Wilderness First Responder (WFR) & Bridge/Recert

  • Year-round course, typically held 4 times a year

About the course

The Wilderness First Responder (WFR) program is the definitive medical training for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. 

The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.

This page describes three different courses, so we encourage you to read this page thoroughly before making a booking so that you sign up for the correct course. 

This course is brought to you by Wilderness Medical Associates and hosted by Flexpeditions

Course Note

The ‘full’ course is considered Wilderness First Responder (WFR) (80hr). This course requires no previous first aid experience. Many students prefer to take the Wilderness Advanced First Aid (40hr) and then at a later stage take the Wilderness First Responder Bridging Course (40hr). These two courses taken together are the equivalent to taking the Wilderness First Responder (80hr) course in one go. 

Course Costs:

WFR: $995 plus 5% GST & booking fees

WFR Bridge/Recert: $595 plus 5% GST & booking fees

Upcoming Courses:

Wilderness First Responder:
21-29 September 2020
Off-Day: 25 Sept

Wilderness First Responder (Recert/Bridge):
26-29 September 2020

Please call Amy on +1 (866) 929-3539 or e-mail [email protected] for enquiries and further information.

  • No previous first aid experience necessary for WFR
  • Pre-reading only required for Recert/Bridge
  • Certification is valid for 3 years
  • Based in Revelstoke, BC

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) 

Course Content

The Wilderness First Responder curriculum is written in-house by a team of remote medical rescue researchers and professionals. Ongoing evidence based research and review contributes to a unique and innovative approach to patient care in backcountry and austere settings. The curriculum is comprehensive, complete, and kept current on an annual basis. This is the most current and cutting edge course of any first response medical training (urban or remote) in the world.

  • The General Principles of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine with an emphasis on the prevention and identification of medical emergencies, appropriate technology, and risk management.

  • Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR, basic Life support, and the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and asthma.

  • Environmental Medicine including altitude illness, hypothermia and heat illness, frostbite and cold injury, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.

  • Backcountry Medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.

  • Musculoskeletal Problems including unstable and stable injuries overuse syndromes, and dislocations.

  • Wound management including open fractures, lacerations, burns and blisters.

  • Practical skills including splinting, bandaging, litter packaging and medical kit preparation.

  • WMA International Wilderness Protocols including wound cleaning and exploration, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, CPR in the remote setting, and anaphylaxis and asthma. 

Course Topics

Patient Assessment System; CPR; Circulatory System; Nervous System; Respiratory System; Fractures, Stable Injuries; Splints 1-Extremities; Hypothermia; Hyperthermia and Heat Illness; Near Drowning; Lightning Injuries; Wounds and Burns; Anaphylaxis; Lifting, Moving Extrication; Patient Carries; Backcountry Medicine

Key Information

Cost: $995 plus 5% GST & online booking fees

Duration: 9 days with 1 day break typically on the 5th day. 80 hours in total.

Pre-requisites: Aged 16+. Parental consent is required if you are under 18 years old. A good level of fitness.

Previous experience: None required

Certification validation: 3 years

Certification

Upon successful completion, students will receive a Wilderness First Responder certification and certification of CPR taught to an equivalent health care provider level. Certifications are valid for three years. The course is registered for 70 hours of continuing education credit through the CAPCE.

For more detailed information, please visit the Wildmed website. 

More information

Please call Amy on +1 (866) 929-3539 or e-mail [email protected] for enquiries and further information.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Bridge/Recert (4 days)

Course Summary

The WAFA to WFR Bridge course upgrades the Wilderness Advanced First Aid to a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) in 4 days. This course must be taken within 3 years of receiving the WMA International WAFA certification or an equivalent from another provider. 

This course may be used as a recertification for those holding a current WFR certification or equivalent from another provider whose original WFR training was at least 64 hours in length. Current WMA International Wilderness EMS Upgrade students may also use this course to recertify the wilderness portion of their certification. 

**If you are using this course to recertify a WMA WEMS Upgrade certification it is your responsibility to let the sponsor know when registering, and to inform the instructor on the first day of class.**

Course Content

Typically, 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 be videotaped for enhanced learning.

Day 1: Registration/Introduction; Review Pre-course Study Packet; Patient Assessment System; Circulatory/Respiratory Systems; PAS Drills; Basic Life Support (Healthcare Provider-level CPR)

Day 2: Quiz/Case Studies Review; Nervous System; Spine Management; Musculoskeletal; PAS Drill; Dislocations; Patient Immobilization; Litter Carries and Belays; PAS Drills

Day 3: Quiz/Case Studies Review; Emergency Childbirth; Allergy & Anaphylaxis; Altitude or Diving; Frostbite; Near Drowning; Search and Rescue; Traction Splints; Improvised Litters; Simulation and Debrief

Day 4: Case Study Review; Backcountry Medicine; Toxins; Medical Kits; PAS Drills; Written Test; Skills Testing; Conclusion

Certification

All eligible students who successfully complete the WAFA to WFR Bridge course will receive WMA International’s Wilderness First Responder certification including anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-Level CPR or equivalent. This certification can be used to challenge the DOT First Responder Exam, which is at the discretion of the local or state EMS authorities. The course is registered for 36 hours of continuing education credit through the CAPCE

For more detailed information, please visit the Wildmed website. 

