up to speed on the basics. If you have not yet
taken the prerequisite Adult CPR/AED training, consider taking a class that includes basic First Aid skills.
All WaRFA participants are encouraged to review The American Red Cross manual used for the current FA-CPR/AED for
the Lay Responder class. It is available free on the internet. This is probably the very best resource for the basic level material
you will need to know. The material and basic concepts are presented and explained in essentially the same way they will be
during your WaRFA class. Here is a link to the on-line manual:
http://www.editiondigital.net/publication/?i=64159 (Note: this link was current on 1/1/2012)
We realize that our high school teenagers are not going to be too keen on a 200 page reading assignment so we have provided
a suggested “self-study” course using the material that should be easy to complete and fun to do. Note that this is not a
suitable replacement for completing a basic level First Aid class! Chapter 1 – Before Giving Care and Checking an Injured or Ill person
. We will expand greatly on this during the
WaRFA class BUT the basic concepts are exactly the same whether you are in a community setting with professional EMS
readily available or in a delayed care situation. The Emergency Action Steps, Check Call Care, are still where it all begins.
We will just be “seeing” the scene through a different set of eyes and the steps will take on additional meaning. Read this
chapter completely guys. We will re-visit the “emergency moves” and present a few new tricks but the concept remains the
same! Take a look at the skill sheet for removing gloves too. If you have never done this skill, now would be a great time to
learn it! Chapter 5 – Sudden Illness.
The material here will prepare you for what we will be adding. Take a look at the FAST
procedure for helping you recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke. We will introduce you to other methods of identifying
what may be wrong with your victim but the FAST technique for a possible stroke victim is a great introduction. Chapter 6 – Environmental Emergencies.
The material here is a good place to start for what we will be adding. We will
expand on Heat and Cold related emergencies and your WaRFA participant material will have specific adaptions for a
“delayed care” situation. Read about bites and stings, especially the suggestions for prevention. Check out the material on
Venomous Snake Bites too. You can bet we are going to get into that subject. The Lightning material is very good too. We
will show you a Philmont recommended video clip that will reinforce the material provided here. Chapter 7 – Soft Tissue Injuries
. Read this chapter beginning to end! Use the skill sheets at the end of the chapter to brush
up on your controlling bleeding skills. Read very carefully the discussion on Page 109, Using Tourniquets When Help is
Delayed. What we will present in our WaRFA class will follow these guidelines. Chapter 8 – Injuries to Muscles, Bones and Joints
. This chapter too is very important to help you prepare for our WaRFA
class. Take this one from beginning to end too and pay close attention to the skill sheets at the end. If your
splinting/immobilizing skills are a little rusty, this is a great opportunity to get up to speed. PRACTICE! There is very little
that we will add to the basic concepts here BUT we will show you ways to improvise materials and handle some special
situations. If you got the basics down, the special situations will be fun. The material on Page 126, Head, Neck and Spinal
Injuries will be very useful to you too in our class. Take a look at Page 129, Chest Injuries. We just love to add these types of
injuries to our scenarios. Chapter 9 – Special Situations and Circumstances
. The material in this chapter will provide a good background for a lot of
what we will cover in your WaRFA class. This is not “required reading” guys but you will find it extremely helpful. Chapter 10 – Asthma and Chapter 11 – Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto Injectors
. The material covered here will
also be presented in the WaRFA class. Take a look at the skill sheets and the end of these two chapters. We will have practice
“Epi-Pens” for you to work with. You never know when an asthma attack or allergic reaction will show up in a scenario.
How about a short “test” to help you evaluate what you have reviewed in our self-study guide? We have included one at the
end of this handout BUT don’t take the test until you have completed your review. Here is a link to a Boy Scout based First
Aid skills test. http://www.boyscouttrail.com/tests/first-aid-test.asp This on-line test doesn’t necessarily follow the current
American Red Cross material but it is a good measure of your basic Scout first aid knowledge.
