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Best WFR courses in the area
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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
I am a student in Albany, and my mother was asking me this year what I would like for Christmas. I am reasonably set up for most of the pursuits I enjoy, and thought I'd come up with a creative gift idea(safety is always a biiig selling point with the mother unit.)

I want to take a WFR course in the area over the winter, and I was wondering what might be the best course to take in the area? Considerations that are most important:

1. Quality of instruction

2. Location (closer to Albany the better)

3. Times the classes are in session (weekends would be preferred, but not necessary) If not weekends strictly, I might have to find one for the Spring semester because I'll have a decent amt of time off school during the week

4. Price.

Thanks for the info, and yes I know I'm gonna die!

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By Mike V.
Nov 26, 2012
ADK is offering WFA this weekend at the Loj:
adk.org/page.php?pname=worksho...

Wilderness First Aid
Dec. 1-2, 2012; March 23-24, 2013
This intense course with Wilderness Medical Associates teaches students how to deal with medical emergencies when they are miles from help. The classes offer hands-on scenarios and lecture structure, through which students will learn to assess patients and become certified in wilderness first aid, CPR, and anaphylaxis training. Class time will be spent both inside and out.
Location: Heart Lake Program Center
Cost: $240, includes instruction and materials.
Package: $325, includes instruction, materials, meals, and lodging for 2 nights.


You're probably looking at ~2 hours from Albany to the Loj.

Mike

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By Mike V.
Nov 26, 2012
Just noticed you were looking for WFR, looks like they're offering that on 4/6/13 --> 4/13/13


Mike V. wrote:
ADK is offering WFA this weekend at the Loj: adk.org/page.php?pname=worksho... Wilderness First Aid Dec. 1-2, 2012; March 23-24, 2013 This intense course with Wilderness Medical Associates teaches students how to deal with medical emergencies when they are miles from help. The classes offer hands-on scenarios and lecture structure, through which students will learn to assess patients and become certified in wilderness first aid, CPR, and anaphylaxis training. Class time will be spent both inside and out. Location: Heart Lake Program Center Cost: $240, includes instruction and materials. Package: $325, includes instruction, materials, meals, and lodging for 2 nights. You're probably looking at ~2 hours from Albany to the Loj. Mike

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Anyone have any experience with an ADK course? Seems like a good price, and it would give me CPR certification, WFR cert, anaphylaxis certification too. Maybe this is par for the course with WFR courses, but this would be nice as I could set up a luxo camp at South Meadows for the whole time and just walk up the road to the Loj each day, cutting back on the lodging cost and food cost.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Just kidding: it's provided at the heart lake program center, so I guess that's not an option, but I could camp close-by probably and drive the short distance into town.

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By chris_vultaggio
Nov 26, 2012
Chris Vultaggio leads the title route at Five and ...
I have my WFA through Wilderness Medical - did the weekend course at the Loj a few years back. Both the instructors and the curriculum met my expectation, and I left after a weekend feeling like I learned information that would be useful in my outdoor exploits. The course gave me an understanding for how I could help in the case of an emergency, and how I could best prep/evacuate when the situation was more than my protocols could handle.

I'm currently partway through my NYS EMT-B, with plans to take a bridge course over to a WEMT eventually.

Definitely recommend WMA - you won't regret the course.

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By Nathan Stokes
Nov 26, 2012
Ben Brotelho wrote:
Just kidding: it's provided at the heart lake program center, so I guess that's not an option, but I could camp close-by probably and drive the short distance into town.


Half mile walk from South Meadows to Heart Lake (Adirondac Loj). Not so fun in the winter, perfectly enjoyable in the summer. The campground at Heart Lake would be the medium priced option (better deal if you are an ADK member).

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Wait...I'm an idiot the LOJ is the heart lake program center. Haha

It'd be worth it to stay for free at South Meadows in my opinion, I could have a pretty luxo camp and just leave it there.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
chris_vultaggio: Definitely considering the one at through the LOJ. As far as I can the WMA certification is as good as any, right?

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By TDoyle
From Milford, MA
Nov 26, 2012
Photo by Andrew Frongillo.
Check out the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS. I haven't looked at dates near your location but I highly recommend them. I recently got my WFA for the second time with them and I took the NOLS Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educator course in September 2011. I liked it enough that I'm going back for another course in June so I speak from personal experience that the people of NOLS and the WMI really are great instructors.

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By PAS
Nov 26, 2012
WFR and WFA are two different certifications, WFA can be used to recert WFR (be prepared for a final PA to be geared toward WFR even though all material is not covered in the WFA two day course). Also you might want to double check the whole epinephrine thing.

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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Nov 26, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey
Do wfa. Unless you need the card the courses really aren't all that different. And yeah... +1 to check the epi thing.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
anaphylaxis certification is included in the program, is that what you mean by checking the epinephrine thing?

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By doligo
Nov 26, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Take the money - being a student you may be able to find a summer job that would pay fully or partially for your WFR cert.

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By CaptainPoopyPants
Nov 27, 2012
+1 re: finding a job to pay for it. I worked for a summer camp and randomly asked if they would pay for it if I chose to pursue additional medical training. They obliged to cover 1/2 of it-which is way better than none at all.

