CPR Seattle Wilderness First Aid Instructors
Meet our Wilderness First Aid instructional team!
Matty P: Director of Wilderness First Aid & Wilderness First Responder programs at CPR Seattle
Much of Matty’s life has been spent either in the mountains or in the classroom. He plays and learns on the glaciers and ridges of the mountains of the northwest as well as the classrooms of Seattle. On most weekdays you’ll find Matty in the lab teaching physics, but during the weekends and in the summer, Matty is an avid alpinist and mountaineering instructor with nearly two decades of leading technical climbs in high alpine environments. Whether high altitude trekking in Nepal and Patagonia or climbing local iconic peaks like Mount Rainier to lesser-known gems like Mount Triumph and Forbidden Peak in the North Cascades, Matty appreciates a good adventure. As a WEMT and EMT-B and with 6 seasons of ski patrol and an additional 9 years of mountain rescue work with King County SAR under his belt, Matty has put a myriad of wilderness medicine skills to good use in the field. A passion of his is using those experiences and sharing that which he’s learned by teaching Wilderness First Aid for CPR Seattle. Balancing precious time between family, the climbing community, and search & rescue can be challenging, however Matty embraces it all with enthusiasm and gratitude, and still finds time to both learn and share with others.
Matt K: Lead Wilderness First Aid Instructor
Matt found his passion for the outdoors in the expansive midwest where he started ice climbing on frozen grain silos because that is what qualified as mountains back there. The only thing Matt enjoys as much as getting outdoors is teaching people how to safely enjoy the outdoors! He has worked for many organizations over the years who share in this mission including Outward Bound, The Student Conservation Association, The Boy Scouts, and more. In between outdoor education pursuits Matt continued to hone his medical skills getting his Wilderness First Responder and EMT-B. He put those skills to work running on an ambulance and volunteering for various fire departments during the off seasons. While these work opportunities took him to all corners of the country Matt moved to the Pacific Northwest just under a decade ago and fell in love with the mix of mountains and water to continue his cross county skiing, mountaineering, sea kayaking and canoeing hobbies! He now manages an Outdoor Education Program for Explorer West Middle school and also manages the City of Seattle's own High Ropes Course through Parks and Rec. Having taught Wilderness First Aid for over 10 years now Matt enjoys providing an engaging and fun class where he can share the knowledge he has learned over the years doing the things he loves!
Sara D: Lead Wilderness First Aid Instructor
Sara has rock climbed in Kenya, mountain biked in Uganda, scuba dived in Malawi, skied in India, trekked in Nepal, backpacked in Albania…but she loves the high alpine environment of the Pacific Northwest most of all. Sara started climbing and skiing in her backyard more than a decade ago and initially signed up for a wilderness first aid course to gain the skills to stay safer in the backcountry. She found that class so captivating that she got certified as a wilderness first aid instructor herself, quit her office job to spend a year climbing throughout the western U.S. and Canada, and went off to nursing school to take her medical skills even further. Now Sara works full time as a critical care nurse and spends her off days combining her climbing and medical skills while volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue. She also volunteers teaching mountaineering skills and leading teams on technical climbs throughout the Cascades. As a wilderness and remote first aid instructor of 10+ years, Sara aims for a fun, empowering class environment and cautions prospective wilderness first aid students that, like her, they might have so much fun they have to start an entirely new career!
Leah S: Wilderness First Aid Instructor
From an early age, Leah loved the outdoors. Then in college, while leading trips for an adventure club she realized that she could actually have a career in the outdoor industry. After a few years facilitating kayaking, backpacking and hiking trips it seemed like a natural progression to pursue pre-hospital medicine. She became a Wilderness EMT and practiced as an EMT in a remote North Carolina community. When she moved to Alaska to guide expeditions, she became a firefighter and a member of the local search and rescue team. In 2013 she won the National Park Service Search and Rescue award for the role she played in carrying a cardiac patient for 7 miles over the Chilkoot trail then volunteering to ride with the patient in the ambulance to White Horse.
Leah brings her 18 years of experience as a wilderness guide to her Wilderness First Aid classes at CPR Seattle. If you happen to take a class from her, she loves to talk about ecology and botany with anyone interested. Outside of work she loves dive travel and will most likely be found underwater.
Tiffany C: Wilderness First Aid Instructor
Tiffany didn't discover her love of the outdoors until she was an adult, but now it's her favorite place to be. She went on her first hike after college, and after working for 3.5 years as a software engineer, she realized she wanted to make the outdoors a bigger part of her life. Tiffany left her position in the tech industry and spent 5 months completing a southbound thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, a transformative experience that solidified her desire to work in the outdoor world. Upon returning, she joined the YMCA's Teen Outdoor Leadership Development program, taking groups of teenagers on backpacking trips in the backcountry. While working with the Y, she realized how much she loved empowering others to get outside. Since then, her goal has been to make the outdoors accessible and safe as possible for as many people as possible. These days, Tiffany spends her days helping hikers be safe and savvy outside by maintaining the online Hiking Guide and creating hiker resources and content at Washington Trails Association. She got her Remote EMT certification to stay safe during her outdoor adventures, and started instructing WFA courses to help others feel safe in the outdoors as well. She hopes that anyone who takes her course leaves feeling more confident when recreating outside!
Sean M: Lead Wilderness First Aid Instructor & Wilderness First Responder Instructor
Don C: Lead Wilderness First Aid Instructor
Cheri H: Wilderness First Aid Instructor