Backcountry Incident Management School - Denver - 2023

Risk Management Course

Backcountry Incident Management School

Although rare within the CMC, backcountry incidents when they do happen are stressful, confusing, and the wrong activities can potentially compound to make a bad situation even worse. For those who have always wanted a means to review, practice, and improve the skills needed to successfully manage the initial aspects of an unforeseen incident, the BIM School's purpose is to help you meet those needs.

Backcountry Incident Management School
“Bringing Order to a Chaotic Situation”

Mission:  To provide a realistic hands-on Backcountry Incident Management experience, intended to minimize any unintended consequences of a medical or other backcountry emergency by employing more effective skills and techniques.

  • Students to practice basic skills and techniques with the goal to observe and personally determine what tends to work under adverse conditions… and what tends not to.
  • Students to experience and become more comfortable with the end-to-end incident management process.

For those individuals wanting more experience managing an unexpected backcountry incident, i.e., a more meaningful experience, the Backcountry Incident Management School can provide that hands-on opportunity.  As you may have learned while taking WFA, there are several important “roles” that are part of most every backcountry challenge.

These roles consist of a First Aid Team, a Get Help Team, a Bivy Team, and an Incident Manager.  The Incident Manager (IM) will coordinate the actions and activities of the other three roles.  As a review:

  • The First Aid Team will assess the nature of the injured party, consult with the IM to confirm the accident site is safe, and if not, coordinate resources to relocate the victim to a safer location.  In addition to performing the primary and secondary physical checks, the First Aid Team will document vitals for the Help Team.
  • The Help Team will work with the IM to develop a plan to contact help, whether that is by phone, SPOT, or hiking back to the trailhead.  Using the documented information from the First Aid Team, the Help Team will share with 911/SAR the nature of the incident/injuries and offer advice on the assistance deemed necessary.
  • In the event of a prolonged incident, the Bivy Team will coordinate with the IM to develop a plan to establish shelter, start a fire, warm water, and (if appropriate) determine the means to locally signal for help.  Whether the stay is several hours or overnight, the Bivy Team will make efforts to keep the patient and the other group participants warm and dry.

In theory all this may sound somewhat straightforward, but in practice there are countless nuances that can make the difference between a good outcome, or, through a sequence of questionable choices, make the problem more challenging.  “Effectiveness” may be the operative word.

To provide suggestions and guidance during this most stressful time, the BIM School has developed a set of Incident Management Cards.  These cards can be accessed and downloaded at (here is link to IM Cards homepage)

Dates for 2023:
  • 5/20: May field day
  • 6/17: June field day
  • 8/19: August field day
  • 9/23: September field day
Participants will enroll in only one of the four dates available.

  • Successful completion of a Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder course
  • A current CMC member 18 years or older
  • Priority given to CMC trip leaders and school instructors

Tuition:  $30 once enrolled into the course

Enrollment:  The course is typically limited to eight students per session.  As part of the application process trip leaders and school instructors will be given priority.  Those accepted into the course will complete their enrollment through the CMC website.

Should the course fill, CMC members can get on the Wait List by going through the standard enrollment process.  No tuition money will be paid until that member is moved to the official Participant List.  Should there be an opening, moving to the Participant List is not automatic but will be done by the course director.  Accepted individuals will be notified by email and will be asked to contact the CMC office to now pay their enrollment tuition.

In the event there is insufficient student enrollment for any field day date, students will be given the option for a full refund or the opportunity to transfer enrollment to another date.  Since the $30 tuition is less than $35 CMC processing fee, if you elect to withdraw there will be no refund.  However, a credit can be applied per the second paragraph in the CMC refund policy below.

For Additional Information:  Contact Rich McAdams refer to the “BIM School” in the subject line.

CMC Tuition Refund Policy:

Denver Group school refund policy is as follows:  Student/participant requests for a refund of tuition/fees must be requested in writing (e.g., email) to the appropriate school or event director.

Cancel or withdraw 31 or more days from the start date of the school:  Full refund will be issued less the $35 per person processing fee.  Or, a full credit can be transferred to the same or another school in the future without incurring the processing fee.

Cancel or withdraw 8 to 30 days from the start date of the school:  Full refund will be issued less 25% of the fee paid but no less than the $35 per person processing fee.  Or, full credit can be deferred until the next same school without incurring the processing fee; however, if the same school in the future is not on the schedule at the time of cancellation, then the deferment is not an option.
Cancel or withdraw 7 days or less from the start date of the school:  No refund or credit will be issued.
Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Once accepted into the course, a list of recommended items will be provided for students to acquire as part of their pre-course “homework.”  The homework will also include watching a few YouTube videos in an effort to refresh and supplement your skills.