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January 26, 2019: The Golden Hour

Pete and I are both taking a wilderness first responder course, which is being offered through Mat-Su College. Our instructor is Dorothy Adler. I took this course with her in 2012 – back then it met every day for five plus days. This class meets for 15 weeks, every other week, meaning eight weeks total. This is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We got up well before the sun this morning – brutal, the hardest part of the day perhaps because, as usual, we did not get to bed until midnight. Getting to bed earlier is just not possible. I told Pete, as we headed down the road that now I knew the true meaning of the phrase “The Golden Hour.” My definition is that it is first light, and in my case golden because it’s a rarity for me to be up at the that time.

Goats on 2013 trip
These goats watched us pass by during our 2013 trip

Photographers originally coined the phrase – to them it means the hour of daylight at dawn and dusk—the best time for taking photographs. There is also a wilderness medicine definition – it’s the time following traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death.

The class itself was excellent – Dorothy relied on differing teaching techniques, discussion, Power Point Presentations, anecdotal accounts, and student participation/mock scenarios. And we practiced primary and secondary patient assessments inside and outside. I don’t know if it was intentional, but all the accident scenarios today involved horseback riding accidents. Of course, the focus was on the victim and not on the horse, meaning, where did it go? This was as it should be.

Dorothy also listened carefully to everyone’s questions and comments. Her responses (as Pete said) indicated that she really knows her stuff.

We are taking this course in preparation for upcoming horse trek. Pete and I are going to practice scenarios so that we get proficient at this.

I also heard back from American Humane, the organization that is focused on assisting animals in emergency situations. One of the head people finally emailed me an application. I could not access it on-line. This WFR training will be invaluable for getting on with them. I am sure that next fall there will be more hurricanes and wildfires therefore more need for assistance.

The downside to taking this class is that studying is a huge time commitment. The up side is that I feel fairly knowledgeable about the material. First of all, I took animal and human anatomy and physiology in the not-so-distant past. And secondly, I have been studying anatomy on my own. I hope to get back to working on my body awareness exercises shortly – this will tie in with that.

I hope that I’m never in a situation where I have to be a wilderness first responder. But just in case I am, I am going to memorize and internalize as much information as I can. Just in case. It seems to me that this information has to be ingrained so that the one giving the assistance just goes into autopilot.

Next: 27. 1/27/19: When Things go Awry

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