Wilderness first aid, or WFA, refers to the prevention, assessment and treatment of an ill or injured person in a remote environment where definitive care by a physician and/or rapid transport is not readily available.
In other words, if you’re in the middle of nowhere (technically, more than an hour away from advanced care), you need to be familiar with WFA. It can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of emergencies, injuries and illnesses. In fact, it can mean the difference between life and death.
Find about more about wilderness first aid and the BSA’s WFA training, then come back and take our quiz. Or take it here to be entered for a chance to win a $100 Scout Shop gift card!
1. Why do we need WFA?
a. It prepares us to identify and address medical issues that can arise in the backcountry.
b. WFA skills are just as relevant in urban areas during hurricanes, floods, fires or mass casualty events when emergency services might be strained.
c. WFA courses contain substantial medical information and teach skills to respond to medical emergencies in the wild.
d. All of the above.
2. The BSA has specific WFA training requirements outside of those that you might find at other institutions.
3. The following providers meet the BSA’s requirements for WFA training:
a. American Red Cross
b. Emergency Care & Safety Institute
c. Providers accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) under the ACA standard HW.2.2/ST.3.2 First Aid & Emergency Care Personnel
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
4. Who is required to take BSA-approved WFA training?
a. At least one leader on any outdoors Scouting activity.
b. At least one leader on any outdoors Scouting activity that falls under the BSA’s high-adventure category.
c. It varies depending on the program.
d. No one. It is recommended for all backcountry treks but optional.
5. Who is eligible for BSA-approved WFA training?
a. Any registered member of the BSA.
b. Youth (14 years old and up) and adult Scout leaders.
c. Adult Scout leaders only.
d. One registered youth and one adult from each Scouting unit.
6. If you have any previous medical training, you do not need WFA.
7. Are there any prerequisites or other certifications needed before taking WFA?
a. There are no prerequisites.
b. Basic first-aid training is the only prerequisite.
c. Completing a CPR and AED certification course led by a nationally recognized provider are the only prerequisites.
d. B and C.
8. How can I find a BSA-approved WFA course?
a. Locally available courses can be found by contacting your local American Red Cross (ARC) chapter or by checking with the Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI).
b. Contact your local council or district.
c. Search the internet (with a parent’s permission).
d. A and B.
9. Which of the following would not be covered by a BSA-approved WFA course?
a. Head (brain) and spinal injuries
b. Allergies and anaphylaxis
c. Bone and joint injuries
d. Treating drinking water in the backcountry to prevent illness
10. There are multiple options for online-only WFA courses that meet the BSA’s requirements.
Complete this quiz online to be entered to win a $100 scoutshop.org gift card.
For additional advice about keeping young people safe during Scouting adventures, visit scouting.org/health-and-safety.
Scroll down for the answers …
a. Not all WFA courses are created equal.
c. For example, all four of the BSA high-adventure bases require at least one person per trek (two per trek at Philmont Scout Ranch) to be certified in WFA through an approved provider. Council-run trek programs may also require participants to be current with WFA certification. If you are staffing a trek camp, WFA may be required. Check directly with the camp you will be attending. In addition, participants in unit-centric high-adventure or backcountry programs would greatly benefit from WFA skills in the event of an emergency. Having more people on a high-adventure trek trained in WFA is always beneficial in the event that an emergency does occur.
d. Both the ARC and ECSI have authorized-provider training agreements with the BSA and course materials available to Scouts at reduced fees.