My wife snapped this picture a couple of days ago at the edge of the Ilulissat Ice Fiord in Ilulissat, Greenland.  My wife, daughter and I have been here competing in the Greenland National Kayak Games.  It has been an unforgettable experience.
– Marcel ( Graduate)

Don’t forget! At the end of the year, we will select the 3 best submissions. The winners will receive $100 cash prize.  Send in a picture of yourself wearing your WMA course t-shirt to [email protected] in order to be eligible for the prizes.

A Wilderness Medical Associates graduate of a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course utilizes his training and helps a climber by performing a shoulder reduction at 10,000 feet!

“I thought that I would share with you an event from this past weekend in which I was able to use my WFR training.  While Deanna and I were climbing a 5.7 route on Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne Meadows, a climber above us suddenly screamed out in pain.  He felt said pain while trying to make a mantle move onto a ledge.  He immediately asked me for help; knowing the scene was safe, I climbed up to him, got him to a safe place on the ledge and helped him sit down.  I told him that I’m a [] and asked if he wanted me to take a look at what might be going on with his shoulder.  During my bilateral eval, I determined that his shoulder was likely dislocated.  Since it was an indirect injury of the joint, I told him that I could reduce it, and explained to him the process and pain relief benefit.  He asked me to do it, so I helped him to a lying down position (thankfully it was a big ledge) and started the reduction process. It only took two minutes or so to reduce the injury, and as expected, he felt immediate relief from the pain. I told him that I wanted to sling and swathe the arm, and then haul him the remainder of the way to the top.  (Thankfully I was only looking at 40 feet or so, which with a 5:1 mechanical advantage pulley system isn’t all that terrible.)  He didn’t want to be rescued any more than necessary, so he said he was going to try to climb the remainder by himself.  I told him that my offer stood if he changed his mind.  He was able to make it the remainder of the climb (a 5.6 crack).

I’ve thought a lot about this situation since then only to realize how things would have been very different had Deanna and I not taken the WFR course.  Not only did that course give us the specific tools to deal with such emergencies, but I have never felt more competent to provide medical care in wilderness context or otherwise. (And I didn’t even suffer any ASR, sympathetic or otherwise! {smile})  That said, I want to thank you once again for the great training.  I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough such stories, but I thought that you might like to hear another.  I hope this finds you well.”

This story was also featured in the on page 18.


Scott, who attended a course submitted this experience with us. Thanks for the great story!

Shortly after my course with Wilderness Medical Associates, I got a call on my radio at our summer camp that a golf cart had just flipped going backwards down a hill.  The scene was exactly like the ones we covered in our course.  There were people running around with ASR, two people lying on the ground with (minor) head injuries (they were both fine, stitches but nothing else).

The scenarios in the course were amazingly accurate, and very helpful.  It took a second to realize who needed the most help, but once all of the knowledge kicked in I handled the situation as well as I could have. Although we are just on the edge of wilderness (a summer camp 15 miles from a hospital, but rather remote) the training was perfect.

Nine new instructors graduated from the held in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains June 19-21st.  They bring to the company significant patient care experience, impressive back country resumes, and varied teaching experience.  We are delighted to welcome them to the WMA family and applaud their energy, fun-loving spirit, and commitment to provide the highest quality wilderness medical training.

The group includes: 

  • Ben Dowdy, WEMT-P, Kentucky
  • April Grisetti, PA-C, WEMT, New Mexico
  • Greg Hern, WEMT-P, Massachusetts
  • Bill Miller, WEMT-P, Maine
  • Cory Morse, WEMT-P, Maine
  • Brian Patten, WEMT-B, Michigan
  • Tony Shope, WEMT-P, Nevada
  • Alan Sleight, WEMT-B, Maine
  • Rekeisha Watson, WEMT-B, Michigan

Michelle Murphy, an instructor for WMA, sent in this great photo of her daughter, Scout, experiencing her first paddling adventure on the Damariscotta River in Maine. Alongside Scout is WMA instructor .

