Friday, January 8, 2010

WEMT: Week Two Update

SOLO Southeast students awoke to a fresh layer of powdery snow at Nantahala Outdoor Center, and class began with a visit from orthopedic surgeon Dr. Pat Kessler from Angel Medical Center. Dr. Kessler came to speak about muscular and skeletal systems, and advice for EMS providers, from a post-emergency point of view. Do you know the difference between the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton? Our Wilderness EMT students do!

Now two weeks into the course, students are gaining confidence and skills. Paul Meyer from Ohio remarked, "I spend the evenings studying. It's an intense course." Meyer is a wilderness firefighter, splitting his time between Wayne National Forest in Southeastern Ohio and northern California. He's taking the WEMT course to help provide proper, immediate care in his fire unit, which often finds itself far from hospitals or convenient transport.

A second guest speaker, Jocelyn Beasley spoke to students on behalf of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, GA. This is the largest burn center in the US, with local clinics spread across the Southeast. Her talk centered around current trends in burn care, as relevant to the EMS providers who are among the first to encounter burn victims. These special guest speakers make SOLO Southeast's wilderness medicine courses unique, providing interdisciplinary instruction from experts working in the field.

The WEMT students have diverse backgrounds, which is also contributing to the rich learning environment. Brooks Wolfe is a kayaking and survival instructor, who has worked at one of the top survival schools in the nation. JR is an outdoor expert who drove all the way to NOC from Alaska to participate in the class. Trevor from South Africa shared this photo of himself in EMS action outside Johannesburg. This photo appeared in a magazine article about the South African police forces back in 2006. That's Trevor on the right, in those cool blue pants.

If you're interested in attending a SOLO Wilderness Medicine course at NOC, click here. A nine-day Wilderness First Responder course is set to begin February 20, and it's not too late to reserve your spot.