Indiana State University Newsroom

Registration under way for ISU wilderness first responder classes

December 14, 2011

Indiana State University and Wilderness Medical Associates will offer two wilderness first responder classes at the university's Field Campus near Brazil. An introductory course is scheduled for March 3 through 10 and a re-certification course for March 3 through 5.

Targeting outdoor enthusiasts, scout leaders, guides, disaster relief workers, professional search and rescue teams and others who may work in remote rural areas, wilderness first responder courses go beyond the standard level of emergency medical training. The classes focus on teaching students to assess a situation, use available resources to stabilize a patient and determine the most appropriate and feasible way to provide needed medical treatment.

The Wilderness Medical Associates program stresses leadership and critical thinking. The curriculum includes principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.

"The scenarios and simulations in this course are very hands-on and extremely experiential," said Nathan Schaumleffel, associate professor of recreation and nonprofit leadership at Indiana State and a certified wilderness first responder. "They use so many unique teaching methods in this course to teach students important concepts."

Each day of the course features lectures and class discussion, followed by outdoor practical skills training. The scenarios become increasingly more challenging as the lessons progress.

While the first responders are trained to handle emergencies in remote settings, many end up using their skills at car accidents or in other more common rescue situations, Schaumleffel said.

The recertification course is open to graduates of wilderness medical training courses of 64 hours or longer with a current Wilderness First Responder certification.

Both courses are open to the public and are non-credit. Registration is through Indiana State's Continued Education/Extended Learning Program and is open through Jan. 2.

More information about Wilderness Medical Associates is available at Information about the ISU Field Campus may be found at

Photo: - In this photo from 2008, participants in a wilderness first responder course at the Indiana State University Field Campus concentrate on stabilizing a patient and taking vital signs during a training exercise. The course will again be offered in March 2012.

Contact: Nathan Schaumleffel, associate professor of recreation and nonprofit leadership, Indiana State University, 812-237-2189 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or