We can appreciate your desire to have a universally valid first aid certificate.
OFA and wilderness first aid are like apples and oranges - although they are both fruit, they have different ingredients and serve different purposes.
The primary objectives of Occupational First Aid is to:
Reduce workplace hazards and ensure that critically injured workers are operated on within 1 hour of the accident.
The focus of workplace hazards is industrial related machinery, electrical, chemical, etc.
In contrast, the focus of wilderness first aid is about learning the domino effect of how human behaviour interacts with activity and environmental risks; and, how the consequences of these risks can be reduced through pre-trip preparation and accident handling skills that bring out the best in people during emergencies.
Accidents either bring out the worst or best in people - Our training supports people in becoming the best they can be during stressful scenarios.
Many people before you have been caught in the same bind you currently find yourself in - wanting Wilderness First Aid to be prepared for adventure; and, being required to have OFA for a job. We hope you realize that OFA might support you in gaining employment, BUT if you choose to apply OFA principles to a wilderness setting, you are at risk of compromising MOST patients, since attempts to get the person to an operating room in under an hour is much more likely to aggravate serious, but otherwise stable injuries.
And, even more importantly, the most common wilderness injuries that are easily managed in the field with specific wilderness training (sprains, dislocations, concussion, collarbone fractures, etc) are not addressed from a perspective of wilderness implications in the OFA course.
Finally, wilderness first aid promotes self-reliance. This includes emergency patient evacuation techniques based on what's available at the scene, rather than the OFA equipment that employers are legislated to provide in industrial settings.
If you truly are looking to be the designated first aid attendant to be in charge of work place safety for other workers, OFA is the best course.
In contrast, if your primary needs are related to preventing and managing back-country emergencies with limited resources at hand, wilderness first aid is the most applicable.
And, if you need to be able to do a little of both, we encourage you to invest in both trainings.
Even though some agencies require first aid for workers only, many people who work for the Forest Service, Provincial Parks, Environment Canada, Geological Service, RCMP, etc, choose Wilderness Alert training as their training of choice.
Let us know how we can further support you in making the best decision for you.