Elliot Grissom, EMT-P
Certifications + Training
National Registry Paramedic
Advanced Tactical Paramedic
Advanced Wilderness Life Support
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals
Certified Yoga Instructor
Special Operations Combat Medic Course
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course
Elliot’s background in wilderness medicine derives mostly from rock climbing and his time in the Army as a special operations medic. From a young age he was obsessed with the outdoors. First it was canoeing rivers in the Ozark Mountains, bow hunting public lands, and fishing at every opportunity. When he started rock climbing in high school, it soon became the priority. Rock climbing took him on a journey that eventually landed him as a sponsored athlete in Boulder, Colorado. He would get up early and run into alpine areas with a full pack to get on his project as the sun was rising. He eventually lost sight of appreciating the beauty of the mountains being overly focused on achievement. He found himself burnt out and not sure of his purpose, so he decided to join the Army Special Forces.
Five years in the military was just the education he needed. Eventually ending up at 3rd Special Forces Group as a medic, Elliot pushed himself further than he knew possible. He learned how to navigate dense wilderness areas in the dark with a heavy pack. He learned how to manage multiple trauma patients over extended evacuation times. He dealt with managing extremes of temperature. On his deployment to Northern Africa, he managed a child with a neurotoxic scorpion sting, treated a man with head to toe burns, and did his own microscopic testing for Malaria. After the deployment, he was placed on a team to develop a new Prolonged Field Care course. He found himself writing curriculum and teaching Special Operations teams from across the world how to best manage a patient for 24-72 hours. He was fortunate enough to be surrounded by individuals with much more knowledge and experience than himself and learned from them constantly.
Since exiting the military, Elliot has continued to teach prolonged field care with Ragged Edge Solutions, as well as teaching tactical medicine to firefighter/paramedics. This summer he spent 7 weeks working with D-Dey Response Group teaching Tac Med 101 to the entire Palm Beach County Fire Department. In addition to teaching medicine, Elliot is a certified yoga teacher and recently took a single pitch instructor course to begin his journey to become a certified climbing guide. In recent years, he has fallen back in love with climbing. He has remembered what brought him to climbing in the first place, the simple act of climbing a rock and existing in nature. He has a renewed appreciation for the wilderness. To be immersed in nature, away from the bustle of modern life, is a sacred act. Some of his favorite memories are from backpacking alone into remote areas, spending days fly fishing a river with no need to talk. When in the backcountry, your senses come alive and your worries dissipate. It is this act of connecting to the Earth that Elliot wants to bring to others.
He is passionate about wilderness medicine, because he believes it is the link between the safety of urban homes and the therapy of the wild. He wants to teach others the skills that he has acquired so that they too can enjoy the backcountry without great risk of death. In teaching, he likes to focus first on the why. To know when to perform a skill, you must first understand the conditions under which it is needed. When the essential information has been covered for why it’s important, he believes in a crawl, walk, run method. First talk through the steps, demo the steps, then have the students perform the task themselves. Elliot has a laid-back approach to teaching. If students are engaged and in a good mood, they are more likely to learn and retain the information. Laughter is an integral part of his life, as well as his teaching style. Accidents in the backcountry are serious; learning about them does not have to be so serious.
With Backcountry Pulse, Elliot believes that he has found the perfect means to bring this education to others. First off, the company’s focus on experiential learning is key to him. He believes wilderness medicine is a practical skill. It is about working with what you are presented, critically thinking, and improvising to provide the best care possible. It is not something that can be taught with only theories and power points. Second, he loves the company’s philanthropic component. Elliot believes everyone in the world deserves a chance at learning first response medicine. The people across the world working in remote regions performing dangerous and necessary jobs have a right to know the simple skills necessary to treat injuries and minimize preventable death. The team being formed here is what gets him most excited. The combined experience on this team is huge. From initial injury to patient rehab, the team has seen it all. Working in regions covering most of the world, from the backs of airplanes to operating rooms, the hours of patient contact must be staggering. He is excited about the fact that the team was formed first to create the curriculum together and that they are moving forward as a unit because that approach is going to set this training apart from its predecessors.