On October 16-18, the Abraham Path Initiative offered the first ever Wilderness First Aid course in Jordan, organized in partnership with outdoor tour company Experience Jordan. This intensive training took place in Amman city with 13 participants, representing various local outdoor tour operators as well as freelancers. Most participants were from the Amman area and work as guides for various outdoor outfitters, leading hiking, climbing and other adventure tours throughout the country.
“The outdoor scene is exploding in Jordan. There are many groups going out every weekend, but the standards of safety so far have been ad hoc. There is a real need for more formal training for wilderness guides,” said Mark of Experience Jordan.
API instructors David Landis and Anna Dintaman were trained at the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine, an API partner based in Conway, New Hampshire. The training began with extensive practice of assessment techniques, designed to assess whether a patient’s life is in danger, whether a spinal injury is suspected, and what appropriate steps of treatment should be taken. Other skills taught included safely lifting and moving patients.
The second day of the training focused on specific injuries and illnesses, including musculoskeletal, traumatic, environmental, and medical injuries and emergencies. Students excelled at improvised splints, which use typical gear and items from nature to immobilize suspected broken bones. A local Red Cross trainer also led a session about CPR in Arabic.
“Unlike classic First Aid courses, you learn how to improvise with what you have on a normal day outdoors,” said participant Amjad Shahrour. The course culminated with a practice scenario in which participants responded to a patient with major injuries. Fake blood and bruise makeup helped to make the scene feel more real, as the students organized themselves to assess the patient, monitor vitals, treat injuries and improvise a stretcher to carry the patient to further care. Students also performed one-on-one test scenarios in order to receive their certification.
API intends to continue supporting local partners in raising the standards of guide training and hopes to have the opportunity to train local trainers who can conduct future trainings.