Learning to respond to outdoor accidents and injuries is part of the Acadia Leadership Institute’s Wilderness First Responder certification course. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMP BEECH CLIFF

Wilderness first responders trained

MOUNT DESERT — A Wilderness First Responder certification course was recently offered by Camp Beech Cliff’s Acadia Leadership Institute (ALI).

With easy access to nature, many people flock to Mount Desert Island each year to explore the woods and wilds of Acadia. While the majority of residents and visitors have a safe adventure experience, unfortunately, there are also reports of slips and falls that cause serious injuries. The first responder course helps prepare people to care for themselves in such situations or to help during a wilderness medical crisis

This extensive specialized certification is often for those who work in an outdoor setting like ski patrol and search and rescue responders, but even the motivated outdoor enthusiast can find value in this training.

The group spent 72 hours in both the classroom and woods splinting legs, immobilizing spines, performing advanced CPR, pressure dressing deep wounds and making improvised stretchers to transport victims to safety. The comprehensive course covered a variety of medical and environmental emergencies as well as survival skills.

ALI brought Gerry Brache of Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities to the camp to instruct this internationally recognized certification. “Providing these certifications will help to solidify ALI’s regional presence and promote MDI as a qualified venue for this type of education,” said ALI Director Owen Cassidy. “Beyond that, it enriches our community’s ability to volunteer in times of crisis and become even better stewards of Acadia National Park and our community.”

Acadia Leadership Institute is a program of Camp Beech Cliff, a nonprofit, providing teambuilding and leadership courses, specialized adventure excursions, trainings, certifications and outdoor learning and discovery for groups of all ages. Visit www.campbeechcliff.org or call 244-0365.

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