Wilderness First Aid Training


Njoki Kibanya, Nairobi

Date Published

31st May – 2nd June 2005 On Monday 30th May 2005, David Gachuche, Benard Lesowapir and I drove to Samburu to attend a Wilderness First Aid Course which was conducted by Nick Miller of Rift Valley Adventure.

Other people also attending the course included: From STE – Shivani Bhalla, Gilbert Sabinga, Chris Leadismo, and Wilson Lepuko. From Elephant Watch Safaris – Sumaro Lecharkole, Simeon Losokon, Philip Leleliit, Bernard Lesirin, Chris Letur. From Samburu Natioinal Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve – Joy Letoiya (warden) and John – Loruko Clinic nurse.

It was a 3 day intensive course covering all the major accidents that can happen in the wilderness and how to act when faced with them. It also turned out to be a very nice time for everyone to get to know each other a little bit more. Amongst the main things covered we were taught how to administer CPR, how to check for vitals, how to treat sprains, and how to deal with spinal injuries. At the end of the training, we all undertook theory and practical tests (which we all passed!).

Most interesting was that two days after the training, Wilson Lopuko, one of the trainees, was put to the test, this time on a real person and not the dummy “Suzie” that we used during the training.

When he was traveling home on the second day after the training, a woman from Wilson’s village was knocked down near Isiolo town. With the skills and knowledge from the course, Wilson administered a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the woman came round almost two hours later! He said he followed the procedure just like we were taught at the training but felt like he was in a dream!

Said he…….”when I noticed that the woman was not breathing and everyone was just crowding and looking at her, I decided to try and do something. I asked the chief – who was amongst the crowd – to help me disperse the crowd and I informed them I had just undertaken some training in wilderness first aid.

I laid the woman as we had been shown, felt for pulse and breath. When I could not get these, I decided to administer CPR. I was very very nervous and at first I did not think I was doing it right! Then she coughed….and I knew she would be okay…and me too! I then put her in the recovery position for fifteen minutes during which I observed her vital signs. After that I asked a few people to ask her if she recognised them (since we are all from the same village and know each other!) and she did. She recognised me too and I knew it was okay to move her to the hospital.

At the hospital they all wanted to know where I had received my training!!! I would like to thank my employer for facilitating such a useful course!” Wilson Lepuko