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Montana Council Position: Wilderness First Aid

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) was established to assist lay-persons in making critical decisions during a medical event during a wilderness or high adventure outing.  “Wilderness” is defined by the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) as any trip where a competent medical authority is more than one hour away.  BSA has long recommended to leaders of high adventure outings to take a WFA class.  The Montana Council strongly supports that recommendation but it is NOT REQUIRED on unit trips (Guide to Safe Scouting, pg. 34-35).

The training should consist of a minimum of 16 hours with a hands-on component, preferably in an outdoor setting and is open to members 16 years of age or older.  There are a number of providers that meet this including NOLS, WMS, American Red Cross, or courses provided at a local college.  If a unit is attending a National High Adventure Base, that unit should take either the American Red Cross or Emergency Care and Safety Institute course OR petition the high adventure base to approve prior training.  High Adventure Bases require two persons, 16 or older to be WFA trained and all trek members to be CPR/AED trained.

Further questions should be directed to the Scout Executive.


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