2019 was quite an exciting year. We have a lot to be grateful for and appreciate the support we have received from our Eastern Sierra community as well as our community outside the Sierra. Here is a look at what we have been up to.
PARTNERSHIP WITH MAMMOTH RESORTS EXPANDS
We have provided custom training for Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain Ski Patrol since 2016. This training program meets the needs of 75+ employees who have a range of experience and certifications (EMR, WFR, WEMT, OEC, EMT, Paramedic). Each year we have improved the quality of training by providing hands-on skill development that meets the criteria for various certification types. This year we planned and executed a Mass Casualty Incident drill involving 65+ patrollers and 22 patients. Trainings like this challenge each learner to critically think about the situation both on a micro level and big picture level.
For ski patrol, we added the option of maintaining a Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMS certification through Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMA). Instead of attending a 3 Day Refresher every three years we do a 1-day training to review wilderness medicine protocols every two years considering that other curriculum is taught at the annual patrol refresher as well as during skills training throughout the winter season.
Visit our custom training program page for more information about how we customize this program. It is our most dynamic and complex program that illustrates what we can do.
We also started working with other departments adding 10 to the list providing custom layperson first aid/CPR trainings. Each training covers the required first aid/CPR skills with an emphasis on injuries and illnesses that employees are likely to encounter.
WILDERNESS MEDICINE PROGRAM LAUNCHED
It has been a long-term goal of ours to offer wilderness medicine courses in the Eastern Sierra. In May 2019 we offered our first Wilderness First Responder course co-sponsored by a wonderful colleague, Natalie Brechtel, who also started offering courses in the Eastern Sierra through her business Gut-Z-Journey. We, both, now sponsor our own courses and co-teach with one another often. We have been named the “Dynamic Duo of the Eastern Sierra” by our students. Between the two of us, people can find a wilderness medicine course 7-8 months of the year.
Enrollment was inspiring for our first year of course offerings proving to be in high demand:
- May 1-5, 2019 5 Day WFR – filled with 21 students (max allowed) 4 weeks out; wound up with 18 students; 7 waitlisted; 5 cancellations or transfers to other courses (3 last minute)
- October 5-9, 2019 5 Day WFR – filled with 21 students (max allowed) 3 weeks out; wound up with 18 students; 5 waitlisted; 3 cancellations last minute
- October 11-13, 2019 Open Recert – 9 students
We also worked with two non-profit organizations in the Eastern Sierra and two other corporate WMA instructors to provide wilderness medicine courses for their constituents.
With grant funding, DSES sponsored a WFA course for volunteers and employees within Disabled Sports USA. People traveled from throughout the U.S. to take this course in Mammoth Lakes.
This was BLE’s first fundraiser course for this organization. Brigitte Denton (owner/program director) volunteered her time to teach a WFA course last June. 13 ESCC members and 5 members of the public attended this course filling it to its maximum capacity. Tuition minus cost of materials was donated to ESCC wilderness medicine training budget reducing the per ESCC student cost significantly. We will be running two course June 2020 with a goal to reduce the per student cost even more!
Gut-Z-Journey, based in Bishop, CA, is owned and run by WMA instructor, Natalie Brechtel. Brigitte Denton co-taught two of her sponsored courses in Bishop, CA.
Global Emergency Medics, based in Boulder, CO, is owned and run by WMA instructor, Gavin Dawson. Brigitte Denton co-taught one of his sponsored courses in Boulder, CO.
In fall 2019, we teamed up with three university outdoor education programs in California.
- Simpson University Outdoor Leadership Program
- Pomona College Outdoor Education Center
- University of Redlands Outdoor Program
The Simpson University and Pomona College courses were a huge success. We look forward to teaching this month at University of Redlands, whose course is full. If you are interested in this course, they are taking names for the waitlist.
In fall 2019, we officially added education consulting to services offered. Brigitte Denton has been doing this throughout her 19 years in education and has several curriculum projects under her belt.
BLE’s latest curriculum project involved working hand in hand with Gut-Z-Journey (Natalie Brechtel) producing curriculum videos for Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMA). Videos ranged from lecture style to skill instruction and demo videos. These videos are being piloted on Beyond Limits Education and Gut-Z-Journey wilderness medicine courses with the goal of a full release to WMA instructors in the future.
Our scholarship program is utilized for two non-profit organizations we work with in the Eastern Sierra. Brigitte Denton donates her time to teach courses for Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES) and Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps (ESCC). BLE also waives all overhead expenses for these trainings. In addition, BLE will be offering two Wilderness First Aid courses in June donating public tuition to ESCC’s training budget with the goal of paying for their members’ training in its entirety. If you would like to help with this effort, consider making a donation in the following ways:
- Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (donate directly)
- Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps (donate directly)
- BLE Scholarship Fund (specify which organization you would like your donation to be applied to)
- Take a Wilderness First Aid course. Your tuition will be donated to ESCC’s training budget.
We wish to thank the following people and organizations for their support (listed alphabetically)!
Mammoth Hospital and Mammoth Orthopedic Institute
Dr. Bassler, Dr. Crall, Dr. Gilmer, and Dr. Knecht have volunteered their time to do presentations for EMS professionals in the Eastern Sierra. These free “Doc Talks” are hosted through the Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol-Beyond Limits Education partnership and are open to ski patrollers, Mono County EMS employees, local fire agencies, and the Mountain Warfare Training Center. EMTs and Paramedics earn CEUs for attending.
Mammoth Lakes Fire Department
MLFD has been a huge supporter of our wilderness medicine program through their willingness to allow use of their classroom training spaces. Their crew are also amazing. A couple weeks ago a fire broke out in the town home complex across the street from BLE headquarters. Burning pieces of insulation were carried by the wind landing on our
property. While three adjoining town homes were completely damaged they successfully prevented the fire from spreading to neighboring structures. Thanks also goes to the other volunteer fire departments that came to help with the fire.
Mono County EMS and Inyo County Public Health
Both have allowed us to use incredible feedback manikins that provide valuable CPR performance information to learners.
Last spring KT Tape donated a large quantity of KT Tape and Blister Care Tape so that our learners can get hands on practice taping ankles and learning a variety of techniques to manage foot and hand blisters. Learners have expressed their appreciation for having access to this training and many have informed us that they are now including KT Tape in their first aid kits.
One of our goals is to do more writing on our blog. We view our blog as a way of paying it forward through education. Our blog includes a variety of topics including K-12 education, backcountry living, first aid/preparedness, adventures/reflections, and DIY projects.
Be on the lookout for the following this year:
- Why jump on the KT Tape train?
- Mental Health
- Expedition First Aid Kit
- Manufactured vs Improvised Tourniquets
- Vehicle First Aid Kit
- Home First Aid Kit
K-12 Education/Life Skills
- Time Management: Creating a Big Picture Plan
- Time Management: Daily Schedule
- Backcountry Bidet
- Sleeping Warm
- How To Manage Dietary Restrictions
- Backcountry Laundromat
- Pooping in the Woods
- Importance of Well-Rounded Navigation Skills
If there are any topics you would like to see on our blog please reach out.
2020 Public Course Offerings
Wilderness First Aid
- June 20-21, 2020 (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
- Additional June Dates TBD
Wilderness First Responder (Hybrid)
- May 2-6, 2020 (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
- October 3-7, 2020 (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
Wilderness First Responder
- February 22-28, 2020 (Redlands, CA; FULL)
- April 18-25, 2020 (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
Open Recertification (WFR/WEMS)
- May 8-10, 2020 (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
- October 9-11, 2020 (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
Visit our calendar page for the most up to date course schedule.