WFR Judi Goes to Camp

WFR Day One: It was a chilly May morning. As I arrived at Chewonki I was pleasantly surprised at the beauty I would surround myself with for 8 days. Our instructors introduced themselves and gave us an overview of how the day would proceed.By 4 pm I had assessed a victim from a fall off the roof, another from an obstructed airway, a painfully gassy victim who had a change of diet, a heart attack victim who died (that was me) and a very angry bicyclist who had a bad fall with trauma to the head.

WOW ALL ON day one!!! Intense is not even the word for this course. The term “it depends” is heard around the clock here at our WFR training. When a question is asked it is almost always followed with “it depends” as the answer.

WFR Day Two: WOW talk about overslept. I awoke at 7:09am – mind you breakfast at 7:15 and class at 8am sharp. The first day was exhausting, overwhelming & intense.. Someone PLEASE tell me what is going on here. I will get through it I am sure.

Day two started with a brief intro to the next few days. Rumor has it Father founder of WMA, Dr. Peter Goth may be here tomorrow for spine lecture and drills. I can see sweat on Eric Duffy’s head, he is pretty nervous.

Today was sooo cool….. I was a freaked out mom that was angry with her husband for bringing us camping, had a daughter that kept fainting, a nephew with a knife, 3 goofballs playing in a tree and a sister high on “something”. I was later a rescuer helping a victim from a bike fall with trauma and then later rescuing a gal that fell off the roof and had TBI.

You will have to experience a WMA WFR course to know more about my stories.. I just had a fantastic dinner but must now study. Read 3 chapters, do two case studies and read the third. No mercy here. WFR Day Three – . This morning we focused on backboarding, Spine Assessments and the Spine protocol. Dr. Peter Goth arrived around 10am and watched Eric Duffy teach his protocol. Dr. Goth had some input and answered questions.

This afternoon we learned how to reduce a shoulder dislocation and restore CSM, how to split arms and legs and determine stable and unstable injuries. I am so looking forward to a night and day off. More studying and case studies this evening.

WFR Day Four: We awoke this morning to rain. Downpours actually. We have been advised rain or shine we will be outside for our first big simulation. We reviewed what we have gone over for the past three days, then dove into more lectures. The rain has let up and the ground is just wet. The patients all got ready for our first big simulation while the primary and secondary rescuers discussed a plan of action for our mass casualty rescue efforts. To know more you will need to take a class and experience it for yourself. I can tell you my gal had a severed limb and was freaking out!!!! I can not even begin to tell you the anxiety’s we felt going into this. Very real feeling is all I can say.

After our simulation we did a litter carry with a patient in the liter for about a 30 minute walk over and between apple trees, under picnic tables and under a cabin that simulated a cave environment. It takes 30 rescuers to evacuate 1 patient when walking out of the wilderness. I now know why!!!

WFR Day Five: Well back at WFR training. Brain is on overload. Totally saturated right now with stuff some important, some merely interesting, and some zebradic. Today we spent the morning doing more lectures and drills. Eric had a gnarly wound on his hand and Gabe simulated the cleaning and caring process for all of us.

Our second major simulation. Today was a bad day for our patients. Elliot and I were selected as Incident Commanders for the simulation. It was hard work – we were in charge of reporting how many critical patients, walking wounded, most critical, evac process and etc. A great deal of pressure. After our simulation we watched the recording and debriefed. I must say the simulations and drills are the best learning environment for me.

WFR Day Six: Today we are doing more lectures and backboarding drills, some carries and more lectures than our final simulation. On today’s simulation I was an assist rescuer. I partner up with a lead and away we go. Half way through the simulation my lead goes down on cardiac arrest and is evacuated immediately. Here I am with my lead rescuer going down and my patient with ASR, two broken bones and attending a drug rehab program where everyones name was PAT. WOW bad day for Judi for sure!!!! More studying tonight.

WFR Day Seven: One more day!! It is a rainy cold morning here at Chewonki. This morning went by fairly quickly with lectures and then out doors for more drills.

We did CPR drill today and my partner and I pretended we had no idea what we were doing. We relied on our lead rescuer to help us from across an imaginary river by shouting the instructions louder than the other rescuers. What a great learning experience.

The class is getting anxious about the final exam tomorrow. We had a great dinner and then on dish duty for me. Once dish duty was complete I proceeded to the classroom to study along with about 10 other students.

WFR Day Eight: DONE today. Wow. We had more lectures this morning and more drills. The drills are definitely a great learning experience. Today we focused on lightning accidents and did three different drills one right after another one. Lunch was great once again! The food here at Chewonki is amazing!! Off to the classroom I went to get in the last 15 minutes of study time and then the final exam!

My experience at Chewonki with Eric Duffy and Gabe Gunning was absolutely amazing! I have always had a great deal of respect for all the instructors but now I walk away as a WMA WFR with more respect than I came in with.Thanks for all your support and words of wisdom.
~ judi



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