The Landmark Adventure
By George Jones, SBTDC-PTAC Counselor at Western Carolina University
How can you prepare to save lives in a variety of outdoor and wilderness settings? You can go to Landmark Learning.
Landmark Learning is an outdoor training school based in Cullowhee, NC and offers professional development courses covering a variety of outdoor recreation and emergency medicine fields. Founded in 1996 by a pair of Western Carolina University students, Landmark Learning is the first outdoor training school in the United States to have earned a national education accreditation. Over the past 18 years, Justin and Mairi Padgett have come a long way. The Padgett’s started with an office that doubled as an apartment where they served 46 students during their first year. They now manage a 40-acre mountainside campus that serves as an outdoor recreational empire. The campus includes campsites and bunkhouses, approximately 1,200 square feet of indoor classroom space as well as outdoor facilities for training, biking, and hiking. Over 2,000 students per year take courses and Landmark employs over 30 people. Additionally, Landmark has several satellite locations, including sites in Boone, Knoxville, Charlotte, Asheville, and Atlanta. Landmark courses have been offered at more than 100 locations nationwide, as well as international countries including Ecuador, Columbia and Canada.
Some of the most notable courses offered include the following:
- Wilderness First Aid
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Essentials of River Safety and Rescue
- Leave No Trace
- Master Educator
Landmark’s growing reputation as a single clearinghouse for a wide variety of outdoor training is unique in the industry. Landmark instructors, by contrast, are often cross-trained in multiple outdoor disciplines which provides the depth and breadth of certification training for multiple uses.
More and more governmental agencies realize the importance of first responders having a variety of cross trained disciplines in the case of an emergency or natural disaster.
Justin Padgett, executive director of Landmark Learning was requested by the New York Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to conduct a presentation on the Landmark Learning Community Relief Medic program in Montour Falls, NY back in March 29-30, 2014.
Below is an excerpt from a New York news blog:
The Community Relief Medic training program promotes advanced refusal of care plans (disposition) and advanced decision making on the part of first responders to care for and make transport decisions with patients in the time of disaster. These first responders will serve as triage for Emergency Medical Services and potentially limit the number of persons taxing the resources of local and regional hospital systems. We have to start locally with our fire district members who are the most available, live in their districts and are incredibly capable. Around the county First Responder and EMT numbers compared to the number of paramedics is 10:1. In New York it is 15:1 - so it makes sense that we make better use of these human resources. Justin replies, "We need to work smarter not harder in times of disaster."
Landmark Learning is interested in expanding their closed enrollment trainings most notably during the fall and winter months especially with governmental agencies. The PTAC office has worked with them by updating their SAM registration with new primary and secondary NAICS codes aimed specifically to increase procurement opportunities for federal contracts. Develop a plan for identifying purchase order contracts (POC's) with current federal agencies. Some examples include and are not limited to the following: US AID, NCDPS, FEMA, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and local government EMS departments.
For more information about Landmark Learning please visit the website: http://landmarklearning.edu/