About SOLO Southeast

Hands-On with SOLO

At SOLO Southeast, we follow a strong philosophy of hands-on learning in the outdoors. During our advanced classes you’ll find yourself on a whitewater raft learning how to manage a crisis. It could be a paddler in the midst of a heart attack, a seizure or a broken arm. What would you do? Even in our basic two-day classes we alternate between classroom time and outdoor scenarios. The Appalachian Trail crosses directly in front of our building, providing us with realistic learning opportunities. You could encounter a thru-hiker with a broken leg or an ill-prepared hiker with heat exhaustion. There’s no better feeling than being prepared to help a fellow adventurer.

Learning how to organize a team and implement a rescue is part of your training because accidents occur when least expected. We use volunteers to act as patients in these scenarios, and even dress them up with dramatic make-up and fake injuries to create a realistic setting. It’s your job to stabilize these people and evacuate them to safety. What happens if no one thought to bring a stretcher? What if it’s dark and no one has a headlamp? We’ll teach you how to problem solve in the worst situations and give you confidence to make the best decisions.

SOLO’s Open-Learning Philosophy

We teach medicine by building a foundation of principles and systems, with an emphasis on anatomy and physiology. Unlike memorizing facts, building a solid base of information gives students the tools to interpret emergencies, apply sound judgment, and confidently make decisions. We believe that medicine is an art as much as it is a science. Learning to interact professionally and compassionately with patients, bystanders, and other emergency medical providers is as important as providing the correct treatment. We teach prevention first, treatment second, and emphasize a wilderness ethic of respect and stewardship.

SOLO strives to provide a physically and psychologically comfortable atmosphere in our classes. We design our curriculum to accommodate a wide range of learning styles by combining lectures with demonstrations and hands-on practice sessions. Our open learning environment encourages group discussion, participatory learning, and exploration. Students and instructors constantly learn from one another. Fundamental to all SOLO programs is our belief that students learn to problem solve through practice and experience.

As part of their Advanced Wilderness First Aid training, students participate in a mock rescue scenario. This particular scenario involved a drowned rafter with severe trauma including a compound fracture and head injury. Students had to safely rescue the victim from the river, treat his injuries and evacuate him back to base. Working as a team and using the skills learned throughout the week is a stressful experience that tests the students’ skills to the max. No question—it’s worth it.

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