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MOFA/WFR courses

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I'd like to take a mountain-oriented first aid or wilderness first responder course before I get complacent about this stuff once more, could you folks please post the local sources of training that you know about?

 

I don't want to wait very long - more than a month and I'll likely be too buried in work again. I understand this probably means I'll have to pay $$$, but I'm OK with that.

 

I haven't looked through the board for earlier posts on the topic and also haven't been here for many months so I have no idea what's been going on. Feel free to throw in some links to other threads.

 

Thanks, Stefan

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The mounties have a lot of MOFA classes going on. I just took one through the Boealps that was sponsored by the mounties. Good stuff.

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As far as MOFA courses go, I took one in the fall. It seems the only group to take this course with in the puget sound area is the Mountaineers. I found the class to be very limited in scope and usefullness.

 

For example asking questions about what to do in a party of two situation I recieved answers like "you shouldnt climb in parties of two" and " what type of climbing are you doing with only one other partner?"

 

The instructors were horrible causing us to give them the nicknames bumblefuck and the anti-Twight.

 

In addition, it was impossible to get any information regarding drugs that should be carried on long expeditions. I understand that this is likely due to lawyers, but it was pretty fucking retarded to tell a class that asprin is the only drug you should carry in the back country. I would recomend you go get certified for CPR, and then buy a fucking book and read it for the rest. you will learn more, and wont waste a shit load of time.

 

Or go take a wilderness first responder class.

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Stefan,

 

Here is where I get mine. It is kinda expensive, but I've always felt that it's been well worth it. I've recertified (every 2 years) several times now.

 

WFA is a 16-24 hour course, can be done on a long weekend, and costs about $130-$150, depending on how you work out travel and lodging arrrangements for the instructors. WFR is an 80-hour course, and is really recommended for those that will function as guides and/or outdoor instructors.

 

I don't know what level of preparedness that you'd want to train for, but the WFA course would serve most all weekend climbers quite well. WFR is quite the commitment of time and money, and you'd want to recertify every two years to "keep your card current". WAFA (Wilderness Advanced First Aid) lies between the two.

 

One good thing is the recertification process for the WAFA and WFR is that it is basically the same as going through the WFA, so the time and cost is much reduced after you get your WAFA/WFR first.

 

I will be recertifying in October, so I know that there will be a course offered in the Tri-Cities at that time through my climbing club, I-MAC. We accept "outside" parties to help us defray the course cost. Lemme know if I can help further.

 

Paul

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I would say if you have zero first aid training MOFA would be good, but I pretty mouch found it useless when I took it. There have been some good threads about this previously, search for WFR and such.

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Check with local community colleges also, they usually offer evening/weekend courses. I took a course in college to be a "certified" first responder and leaned a lot. It seems that most scenarios discussed would be easily applied to a "wilderness" setting.

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Check out Rescue Associates in Leavenworth. I went through them for my WFR and thought they were very good.

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I reccommend the EMT class at North Seattle Community College . Very well done. Unlike many first aid classes, you leave this class with some idea as to how to deal with real trauma and medical issues. I believe the time commitment is Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays 6 to 10 for three months.

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I just finished an NREMT-B recert and Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals with the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI). This is my second time recertifying with WMI, and they do an excellent job - a lot of the standards in wilderness medicine were developed by their directors and founders. I'm pretty sure they have WFR classes going on in the PNW this spring. Check them out on the web. Worth every penny.

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There's a WFR course I'm taking up at silver lake (north of bellingham) in two weeks. Check with the Whatcom County parks dept. (google it) to see if there are spots still open. It aint cheap though.

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I'm doing WFR at Rescue Specialists in April. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

 

Re Mounties MOFA, I know they are volunteers so I dont want to rip on them too much. And I did learn stuff so there was value. But I did have some bad experiences. Like when one student asked them about diabetes, the two instructors argued about the answer boxing_smiley.gif

Dox

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For those in the eastern WA/northern ID area (near Spokane), there is a WMI-taught WFA course (one weekend-long course) offered every October, usually the second weekend of the month. There's usually also a WMI-taught WFR (week-long course) offered in spring or early summer of each year. If interested, feel free to PM me.

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I've taken the Seattle Mountaineers' MOFA course twice, and was favorably impressed both times. I have also taken a wilderness EMT course, and it was certainly a better course, but also cost five times as much and I had to spend a couple of weeks in Denver. I'm not really quarelling with any of the criticism offered here, but in my opinion MOFA is a fine choice if you compare the cost/effort involved to what you get from it.

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Yeah, my pal Seth took it there also. so I called them and AAI is no longer offering WFR - drat! But I've heard Rescue Specialists are really good so I'm looking forward to that.

D

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Bump. I learned about the OEC when I was considering volunteer ski patrol last year (went with teaching skiing instead), and since then have thought of either doing that or an EMT. Pros and cons of both? I can't find much info about the OEC on the Web either, any pointers? Finally, if I went the EMT route, would you recommend a college on the east side (live in Redmond), it could be more convenient for me.

 

Thanks!

drC

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i have taken MOFA from the mountaineers, WFR from WMI, and EMT at NSCC. WMI wins my vote thumbs_up.gif

 

the mounties MOFA class can be good if you get a good bunch of instructors, but is real crap if you get the guys that don't have any real experience and teach it to boost their own egos. it is completely fair for me to say this in that i myself teach the class for them a few times a year. it serves a purpose, but it has problems and i would not necessarily recomend it. the MOFA class that WAC offeres is taught by mounties as well, but the ones that teach it are pretty good.

 

WMI by far has done the best job, better than NSCC's EMT class which i am in now. i learned more from WMI than i have anywhere else. their instructors are of better quality and the class is structured better. you get what you pay for

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WMA is good as well. Any WFR class you take and is accredited by either WMA or WMI will give you your money's worth.

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I took WFR in April from an outfit called Rescue Specialists in Leavenworth - recommended!

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I took the WFR course last year with the Wilderness Medicine Training Center: http://www.wildmedcenter.com/

It was AWESOME. My instructor was the school owner, Paul Nicolazzo - if you can get one of the classes he teaches, do it. It's 9 days long and you can live in a tent to avoid any lodging fees. (...and Mazama is a fun place to camp for 9 days!) Bring your own food, just pay for the class. There was a surgeon in our class and he was astounded at the stuff we were learning. Highly recommend it. I'm also taking the OEC this fall with the Alpental Ski Patrol (doing the volunteer thing) - I'll let you know how that goes.

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This thread is a few days old and pretty much talked over. I just wanted to add that not very many people outside of Washington seem to know what MOFA is. (Atleast those that I have talked to in my travels.) Not a single person in the WEMT course I recently took had heard of MOFA. The mountaineers do a great job with these courses, but they're not very well known outside of our area.

 

It might be good to consider taking a WFA course, which is the national equivalent of MOFA if there's a chance you might move. Just a thought... Good luck.

 

However, in the end, either is course is beneficial.

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