From June 24-27th, the kANGIDLUASUk Student Program (KSP) hosted its first Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) training in Nain. The training was provided through Wilderness Medical Associates (www.wildmed.ca), a leader in the industry of advanced wilderness and rescue medicine. At full capacity, the course brought together a diverse group of participants from the community, including Parks Canada, Nain Research Centre, Nunatsiavut Government, Sikumiut Environmental Management, and kANGIDLUASUk Student Program staff.
The intensive four-day course introduced participants to advanced medical treatments for wilderness settings, with an emphasis on providing care for extended periods while waiting for additional resources or advanced medical care to arrive. A combination of hands-on sessions, as well as classroom lecture and discussion were used. Throughout each day the class would split into teams of “patients” and “rescuers”, and were challenged to respond to a variety of situations that demanded first aid care. Scenarios with stage blood and simulated wounds were incorporated to realistically prepare participants for the variety of backcountry emergencies that could be encountered.
“Through our training we learned how to assess a patient properly, how to radio our assessments properly, and how to care for a patient with limited resources until advance help arrives—whether that includes treating wounds and burns, diabetes, allergic reactions, hypothermia, or making splints for unstable injuries or broken bones,” described Kelly Nochasak McLean.
A big congratulations to everyone who studied and worked hard during the course to receive their certification, including kANGIDLUASUk Student Program staff Ocean Lane and Kelly Nochasak McLean; Nain Research Center staff Dorothy Angnatok and Carla Pamak; Sikumiut staff Gus Dicker; Nunatsiavut Government Archaeologists Jamie Brake and Michelle Davies; Nunatsiavut Government Environment Division staff Jason Dicker and Colin Webb; and Parks Canada staff Martin Lougheed, Jenna Andersen, Andrew Andersen, and Chaim Andersen.
Thanks also to our Instructor Mike Webster for joining us in Nain to deliver the course! Thank you for encouraging us to share our stories and experiences, and for finding ways to make course content relevant to our particular work environments. We hope to see you in Labrador again soon!