I did mine through NOLS/WMI (10 day class). Since then I've done subsequent refreshers through them as well. Love their program and instructors. WFA is good for basics, WFR gets you a LOT more hands on inprovisational experience that becomes invaluable in an emergency situation. If you are serious about stabilizing someone and keeping them alive, do WFR hands down.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 27, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
I doubt i'll find any legal employers to pay for a wfr course...its purely for personal safety and peace of mind for me and my buddies I climb/ backpack with.

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By DavidM
Nov 27, 2012
As a W-EMT and graduate of the program at SOLO and highly highly recommend it. I lived on the SOLO campus for a month to get my W-EMT and can't say enough about the experience. The instructors are amazing, the class is full of fascinating lectures and hands-on scenarios. The wilderness medicine world in the US has 3 major players WMI (NOLS), WMA, and SOLO. WMI & WMA work mostly on the west coast and SOLO works on east coast. All three organizations talk with each other and ensure that their certifications and curricula match up.

You probably won't find a WFR course that only meets on weekend. In general the courses are 10-days or 2 weeks with the weekend off. I highly disagree that the WFA is anywhere near WFR. I work as an EMT and instruct WFA and EMT-B courses. WFA is a great certification for people who want to have a basic idea of what to do if someone gets hurt but it doesn't actually give you that much. You don't get enough instruction in WFA to enact any meaningful interventions. In general the WFA curricula is focused on allowing you to quickly determine how serious an injury is and then to call for more advanced help. WFR delves much deeper into interventions, A&P, diagnoses, and actually enacting rescues.If you're serious about wanting to know about wilderness medicine, are leading groups, or want to work in rescue WFR is the way to go. If you just want a little more knowledge for weekend trips near definitive medical care then WFA is a good option.

I looked at soloschools.com/index.cfm?even... and it looks like there are a couple being offered in NY in the next few months. There is also the option of going to their campus in Conway, NH for two weeks for the course. Conway is right in the middle of the White mountains and surrounded by great hiking, climbing, and skiing. A WFR course on the SOLO campus costs $895 with meals and lodging. Courses offered elsewhere are priced by the host of the course but are generally between $700 and $900.

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By Alpinisto
From Connecticut
Nov 27, 2012
^^^This.

Another SOLO WEMT here. I already had my "street" EMT license, so I only went to SOLO for the one-week wilderness module, but I was very impressed with their program*. Staying on the SOLO campus is fun, and if you like the ADK's, I'm sure you'll like the Whites as well. I hike and climb in both places and have a hard time deciding which I like better.

I concur with David's points above. WFR is typically a 10-day course -- I've never seen them offered only on weekends. And if you're going to be spending a fair amount of time in the backcountry, I'd go for the more-intensive WFR over the WFA. WFA is better than nothing, but I think the benefits of the WFR cert more than outweigh it's higher cost.

(*WMI/NOLS and WMA courses may be just as good, I just have no personal experience with them.)

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By AThomas
Nov 27, 2012
Check the WMA site. There's a WFR in NY at the end of December and mid January. Both a couple hours from Albany.

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By tradjunkie
Nov 27, 2012
I imagine I am one of the few people who has taken courses with both SOLO and WMA, I thought I'd chime in with a few endorsements of points previously made, some pushbacks of others, and some new points.

1) WMA and SOLO are both fairly active in the East. WMA is NOT only active in the West Coast. In fact, their HQ is in Maine.
2) Both offer good programs and one of your key constraints will be finding a course time and location that works for you. See what works before you worry about picking a provider. One option (not ideal) is to find a WAFA course and a WAFA-WFR bridge course, and take them in order.
3) That being said, I would pick WMA over SOLO given my experience. If others have experience with both, they might disagree. The course instructors probably matter more than the organization, anyway, so don't get hung up on it.
4) WFR will absolutely give you more practical skills. You said you wanted to take a WFR. I don't know why anyone is suggesting a WFA.
5) Most courses are for wilderness professionals, who tend to have more clients on weekends. So most courses will be on weekdays. Again, find the course logistics that work for you.
6) First-time WFR students often find the courseload intense, especially at WMA. Some courses pack the curriculum into 5 days, which leads to lots of late nights and stressed-out students. If that's a concern for you, 8 days or longer might work better. Either way, do the pre-reading.

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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Nov 27, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey
If you have the time +1 for getting your wemt through solo. Wfr gives you a very very narrow perspective on medicine where the wemt will give you the knowledge you need to make decisions in the backcountry.

If you have the time to do this find a volunteer ambulance or fire company. Join and ask if they will pay for you to get this cert. many corps WILL pay for this. Just sayin this is an option to consider. Then of course you'll have to volunteer some time but might not be a bad trade. Just a thought.

FYI did the 5 day wfr and honestly thought it was a total joke.

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By AThomas
Nov 29, 2012
Medic741 wrote:
FYI did the 5 day wfr and honestly thought it was a total joke.

A joke because you're an EMT or because of the 5-day format? What about us uninitiated?

FLAG


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