News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Learning to stay safe and healthy

Knowing what to do in an emergency can be a matter of life or death. Yet most of us don't have the training to act swiftly and correctly in an emergency.

Northwest Precision Emergency Medical Training is changing that, offering courses that range from basic babysitter safety protocols to cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to intensive wilderness first aid training.

Sisters' first responders are highly competent, and their response times are very good - but this is still a rural area with extensive backcountry, and there is often a gap of time in which fate can turn on the ability of a civilian to act. Just knowing when to call 9-1-1 can be a critical skill. Knowing CPR can save a life, and having a skill set in wilderness first aid can make all the difference if someone takes a fall or has a medical emergency far from help.

"There're so many things a civilian can do to help, and these things can make a difference between your loved one surviving or not," said Tracy Trotter, principal of Northwest Precision Emergency Medical Training.

Northwest Precision Emergency Medical Training is a mobile training service that can bring its training to local folks - from church groups to civic organizations to businesses to private groups. They also offer open enrollment classes, which can be accessed at

There are four instructors, two of them doctors, all with deep background in medicine and the outdoors.

"They're the best in the field at what they're doing," Trotter said. "We also have a medical director over the program."

Trotter said it is important to him that everything Northwest Precision Emergency Medical Training offers is science-based.

Trotter himself has deep background as a 21-year firefighter/paramedic. He spent five years in Norway, working in one of the most demanding ski patrol and mountain rescue environments in the world. He has been a field training officer for the Mayo Clinic. He launched Northwest Precision Emergency Medical Training in the Eugene-Springfield area, where he has provided medical support for veterans' Honor Flights to Washington, DC.

He and his wife and three children moved to Sisters about a year ago, when his wife took a position with St. Charles Family Clinic in Sisters. Being here is a fulfillment of a dream for Trotter.

"I never thought we'd be able to live in Sisters - and here we are!" he said.

From the very beginning of his career, Trotter has been drawn to imparting knowledge through training.

"As soon as I learned something, and I thought it would be useful to other people, I wanted to teach it to other people," he said. "I like to think of myself as a teacher more than anything. That's been my passion."

Classes range in length and intensity level. Child & Babysitter Safety offers basic fundamentals of safety practices and guidelines. It's a two-hour class.

The Comprehensive CPR, First Aid, and AED Training course is a half-day course designed to equip participants with the essential skills required to provide immediate assistance and support to individuals experiencing medical emergencies. It's geared toward anyone, from a concerned citizen, a healthcare professional, a teacher, a coach, or anyone who wants to be prepared to respond in critical situations. There is a more advanced option for health care providers.

The Wilderness First Aid course is a 16-hour/two-day course that levels deeply into response to emergencies that may occur when professional help is hours away.

In all cases, students gain skills - and the ability to recognize when a situation is dire. Trotter notes that outside-the-hospital cardiac survival rates can be correlated to the population of citizens trained in CPR.

"Knowing what to do can make the difference between a simple ER visit and planning a funeral," he said.

Classes are tailored to students requirements - the instructors are not just walking through a video presentation.

The website notes that, "We are also one of the few training centers that will come to you and not charge a destination fee."

"The mobile portion of that has been really key," Trotter said.

Trotter's mission with Northwest Precision Emergency Medical Training is to help each citizen to "learn to be a lifesaver."

For more information visit or Call/ Text: 541-735-5434; e-mail: [email protected].

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


Reader Comments(1)

NWPT writes:

I love to see new small businesses in Oregon. This one is a huge asset to all of us that live here in the Pacific Northwest. Tracy is not only highly skilled and a giant in his field, he has a huge heart to serve those in our community. He is coming to deliver services to our company in Eugene without charging a travel fee, which is an additional benefit to utilizing his expert services. Tracy is also delivering CPR and First Aid training to all volunteers at the non-profit organization I volunteer for, South Willamette Valley Honor Flight, pro bono! His trainings are outstanding.