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Wilderness First Aid -Come take a class !

April 2, 2018

Nearby climbing routes, campsites and hiking spots make Chattanooga a prime location for adventuring, which is why We R CPR is adding Wilderness Training to its lineup of first aid classes.

While Chattanooga’s outdoor community is thriving, few people may actually be trained in responding to a crisis in the outdoors, said Cole Lowery and Tyler Ellis, We R CPR wilderness first aid instructors.

Chattanooga’s We R CPR is growing as it…

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The Wilderness Training class spans two days and goes for eight hours each day. At $125 per person, Becky Blaesing, marketing consultant for We R CPR, said the class is affordable and has the added benefit of being local. Similar classes in Atlanta and Nashville run upwards of $200, Blaesing said.

The course is a mixture of textbook and experiential learning designed to give participants hands-on experience with the material.

Lowery and Ellis encourage everyone to take the class, regardless of their familiarity or experience with the outdoors. The two said they work to tailor the class to the individuals participating by asking about prior experience with the outdoors and what situations they have encountered to ensure relevance.

“What sets it aside from any other first aid class is that it teaches you different skills you would use in the wild for first aid,” Lowery said. “We take our students and run them through [different] scenarios.”

Simulations might include how to take care of someone who broke their leg. In that example, Lowery and Ellis would take students out, train them how to splint the leg and how to get the wounded person safely to the care they need.

The class covers everything from basic first aid to how to handle more serious injuries, like a fractured skull or other broken bones, they said. Students also learn about local plant life, poisonous animals, and treating stings and bites.

“There has to be some type of training above just band-aids and boo-boos,” said Ellis.

He and Lowery are passionate about educating Chattanoogans to have strong wilderness first aid skills. They both grew up in the outdoors and got certified to ensure their own safety during their adventures.

Blaesing stressed the importance of self-reliance and not depending on one person in a group with knowledge or experience on wilderness first aid, a trap many fall into, she said.

“If that person gets injured and they’re unconscious, what are you going to do?” said Blaesing. “It really targets everyday people who like to be outdoors.”

Lowery and Ellis said the class has received positive feedback and most people walk away with new skills and knowledge.

We R CPR currently holds the classes the first Friday and Saturday of each month beginning at 8:30 a.m., but is considering additional classes to meet growing demand. Classes are held at Audubon Acres, 900 N. Sanctuary Road.

To register for Wilderness Training or for more information, visit Registration can also be done via phone at 553-0400. Register in advance.

Email Kaitlin Colon at

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