Why Wilderness 1st: Liz Song Mandell of Snowqueen & Scout

We’re raising awareness about learning important skills to care for yourself or others who may become ill or injured in the outdoors by spotlighting members of our community who have earned their Wilderness First Aid Certification or higher!

Join us November 4-6 to earn your Wilderness First Aid + CPR Certification at historic Sturtevant Camp!

Liz Song Mandell, Founder of Snowqueen & Scout, Wilderness EMT & Wilderness Medicine Instructor

What inspired you to learn Wilderness First Aid? What was your favorite part of the experience?

As someone who loved going out into the backcountry, I realized I had NO IDEA what to do in a wilderness emergency situation. I wanted to learn the basics so I took a WFA course in 2014. All the fake bruised/bloody practice scenarios got my adrenaline pumping and I loved imagining what I’d do in all of the emergency situations. In fact, I loved it so much I ended up becoming a Wilderness EMT, and now I’m an wilderness medicine instructor with Aerie Backcountry Medicine!

Have you ever used your skills in the field? Tell us about it.

Immediately after I got my WFA, I went on a bike tour from Canada to Mexico. One afternoon while biking through a part of Orange County, I saw an older woman laying on the sidewalk with some blood oozing from her forehead. She had tripped and fallen straight on her head. I screeched my bike to a halt and pulled over to help out. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing and forgot everything I was supposed to do. (lol) But, I got there and remained calm and took control of the situation until emergency responders arrived. Even though I was all turned around in the moment, my WFA instructor later told me that what was most important was that I was willing to help and that I took control of what could’ve been a discombobulating situation. Thankfully it wasn’t a real life-threat! As I’ll say in courses, we learn these skills but hope we never have to use them.

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