True Story: Why I became a Wilderness First Responder

In 2010 I was living in a monastery, in a very remote location in Colorado. Born and raised a city girl I was full of my city hubris and totally ignorant about what it takes to be smart and safe in the Colorado Rockies.

One late winter night, I started feeling sick during evening prayers. I left the main temple and walked back toward my yurt, less than half a mile away. It was dark and snowing, and I had no idea how sick I really was when I passed out cold – by myself, in the middle of the road. 

The Temple at Tara Mandala, Winter 2010

The main temple at Tara Mandala Retreat Center where I lived as a Buddhist Nun for three years

When I regained consciousness, I knew I was in trouble. Barely able to walk or shout for help, I crawled back to the temple, made it inside the door, and passed out again. Luckily, there was a landline and somebody called 911.

In the dark, with blowing snow, it took the ambulance 40 minutes to get to our location. By the time I got to the hospital, I was severely dehydrated (they told me I took in 12 liters of IV fluids in 12 hours, which means I was deathly low on fluids). It’s true: I nearly died from dehydration without even knowing it.

carlpikespeakAfter several weeks of recuperation, it finally dawned on me that what I went through, the trauma to the community, and the obvious lack of community safety awareness could have been prevented with a little preparedness. That’s when I tracked down Carl Weil of Wilderness Medicine Outfitters in Elizabeth, Colorado, and registered for my first 10 day Wilderness EMT course.

I came back to the monastery and gave several first aid classes emphasizing community-wide communication protocols (they now have walkie-talkies, especially since there is limited cell service), basic self-care including the need for extra hydration at altitude (the monastery is at approximately 7200′ above sea level), and what to do in some common emergency situations: stay calm, stay with the victim, get help.

carrescueCarl Weil’s Wilderness First Responder/Wilderness EMT training gave me the tools and the confidence I needed to live for several weeks at a time at a remote and wild location without going to town, and to take care of simple emergencies like cuts, burns and sprains correctly. This training is really invaluable for everybody – and I invite you to join me at the next 6 week WEMT course beginning March 27th in Lakewood, CO.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, a trail runner, scout leader, volunteer or professional first responder needing to recertify THIS is the class for you! There are still a few spots left, click here for more information and to register today!

Golden WFR 3 2017 jpeg

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