Don’t forget! At the end of the year, we will select the 3 best submissions. The winners will receive $100 cash prize.  Send in a picture of yourself wearing your WMA course t-shirt to [email protected] in order to be eligible for the prizes.

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mountain-destination-walsAbout the National Conference on Wilderness Medicine:

will be hosting the 23rd annual between July 29, 2009 and August 2, 2009 in Big Sky, MT. The objective of this conference is to teach both practical and theoretical skills to medical/outdoor professionals and enthusiasts. After completing this course, participants will have the knowledge to describe, assess, and  treat medical problems and emergencies that are frequently encountered in wilderness settings.

Wilderness Medical Associates’ Curriculum Director, , will be conducting a wilderness workshop at the conference on Technology in Wilderness Medicine and Rescue on July 31.

Wilderness Advanced Life Support (WALS)

There will be a course offered as an optional class between July 28, 2009 and July 31, 2009.  The Wilderness ALS course will be conducted by WMA instructors , , and .

Useful Resources on the National Conference on Wilderness Medicine:

  • View the
  • Check out the
  • Follow WMA on or check out our Facebook page
  • Read more about the .

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About Huyck Preserve

is a non-profit organization on 2000 acres  just southwest of Albany, NY.  Along with miles of trails to hike and enjoy, there is an abundance of wildlife and natural treasures, making Huyck Preserve a wonderful place to take a wilderness medical course.

“Our mission is to protect the natural beauty of the Rensselaerville Falls, the watershed of Lake Myosotis and surrounding lands, to conduct long-term research on natural systems as part of a global effort to understand and preserve the Earth’s biodiversity, and to increase appreciation of this effort through innovative, field-based educational programs for students, teachers and the community.”

Huyck Preserve’s dedication to preservation, education, and research is beyond admirable. For information on how you can do your part in keeping the Preserve unspoiled, visit Huyck Preserve’s .

Upcoming Wilderness Courses at Huyck Preserve

We are excited Huyck Preserve has chosen Wilderness Medical Associates for their first Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and their Recertification courses. Their first course, the full , will be held between July 29, 2009 and August 5, 2009. Following the WFR class, Huyck Preserve will be offering an between August 7, 2009 and August 2009. During the Open Recertification course, those holding a valid WMA certification may recertify a , , or a certification. If you are a prospective student that was last certified through another organization, you may only recertify a WFR.

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Ann Dunphy, a lead instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates, submitted this story to us regarding a student from a recent :

I just needed to share a beautiful WFR story.  In the morning of day 4, my student Mike came in and told me we saved his mother’s life. He started with “Ann you always say, saving a life one drill at time.”

Mike is in his mid 50’s and called his folks the night before as his mom was scheduled for minor heart surgery.  His dad told him, “your mother fell and hit her head, she’s got a pretty good goose egg.”

Having just learned about TBI/ Increasing ICP, Mike told his dad what to watch for.  Sure enough,  within two hours, she developed a severe headache and vomiting.  His dad would have just let her go to sleep without monitoring her.  She was air lifted out, had neurosurgery, and is doing fine so far.

You just never know when you can impact a student.  As tired as I may get while teaching, this is why I teach for Wilderness Medical Associates.


WMA Lead Instructor

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About the Wilderness Risk Management Conference:

The will be held in Durham, NC between October 14-16, 2009. The objective of this conference is to effectively educate outdoor/medical professionals and enthusiasts in relieving risks that may occur in the wilderness. This workshop is sponsored by NOLS, Outward Bound, and Student Conservation Association (SCA).

Wilderness Medical Associates is excited to announce that some of our own instructors (David Johnson, Bill Frederick, Deb Ajango, and Jon Tierney) will be conducting various workshops at the conference. Leading up to the conference, we will be periodically featuring these instructors and  topics included in their workshops.

Resources and Updates About the Wilderness Risk Management Conference:

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