Episode 79 – Medicine in the Wild w/David Fifer


Have you ever been hiking in the woods and wondered what emergency medical services are available in case you got injured? The level of scope varies greatly across the country for wilderness emergency medical and SAR technicians. From first aid to critical care, in this podcast episode, we discuss who is coming, what their capabilities are, and how David Fifer is trying to change that model.


Topics of discussion include:

  • Defining the speciality of wilderness medicine.
  • Contrasting “wilderness medicine” with “wilderness EMS”
  • The almost non-existent regulatory framework of wilderness medicine.
  • What is a WFR/who that cert is really intended for
  • IBSC’s WP-C project


David Fifer is the founder of RedSTAR Wilderness EMS, which provides volunteer ALS technical rescue response in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. Currently Assistant Professor of EMS & Director of the Paramedic degree program at Eastern Kentucky University, David also chairs the Kentucky Board of EMS Wilderness EMS Task Force, is a member of the NAEMSP Wilderness Medicine Committee, the Wilderness Medical Society’s Search & Rescue and Operational Medical committees and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine. Along with Drs. Jeff Thurman and Seth Collings Hawkins, he leads the IBSC’s global project to develop a WP-C (Wilderness Paramedic-Certified) exam. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, a contributing author to the textbook “Wilderness EMS,” and teaches wilderness medicine around the world and to numerous local, state, and federal agencies. With Dr. Hawkins, he hosts the Remote, Austere, and Wilderness (RAW) Medical podcast.





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