Certifications > Medical

Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) has been setting the standard in wilderness medicine and rescue training for over twenty-five years. We are experienced medical practitioners as well as paddlers, mountain guides, outdoor educators, and professional rescuers.

Wilderness Medicine differs significantly from standard Red Cross courses and other programs that are oriented toward the urban environment. This course teaches what to do with a medical emergency when help is miles away and calling 911 isn’t an option. We prepare students for emergency situations that involve prolonged patient care, severe environments and improvised equipment.

WMA Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification:

The Wilderness First Responder course is presented in 70 hours and offered in several formats. The five-day format includes approximately 25 hours of pre-course study and testing. WLI may modify any of these formats to include a day off, extending the total duration of the program. Typically, half of your day will be devoted to classroom lecture and discussion with half outdoors for practical skills training and scenarios. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. You should expect rescue scenarios with made-up victims and simulated wounds to prepare you for backcountry emergencies. Sessions may also be videotaped for enhanced learning.

All eligible students who successfully complete the course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates’ Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and Healthcare Provider level CPR certifications. The CPR course is based on the ILCOR/AHA guidelines as published in Circulation in November 2010. All WMA certifications remain valid for three years. At the discretion of your local or state EMS authorities, the WFR certification may qualify you to challenge the DOT First Responder Exam.

WFR Course Prerequisites

Students must be at least sixteen years old to participate. Those under 18 years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian. Students must be at least eighteen years old to participate in a five-day WFR course. No previous medical training is required.

WFR Course Content

WMA Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) Certification:

This course is presented in 36 hours over four days. Typically, mornings are devoted to lectures, discussions and quizzes, with afternoons devoted to practical hands-on sessions. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments.

All students who successfully complete the Wilderness Advanced First Aid course will receive WAFA certification, an Anaphylaxis certification and Adult CPR certification from Wilderness Medical Associates. These certifications remain valid for three years.

WAFA Course Prerequisites

Students must be at least sixteen years old to participate in this course. Those under eighteen years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian.

WAFA Course Schedule

Day 1
Introduction/Registration; General Concepts; Infection Control; Patient Assessment System; Circulatory & Respiratory Systems; Adult CPR; Basic Life Support

Day 2
Quiz/Case Studies; Nervous System, Spine Management; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Lifts, Moves, and Extrications; Splints – Extremities; Patient Assessment Drills

Day 3
Quiz/Case Studies; Thermoregulation; Bites and Stings; Lightning; Elective Topics; Wounds and Burns; Allergies and Anaphylaxis; Improvised Patient Carries; Patient Assessment Drills

Day 4
Case Study Review; Elective Topic; Backcountry Medicine; Medical and Legal Issues; Patient Assessment Drills; Simulations; Final Exam; Conclusion

WMA Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certification:

This course is presented in 16hours over two days. Although, there is some lecturing in this course, the WAF curriculum focuses on hand-on practical medical skills.

All students who successfully complete the Wilderness First Aid course will receive a WFA certification, an Anaphylaxis certification and Adult CPR certification from Wilderness Medical Associates. These certifications are valid for three years.

WFA Course Prerequisites

Students must be at least sixteen years old to participate in this course. Those under eighteen years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian.

WFA Course Schedule

Day 1
Registration, Introduction; Patient Assessment System; CPR; Circulatory System; Nervous System; Respiratory System; Fractures, Stable Injuries; Splints 1-Extremities; Electives

Day 2
Hypothermia; Hyperthermia and Heat Illness; Near Drowning; Lightning Injuries; Wounds and Burns; Anaphylaxis; Lifting, Moving Extrication; Patient Carries; Backcountry Medicine

WMA Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) Certification:

The Wilderness EMT Upgrade course is presented in 45 hours over 5 days. Mornings are devoted to lectures, discussions and quizzes with afternoons devoted to outdoor practical skills and scenarios. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Expect rescue scenarios with made-up victims and simulated wounds to prepare you for backcountry emergencies. Sessions may also be videotaped for enhanced learning.

All EMTs who successfully complete the WEMT Upgrade course will receive WEMT and Anaphylaxis certification cards from Wilderness Medical Associates. Other medical personnel who successfully complete the course will receive a wilderness EMT Audit card. Certification and Audits remains valid for three years. Many state and regional EMS offices have approved the WEMT Upgrade course for continuing education credit. Students are responsible for obtaining prior approval and filing all appropriate paperwork with his or her local EMS office. This course is approved by CECBEMS for 45 Advanced Level CEHs. Please contact Wilderness Medical Associates for support materials.

WENT Upgrade Course Prerequisites

The prerequisite for certification at the Wilderness EMT level is a current EMT certification (basic, intermediate or paramedic). PAs, RNs, and MDs may also participate in the course for a Wilderness EMT Audit card. Others with medical backgrounds (e.g. military medics, EMTs with expired licenses, and foreign pre-hospital personnel) will be admitted to the course on a case by case basis. Students must be at least sixteen years old to participate in this course. Those under eighteen years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian.

WENT Upgrade Course Schedule

Day 1
Logistics and Introduction; General Concepts; Patient Assessment System; Critical Body Systems Review; PAS/SOAP Practice; Spine Injury Assessment; Medical/Legal Issues

Day 2
Test I/Review; Anaphylaxis and Asthma; ALS/BLS Appropriate Technology; Lifting, Moving, Extrication; Litter Packaging and Carries; Scenarios I

Day 3
Test II/Review; Pain Management; Soft Tissue Injury; Wound Cleaning and Exploration; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Extremity Splinting, Dislocations; Scenarios II

Day 4
Test III/Review; Environmental Medicine; Scenarios III; Search and Rescue; SAR Exercise

Day 5
SAR Exercise Debrief; Expedition Medicine; Scenarios IV; Medical Kits and Medications; Test IV and Course Debrief