These training courses address the needs of scientific groups for first aid in the field with a focus on the special conditions encountered in cold and remote regions. The courses offer an overview of existing medical support solutions for people working/operating in polar/remote high-altitude environments. They will also introduce participants to telemedicine services, customised field medical kits, as well as basic first aid practices with a special focus on conditions likely to be encountered in polar regions.

The two-day courses are practice-oriented and take place outdoors – bivouacking included. Teaching will be provided in an alpine environment in the canton of Valais at different altitudes in order to best simulate different polar weather conditions.

SPI offers two courses per year with a maximum of 12 participants per course. Places are limited; priority is hence given to people with planned field activities and on a first come, first served basis. Participation is free of charge but SPI reserves the right to invoice participants cancelling at the last minute if their place cannot be filled.

This course is offered in collaboration with the GRIMM  (Groupe d’Intervention Médicale en Montagne), which organises the training courses.

Note: participation in one of these courses is mandatory for at least two scientists per group (but ideally, as many as possible) who wish to use the SOS MAM telemedicine service during their expeditions or make use the SPI field medical kit. The training course is valid for a period of three years, after which a “refresher course” will be required.

2020 courses

  • 20 and 21 March 2020 – cancelled due to COVID-19
  • 11 and 12 December 2020 – cancelled due to COVID-19

The dates for the courses to be held in 2021 will be communicated shortly.

For more information about the content of the training, please contact secretariat.spi@epfl.ch.

Appropriate clothing and equipment are a pre-requisite for participation. A list of required equipment will be sent to participants in advance.