First Aid training with SOLO

The Merrimack Valley Trail Riders (MVTR) decided that it was time to take steps toward educating its members in both CPR and Wilderness Medicine.   Though we may not be able to reduce the inherent risks of our sport, the hope is that with some medical training, we may be able to reduce the severity of the outcomes.

By way of what seemed to be a unanimous vote, the club elected to solicit the services of Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), a Conway, NH based company specializing in Wilderness Medical training (   Interest in participation was apparent when in just a few days, course registrations came in by the dozens… MVTR quickly reached the maximum capacity of 30 students. 

On Sunday March 10, 2016, SOLO held the one-day, two-part program at Freedom Cycle in Concord, NH ( The first part was devoted to CPR training.  Through practical application on plastic models, participants learned how to perform the “Primary Survey” which involves the assessment of a patient’s Airway, Breathing, and Circulation (“A, B, C’s”).  Students then learned how to administer whatever stages of CPR may have been necessary in an attempt to save their patient.

The second part of the program was focused on Wilderness Based First Aid.  The intent of this course was for students to learn and practice the essentials of a “Secondary Survey” in a wilderness setting.  Clearing the patient of a spinal injury, signs and symptoms of Shock, fracture stabilization, Hyper/ Hypothermia, and wound care, were just a few of the discussion and practice points.   The SOLO instructors would introduce a topic first in the classroom and then move the group outdoors to perform practical scenarios.  Participants were split into two groups: “injured” and “care providers.”  The injured pretended to suffer from an ailment while the care givers were tasked with surveying the patient to 1.) determine the injury and 2.) devise a plan for care.   When faced with the duty of care giver, we heard many students express feelings of “stage-fright.”  They knew the purpose of the scenario was to envision themselves in the context of an actual incident and with that came a new level of pressure.  Everyone recognized that with practice, performance of the Secondary Survey would come, well… second nature!

At the end of the day, students earned themselves a certification in Basic and Child CPR that meets the ILCOR/ AHA 2015 guidelines as well as recognition from SOLO that they had successfully completed the Basic Wilderness First Aid Course. Rounding out the benefits of the program, not only did participants enjoy both an MVTR sponsored breakfast and lunch but the Club also covered half the cost of course registration!

View all photos from this event here.

MVTR would like to express its sincere thanks to Freedom Cycle for hosting the event!