Here is a link to directory on our web site that contains additional interactive tests and supplemental material that you can use
to evaluate your skills and prepare for our class:
www.scoutcpr.org/WARFA (Note that upper/lower case may be important)
The Excel interactive tests require that you enable macros on your version of MS-Excel. The PDF files are not interactive at this time. OK, so how did you do? Did you learn something new during your review? Were you surprised that some of the “old” techniques are no longer taught? If you completed our “self-study” guide, you should be very well prepared for The American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid class… or any other sixteen-hour BSA Approved basic level wilderness first aid class for that matter! We will answer any questions you have about The American Red Cross basic level materials. Make a list and we will cover them in your WaRFA class. Come prepared and you will get a lot more out of the class!
First Aid Skills Self-Evaluation Test
01. If an open wound continues to bleed after applying direct pressure:
a. Add additional dressings and continue to apply direct pressure. b. Do not remove any blood-soaked dressings. c. Ensure that 9-1-1 or the local emergency number has been called. d. All of the above.
02. What is the first
step in caring for a wound with significant bleeding?
a. Add bulky dressings to reinforce blood-soaked bandages. b. Apply direct pressure with a sterile or clean dressing. c. Apply pressure at a pressure point. d. Care for shock.
03. How should you care for someone with minor frostbite on the fingers?
a. Get the person to a warm environment and then rewarm his or her hands using skin-to-skin contact. b. Have the person shake his or her hands vigorously until feeling is restored. c. Immerse his or her hands in hot water. d. Massage his or her hands vigorously.
04. A woman burned her hand in the lunchroom. You should:
a. Cool the burn with large amounts of fresh running water. b. Cover the burn loosely with a dry, sterile dressing. c. Remove her from the source of the burn. d. All of the above.
05. What sudden illness is usually caused by a blockage of blood fl ow to the brain?
a. Diabetic emergency b. Heat-related illness c. Heart attack d. Stroke
06. What is a common signal of sudden illness?
a. Changes in level of consciousness b. Loss of vision or blurred vision c. Signals of shock d. All of the above
07. Which type of injury involves an open wound in which the bone has torn through the skin?
a. Dislocation b. Open fracture c. Sprain d. Strain
08. How do you care for a person with a possible head, neck or spinal injury?
a. Move the injured area so that it rests above the person’s heart. b. Move the person into a comfortable position as soon as possible. c. Support the head in the position you find it. Do not try to align it. d. None of the above.
09. A young woman is having trouble breathing and, based on your check of the person, you suspect that she is having a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting. What should you do?
a. After about 15 minutes, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. b. Call 9-1-1 immediately and care for the person until EMS personnel take over. c. Give the person a cool drink. d. Give the person abdominal thrusts.
a. Face, arm, speech and time. b. Feet, airway, speech and temperature. c. Fever, anxiety, stress and taste. d. Flexibility, asthma and sudden tightness in the chest.
11. Care for a person with heat exhaustion includes the following:
a. Force the person to quickly drink a lot of water. b. Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. c. Put more layers of clothing on the person as protection against the heat. d. All of the above.
12. This sudden illness results from too much or too little sugar in the person’s blood. What is it?
a. Allergic reaction b. Diabetic emergency c. Seizure d. Stroke
13. When caring for a person who is having a seizure, you should:
a. Place a spoon or wallet between the person’s teeth. b. Remove nearby objects that might cause injury. c. Try to hold the person still. d. All of the above.
14. The general care for a muscle, bone or joint injury includes the following:
a. Reduce, Insulate, Compress and Evaluate b. Rest, Ibuprofen, Cool and Evacuate c. Rest, Immobilize, Cold and Elevate d. None of the above
15. Heat-related illnesses include the following:
a. Fainting and hyperglycemia b. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke c. Heat cramps, stroke and insulin shock d. Hypoglycemia and sunstroke
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