Flight Paramedic

WMAE Instructor Erik Forsythe

Erik began teaching wilderness medicine and EMT training programs in 1994 and has been an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates® since 2000. Erik’s three decades of experience in EMS includes working as a Critical Care Flight Paramedic, as well as in mountain rescue, ski patrol, ambulance, and fire agencies, and he has held the positions of Ski Patrol Director, EMS Chief, and Training Supervisor. He owns and operates Professional Rescue Training, specializing in instruction in technical rope rescue, EMS, and wilderness medicine. Erik is also a Search & Rescue specialist for Black Canyon National Park, has provided medical support for treks in Nepal, and is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder.

Erik lives in the small but mighty ski town of Crested Butte in the Colorado Rockies where he enjoys rock and ice climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and mountaineering.


Wilderness EMT

WMAE Instructor Arne Van Brabant

He joined Wilderness Medical Associates® as an instructor in 2019. He works as an EMT for the Port of Antwerp and the greater Antwerp region ambulance services. Arne is also currently studying nursing with a specialization in prehospital emergency care. His experience in non- urban rescue and first aid stems from his years as an on/offshore wind turbine safety instructor, where his specialty was creating emergency drills with a focus on self-reliance in first aid and technical rescue.

Arne lives in Ghent, and as an outdoor person, he has always been attracted to the mountains. Over the last years, canyoning has become his passion in addition to hiking, climbing, and camping.


Advanced Level Paramedic

WMAE Instructor Ville Melkko

Ville has taught wilderness medicine since joining Wilderness Medical Associates® in 2017. Ville works for Lapland hospital district as an Advanced Level Paramedic for ambulance and has worked for search & rescue helicopter services throughout Finnish Lapland. He completed Finnish Emergency Services College in 2011, then gained experience as a firefighter-paramedic before deploying to a 2014 UN peace keeping operation, where he served a full year as part of a Finnish medical platoon. Ville graduated from Lapland University of Applied Sciences as a Registered Nurse in 2019 and an Advanced Level Paramedic in 2020.

Ville lives in the Arctic capital of Rovaniemi where he enjoys skiing in its many forms – alpine, nordic, and backcountry—as well as mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking. He has worked as a ski instructor throughout Finland and has backpacked in Australia and South-East Asia.



WMAE Instructor Johan Hovelynck

Johan has been an instructor with Wilderness Medical Associates® since 2015. He combines work as a team trainer with specializations in outdoor training and Crew Resource Management. His passion for experiential learning and the outdoors brought him to Outward Bound early in his career. He was a group leader for several European, American, and African Outward Bound Schools and acted as a Safety Review Leader for Outward Bound International. Johan is a safety auditor for the Belgian Federations for Nature Sport Enterprises (BFNO) and Adventure Tourism (WANT). He is also an instructor in the state certificate training for caving and canyoneering guides (VTS).

Johan took his first Wilderness Medical Associates® course when working in North Carolina in 1989 and was part of introducing WMA's curricula in Europe in the following years. Keeping his focus on accident prevention during programs, he gained first-aid experience as an EMT. Johan was a member of the Belgian cave rescue and rock rescue systems. Johan is the co-owner of Exponent, specializing in ropes rescue training.