Becoming an EMT in Lander, Wyoming

The state of Wyoming is known as having the lowest population per unit of land of all the states in America. It is also known for its harsh winters, abundance of wildlife, and amazing backpacking and climbing. Lander is a small town of about 7,500 people located in southwest Wyoming. It is also the international headquarters of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and where I lived for the month of January in 2012 in order to become a wilderness/urban EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Due to the international influence of NOLS, Lander is a truly unique small town as it is home to many Lander natives as well as many international travelers.

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For the EMT program we stayed in cabins at one of the local colleges. This was my home- the ladies cabin:

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And I must say we had a wonderful view:

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Days were long. Breakfast was served at 7am and class often didn’t end until 10pm. Some nights, while practicing rescues, we often found ourselves meandering through snowstorms in -20 degree weather! Yet other days, it was quite nice!

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Although downtown Lander consists of about 4 blocks with one outdoor shop, and a few restaurants…I was thankful that they had an incredibly tasty coffee shop called Old Town Coffee.

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Below was one of our outdoor rescues where we had to build an apparatus to carry a patient with a back injury safely through the wilderness. This is also the location of the brand new Outdoor Wilderness Medicine Station.

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We were also trained to use the ambulance for an urban emergency. Here’s me loading someone up!

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After a grueling month of pure exhaustion and cramming I passed the national registry- I was officially an EMT! I couldn’t have felt more proud or relieved that it was all over and I could return to beautiful and SUNNY California. Although I must say, I really did enjoy the snow 😉 ~B

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