My Wilderness First Aid certification from the Red Cross expired but I got re-certified this weekend through classes with Ozark Safety and Rescue Educators. I really liked the way the information was presented and the hands-on approach. The fact that the instructor (Tom Burroughs) has ongoing real-life experience with search and rescue is a huge plus too.
The curriculum for the classes is pretty much standardized so if you were to compare the syllabus for Red Cross versus OSRE, they would probably look very similar. The difference is in the details!
The Red Cross lists the course as 16 hours but I doubt we actually spent more than 12 hours going through the material, and that was mostly reading through the book with an instructor that admitted she had never really even been out in the woods before. There was some hands-on work but not enough.
In contrast, OSRE’s classes ran about 20 hours – 12 hours on the first day and 8 on the second, with lots of play-acting opportunities to reinforce the message. Several times we worked outside with victims that had cosmetically-applied wounds and were laying in ditches etc for a bit more realism. In fact, we finished a long day #1 with a drill where we first had to find our victims somewhere outside in the dark, and then treat them.
I think this is the way WFA education should be done.
I have no material connection with OSRE, paid full price from my own pocket for the classes, and receive nothing in exchange for this post.