WAFA certified


The last few days have been spent working on getting our WAFA (Wilderness Advanced First Aid) certificates and today was the last day. Everyone passed! The last few days were definitely the most trying and exhausting yet of the trip, eight hours of intense learning and training certainly takes it out of you. Sleep has come super easy every night, I’ve been falling asleep in record time every night. I started drinking coffee for the first time consistently, and it’s been awesome with a lot of cream and sugar. We still have yet to really adventure into the town of Mussoorie, but the other night everyone in the group went on a walk together in the little town of Landor that’s right next to the campus. We saw a little of the local scene, with cars speeding down the narrow street, and a seemingly organized chaos of the couple shops and restaurants. There are a ridiculous amount of dogs just hanging around that live outside, barking at every move you make. It was getting dark so we didn’t stay out too late, walking a three-mile loop called figure eight. The entire town is Landor is encompassed by these two loops that make the figure eight, and the loops sit on top of a small peak that allows you to see in all directions. The views are truly stunning especially at night right after the sun had set. I have to get out there to see the actual sunset, and maybe even a sunrise if I have the strength to wake up that early some morning. 

As far as the WAFA class went we spent the majority of the first two days learning the material with some scenarios in between lessons to give us experience on what to do and how to handle the situations. The last two days were more scenario focused, with some material still being included. Yesterday, which was Monday, we also did CPR and got certified for that; a separate certification. Today we concluded the WAFA certification with a short test. Within the WAFA class, we covered the basics of first aid for specific wilderness situations, but also general first aid that can be applicable to most scenarios. We learned how to take care of open wounds, deal with head injuries, prevent frostbite and hypothermia, and respond to allergic reactions among many other things. 

What skills, abilities and processes you learned from the Wilderness Advanced First Aid training are most transferrable to the theory and implementation of leadership? Why?

Pretty much everything we learned is transferable. Part of being a leader is knowing how to respond and deal with any number of situations that can happen. So in order to be a successful leader, especially in the outdoors, you need to know how to respond and stay calm when faced with any number of medical emergencies. Having the knowledge to respond to such situations builds trust and confidence from your followers and also gives you as a leader confidence that you are going to be able to take care of those who follow you.  Aspects of leadership were clear to see in the scenarios and activities we did throughout the training as well. When half the group was struck by lightning and the other half had to work together to try and give first aid leadership was a must. They had to collectively decide who was most in need of care and what the best course of action was. Another example is when we practiced carrying a hurt patient. We had to carry Lilly around campus a couple of hundred feet and work as a team not to drop her. Communication was super important as we went and up and down the stairs. Ramsey was at Lilly’s head and was in charge of directing the group; making sure we all moved at the same time and didn’t drop her. Throughout the activity, good leadership was needed to really make sure everyone stayed safe. 

Over the next couple of days, we will begin to prep for the trek, starting with a one-night hike and camp to practice to simulate what the actual trek will be like. Tomorrow we get to go into the town of Mussoorie which should be a lot of fun too!