Tanzania Kilimanjaro Wilderness First Responder Training May 2023

Safety on Kilimanjaro – see our crew train as wilderness first responders

May 22, 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

Three of our Kilimanjaro mountain crew recently took part in an intensive wilderness first responder (WFR) training programme. For two of the guys, it was a refresher course, and for one it was a first training. Learn more and see them in action!

What is a wilderness first responder?

A wilderness first responder (WFR) is someone who has undergone and passed advanced training in wilderness emergency care.

It's absolutely vital that any guide leading a group of climbers up Kilimanjaro be a WFR, as this training helps them to navigate emergencies and at times save lives.

Of course experience is also important – so at Follow Alice we always partner guides who are new WFRs with a highly experienced lead guide who has been a WFR for many years.

Who from Follow Alice attended the training?

On this particular occasion, the WFR training (which was run by Munro Medical Solutions) was attended by two of our veteran lead guides who were due for their refresher course, as well as one young porter working towards becoming a guide in the future.

Here they are posing for a group pic ...

Tanzania Kilimanjaro Wilderness First Responder Training May 2023

Florence, Crossmang and Trevor attended WFR training in May 2023

Those of you who've climbed Kilimanjaro before with us might recognise one of our two fabulous lead guides, Florence and Crossmang, standing on the left in the photo above.

On the right (with the big smile) is Trevor. Trevor is the son of Follow Alice's Tanzania director, Chris. He's currently working as a porter, but did the WFR training in preparation for one day becoming a guide. (While he may be the boss's son, he has to earn his stripes just like everyone else. And that means starting his Kilimanjaro career as a porter.)

Rafiq and Trevor, Chris's son, summit of Kilimanjaro

Here's Trevor with our client Rafiq on a past climb

What does the training involve?

Munro's wilderness first responder training is an intensive 80-hour course that takes place over eight to ten days. The May 2023 course held in Moshi was attended by crew members from other Kilimanjaro companies in addition to Follow Alice, as you can see in the picture below.

CPR demonstration at Tanzania Kilimanjaro Wilderness First Reponder Training May 2023

Attendees of the WFR training watch a CPR demonstration

As explained by Munro Medical Solutions, the training is:

... a 16-part course that teaches how to care for patients in remote locations or challenging weather, with questionable communication and support, improvised equipment, and limited time for decisions.

A wilderness first responder qualification is the recognised international industry standard for mountain guides, so it's very important that Kilimanjaro guides receive this training, and also do refresher courses every three years.

Tanzania Kilimanjaro Wilderness First Responder Training May 2023

WFR training includes plenty of hands-on practice

The Follow Alice crew with certificates

Florence, Crossmang and Trevor all passed the training with flying colours and posed with their Munro trainer for a celebratory pic ...

Crossmang, Florence and Trevor WFR wildlife first responder training certificates group pic FA May 2023 Kilimanjaro (2)

Our guys with their trainer and WFR certificates

Safety is everything on Kilimanjaro

We know we sound like a broken record on this topic, but safety is our number one priority when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro. It just has to be, as it's a big mountain that every year sees accidents and even deaths. Experienced, qualified guides are far and away the most important determining factor when it comes to keeping climbers safe.

8-day Lemosho tent and Uhuru Peak alpine desert Kilimanjaro

A great pic by our client Abhishek high up on Kilimanjaro

One of the key health hazards on a Kilimanjaro climb is altitude sickness. Experienced guides know how to monitor your vitals and also detect the early signs of altitude sickness. You can learn more on this topic in How we keep you safe on Kilimanjaro.

Of course a degree of the burden of safety lies with each climber. To know more, like how you can help to lessen the effects of high altitude, please read Kilimanjaro safety – all you need to know.

Finally, for those who prefer a video to a blog, please take a look at our informative video on Kilimanjaro safety below ...


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