Get to Know Erin Shannon-Starup, Foothills First Aid Committee Chair

Learn more about the branch leaders and activity committees that make our Foothills Branch thrive. This month, celebrate the Foothills First Aid Committee Chair, Erin Shannon-Starup.
Erin Shannon-Starup Erin Shannon-Starup
Foothills First Aid Chair
February 08, 2024
Get to Know Erin Shannon-Starup, Foothills First Aid Committee Chair

Erin has been a member of The Mountaineers since 2020. She is the Chair of the Foothills First Aid Committee, a Trail Run Leader, and a Co-Chair of the Everett Lookout and Trail Maintenance Committee. Erin received the Key Instructor, Key Leader, and Super Volunteer badges in 2023. When she’s not recreating in the wilderness, Erin spends long hours on her feet as a bedside nurse and working toward her BSN. Erin also enjoys sharing her knowledge of First Aid.

As the First Aid Chair, Erin's responsibilities include collaborating with Base Medical, a Mountaineers partner company, to organize Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training sessions. This involves setting up course dates and ensuring the committee stays informed about the latest standards and updates in wilderness first aid and first responder practices. Erin's role also emphasizes leadership in making sure these educational opportunities are accessible and affordable for all members and leaders across different branches and committees. Additionally, Erin is progressing through the necessary steps with Base Medical to qualify as an instructor, enabling her to directly teach the WFA and WFR courses.

Erin's interest in first aid sparked a few years ago when she took on the role of Trail Run Leader with the Foothills Trail Running Committee. Erin observed a challenge in graduating backcountry trail running students because they often lacked First Aid, Stewardship, and Navigation badges. Furthermore, there was a lack of standardization across various committees and branches regarding leaders' maintenance of current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification.

Erin firmly believes that if WFA certification is a graduation requirement for participants, then leaders should also maintain current WFA certification. This practice is not only about setting a good example but is also crucial for anyone engaging in backcountry wilderness activities, considering that wilderness medicine evolves over time. Given that WFA skills are not used daily, it is important to regularly refresh this knowledge by renewing certification every two years.

Erin takes great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and helping others acquire new skills, as well as contributing to the community. Erin is convinced that success in the role of First Aid Chair requires dedication to the committee, branch, and Mountaineers members, coupled with accountability, transparency, and a commitment to prioritizing safety and first aid. This approach ensures that Mountaineers can continue to adventure safely in the wild. 

If you're interested in getting involved with the Foothills First Aid Committee, please reach out to Erin at