The International Mountain Leadership Institute’s Community First Responder Course

Still I remember the moment, sitting in a trailer beneath the hot Texas sun. I was with Jeremy Higle, the founder and director of the International Mountain Leadership Institute (IMLI). We shared a couple of things in common, a love for the mountains in the Himalaya region, and a love for the people that live among them. Jeremy suggested we do something to be of assistance in the development of the region, and I heartily agreed. What separated us from that point on was the taking of action.

Over the past decade I’ve watched from afar as Jeremy established and grew the International Mountain Leadership Institute (IMLI). From early crevass rescue trainings in the Balti region of Pakistan to current first aid, swift-water rescue, and rock-climbing training’s in Ladakh, India, IMLI has become one of the preeminent development organizations in the region. The number of volunteers working with IMLI has grown along with it and it’s the work of volunteers that helps lend the organization its strength.

While I’ve participated in past trainings, Jeremy asked if I could document the work that IMLI is doing this time around. Many thanks to those of you who contributed financially and with your prayers to make this trip possible. This week we’ll take a look at IMLI’s Community First Responder Course, and then will follow with a look at the rock-climbing and swift-water rescue portions.

All of the photos that follow were taken during the Community First Responder Course held in Ladakh, India from April 28th-30th, 2014.

Jeremy Higle, the founder and director of the International Mountain Leadership Institute (IMLI) introduces the course to the students.

IMLI actively works to grow the leadership skills of its participants. Student Kern  takes his turn at reviewing information with the class.

Kern and Jumyung assist instructor Grant Campbell, as they demonstrate how to carry a wounded patient to a safe place.

Instructor Grant Campbell, a paramedic and former Wilderness First Responder trainer, takes the lead in teaching IMLI’s Community First Responder Course.

Set against a backdrop of the Ladakh Himalaya, Jeremy Higle, founder and director of IMLI, observes students as they practice patient examination in the field.

A student practices removing a student from a dangerous situation so that first aid can be performed.

Students practice transporting a student after giving first aid treatment.

Students practice their bandaging techniques during the workshop.

Students practice splinting and bandaging techniques during the Community First Responder Course.

Every good workshop requires good food, and this workshop would prove no exception. Here, rice and greens are being prepared.

The stove set-up, where many cups of chai and gourmet food were prepared for the participants.

Greens and potatoes are being prepared in a pot for lunch during the workshop.

Students practice transporting techniques after a participant has received first aid for injuries.

Students practice using the splinting material that they are likely to have with them in the backcountry.

Each session contained a time of debriefing to look for insights gained during the practical aspect of the course.

Next week we’ll take a look at the rock-climbing seminar. If you’d like to donate to the work of IMLI, just click on the link at the top of the page and follow the donation directions.

For more personal photos from the Ladakhi Himalayan region be sure to follow “nomadruss” on Instagram.

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17 thoughts on “The International Mountain Leadership Institute’s Community First Responder Course

  1. Outstanding project! There is nothing sadder than the feeling of inadequacy that greets you when you don’t know how to help an injured person. Gaining these skills (in my case it took multiple attempts) empowers you. This is really a win/win for everyone. Great documentation!

    • Jeremy actually used many of these skills responding to the earthquake in Pakistan back in 2004. It’s part of what gave him the idea to train in these remote, mountainous areas.

  2. Thanks for sharing the wonderful work of the IMLI – I can well imagine the importance of prompt and experienced first aid in wilderness areas – literally, life saving. I’ll look forward to the next post.

    • It’s true Vicki, there are regions of Ladakh where it can take a couple of days to reach definitive medical care. Having the skills to treat the patient and keep them comfortable can be life saving.

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