Apex Mountain School offers wilderness medicine course | SummitDaily.com
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Apex Mountain School offers wilderness medicine course

SUMMIT COUNTY ” For those who choose to explore the backcountry terrain in the High Country, being adequately prepared for emergencies requires more than just a first-aid kit.

Apex Mountain School in Avon will offer a Wilderness First Responder course in November for those looking to learn more about wilderness medicine.

“Everybody wants to be safer in the backcountry,” Apex director Scott Smith said. “This gives people the knowledge and know-how of how to respond to scenarios where they can help themselves and others.”

Apex Mountain School is a private guiding business and mountain-skills training center, and last year the school partnered with SOLO Wilderness Medicine to develop a course taught by certified instructors.

SOLO Wilderness Medicine has been the leader in outdoor medical-response training since the organization’s inception in 1976, and the school has trained more than 110,000 people worldwide.

“They’re the best in the business…They are the source,” Smith said. “It’s an excellent way for us, as an organization, to give back to the our mountain communities by offering courses that prepare people for safer backcountry travel.”

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The week-long course is modeled after the original curriculum taught by SOLO in the mid-1980s, and the principles of long-term care, improvised resources and environmental conditions will act as the framework for learning.

The foundation of the course will focus on the patient-assessment system, and students will learn the fundamentals of determining and addressing the needs of patients in the backcountry.

“A typical day consists of a mixture of hand-on practical skills work and information-rich lecture sessions,” Smith said. “To increase learning and comprehension, we complement our classroom sessions with indoor and outdoor mock scenarios and simulations.”

Sessions also provide instruction in traumatic situations, environmental issues such as hypothermia, infectious diseases, bloodborne pathogens and other medical emergencies.

The 80-hour certification course places emphasis on prevention and decision-making, and is one of the most widely recognized outdoor leader certifications in the country.

“No matter your sport, if you are spending time in the backcountry, this certification is priceless,” Smith said. “Last year, we received rave reviews, and most students left wanting to recommend the class to family and friends.”

There are no prerequisites for the course, and students who successfully complete the classes will receive a SOLO Wilderness First Responder card and an American Heart Association Adult Heartsaver CPR card.

This year’s course will take place Nov. 2-9, and the cost is $665, which includes course material.

Those interested in signing up can register at http://www.apexmountainschool.com or call (970) 949-9111 for more information.

Ashley Dickson can be contacted at (970) 668-4629 or at adickson@summitdaily.com.