Next month, I'll take a week off work and travel to Incline Village, Nevada, for Wilderness First Responder training taught by Sue Purvis of Crested Butte Outdoors. It's the Wilderness Medical Associates syllabus, taught in five days instead of the usual eight or nine. Although this course is significantly shorter, I'll be required to do 25 hours of homework and take an online test before the first day of the course.
Why am I taking this course? Well, it's simply a matter of good sense...I want to better trained to care for a casualty--a friend, partner or someone in another party--in a situation where the "Golden Hour" in all probability will become the "Longest Day."
I've also come around to the idea of approaching mountaineering professionally. I grew up in the school of "Figure It Out For Yourself," which can be rewarding, but also time consuming and inefficient. If my partner is drowning in his own body fluids from a thoracic injury sustained in a ledge fall, discovery learning--trial and error--isn't the preferred option. I accept that all medicine is a crap shoot--but you can still improve your odds with good education and training.
I'll keep posting on how this goes.