Over the years, I have seen the evolution of First Aid training. I’ve taught First Aid since high-school as a Lifeguard and have acquired several levels of training including Emergency Medical Responder and Wilderness First Responder in addition to my Advanced Instructor with the Red Cross. Things have changed, some have stayed the same, and some may never be taught again – this is what I find so fascinating about First Aid! But I also don’t always agree with the standardized approach to teaching safety programs. Over time, the confines of classroom walls and the mundane standardized curriculum started to suffocate me. I just wanted to be outdoors and I struggled with the lack of connection between the content and its actual application. I was frustrated with the lack of realism and dismayed at the lack of retention. And I definitely started to wonder myself if I’d handle something well should shit really hit the fan on one of our next adventures. So Back40 is my way to help bridge the boring first aid content with the outdoors where we most likely are faced with using these skills on what is, predictably, a very bad day.
We are constantly evolving our courses. It’s a full time job just staying on top of the program standards, new research, protocol changes, and the real life examples so many people have experienced. It was my goal with Back40 to have every class hosted OUTDOORS and to this day that has been the most appreciated and valuable component that our students have expressed makes Back40 classes so awesome! But we also recognize that not everyone will need or want the Wilderness First Aid (or to be outside like we do!) so this is why we also focus on the Everyday First Aid and take a great amount of pride in our entertaining ability to keep people awake, engaged and actually enjoying the training we facilitate in classrooms too!
Most importantly, we Saskatchewan people live in a province that has the most diverse topography! From rolling prairies to Boreal Forest to badlands to coulees and beyond – we live in a breath taking landscape that is ripe for adventure! But we also have a diverse urban/rural lifestyle where our farming communities, local businesses, and small towns continue to thrive on the prairie sense of community and self-preservation. Saskatchewan people know all too well the struggle of dealing with emergencies where the wait for advanced help is more than an hour and that the places we tend to find misfortune are not easily accessed. Back40 is Saskatchewan. Back40 is community. Back40 Training is not just for the extreme backcountry thrill seeker – Back40 is for all of us who may find ourselves in an emergency.