WAFA, What?

Wilderness AFA

What is WAFA? Internationally, WAFA is the acronym for Wilderness Advanced First Aid. It is a 40 hour course that prepares you for thorough first aid response in a wilderness settings. Quest’s Student Affairs coordinates with the local company Raven Rescue to hold trainings during a block break every year. These trainings are not only open to Quest students but are usually dominated by them. This year, the WAFA course was held during out November block break. The course is 8-10 hours a day for four days. It is intense but beyond fun!


Bobbi gets a “gash” (with makeup) on her arm that we have to clean up.

The course is structured by the balance of lectures, presentations, real stories, personal examples and simulations. A lot of the simulations that we completed in the course included make-up and good acting. The challenge of teaching a course that is going to prepare us for unpredictable situations is trying to simulate unpredictability. This is why a large portion of the course was taught through simulations. Both the acting students (patients) and the rescuing students (rescuers) learned from the symptoms they had to simulate as well as the protocols that had to be followed.

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Sophie has her concussion makeup done for a simulation on the last day.

Overall, the course was engaging and beneficial for the students in the course as well as the people that are going to potentially be adventuring with the students. As WAFA graduates, we are ready. We know what to do – and we hope we never have to do it. Stay safe in the backcountry and in your everyday life! And if you don’t, just hope someone is around who knows what to do.

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