Key Information

Cost: $595 plus 5% GST & online booking fees

Duration: 4 days. 40 hours in total.

Pre-requisites: Pre-reading (see below). Aged 16+. Parental consent is required if you are under 18 years old. A good level of fitness.

Previous experience: Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) 40-hr

Certification validation: 3 years

How to Access Pre-Course Materials (Recert/Bridge only)

Please click here for instructions on how to access your compulsory pre-course materials. Pre-studying is ONLY required for the WFR Recert/Bridge. 

More information

Please call Amy on +1 (866) 929-3539 or e-mail [email protected] for enquiries and further information.

*NEW* Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Recert (3 days)

Course Summary

The Open Recertification course is open to graduates of any wilderness-based first aid training course that was at least 64 hours long and completed within 3 years of the proposed recertification option. 

Successful graduates of this course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates’ Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certifications. WMA WEMS graduates with a current EMS license may also recertify the wilderness portion of their WEMS certification with this course. 

**If you are using this course to recertify a WMA WEMS certification it is your responsibility to let the sponsor know when registering, and to inform the instructor on the first day of class.**

Course Content

This course is presented in 24 hours over three days. There is a strong emphasis on pre-studying n this course.

Typically, 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 be videotaped for enhanced learning.

Day 1: 8 hours – Introduction/Registration; Review Study Packet, Patient Assessment System, Basic Life Support (including BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR), Circulatory System, Respiratory System, Nervous System, Lifts, Moves and Extrications, PAS Drills

Day 2: 8 hours – Musculoskeletal, Dislocations, Spine Management, Wounds and Burns, PAS Drills, Splints I – Extremities, Splints II – Spines, Simulation

Day 3: 8 hours – Allergies and Anaphylaxis, Environmental Injuries, PAS Drills, Simulation, Final Testing, Conclusion

Certification

All eligible students who complete this course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates’ International Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification. 

For more detailed information, please visit the Wildmed website. 

Key Information

Cost: $595 plus 5% GST & online booking fees

Duration: 3 days. 24 hours in total.

Pre-requisites: Pre-reading (see below). Aged 16+. Parental consent is required if you are under 18 years old. A good level of fitness.

Previous experience: Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Certification validation: 3 years

More information

Please call Amy on +1 (866) 929-3539 or e-mail [email protected] for enquiries and further information.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is $995 plus 5% GST & online booking fees.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Bridge/Recert is $595.00 + 5% GST & online booking fee.

Day 1

Introduction/Registration; Systems Based Critical Thinking; 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

Each day the course will run from 8:30am – 5:30pm. Amy Flexman and the Flexpeditions team will be your course sponsor/host, helping with the logistics of the course, bringing snacks and helping with admin, payments, logistics of the course questions. 

You will receive all books on the first day of the class. Bridge/ Recert students –the WARM textbook to complete your pre-course assignments is now online. See instructions above for how to access this. 

  • Please bring a water bottle and lunch each day
  • Notepad and pen
  • A watch with a second hand for taking vitals (recommended)
  • Please leave your brand new Gore-tex jackets at home! Wear comfortable clothing that you can get dirty and move around in.
  • The class is a little indoors and a lot outdoors, so prepare for the elements, which around Revelstoke can be sun, snow, rain, smoke, cloud, wet, dry, windy, cold, warm and everything else in between! In winter, bring warm gloves and a hat. In summer, sun block, hat, sunglasses etc. 
  • Optional: bring something to sit on whilst doing outside simulations to keep you warm and dry, such as a sleeping mat. 
  • Optional: if you have any items you would like to contribute to use in the simulations and scenarios, like old clothes, extra layers, blankets, thermarests, foam pads, extra padding, ropes, etc please put your name on it and label it and bring it along!

Please bring a water bottle and lunch each day as only a few snacks, coffee and tea will be provided at the site.

There is a meal plan available through Glacier House Resort, they can provide breakfast/lunch/dinner onsite, so please call to arrange with them if you’d like this, but you must sign up ahead of time.

Accommodation is not provided, but please check out the SeeRevelstoke.com website for recommendations on where to stay. 

There are plenty of options from camping, hostels, to high end hotels. The course itself is held at Glacier House Resort. 

You can expect full, interesting, and intense days. The course is taught through interactive discussions, case studies, presentations, and real life, hands on drills to prepare you for the stress of emergencies you may face in the field.

Plan on arriving at the course well rested and prepared to focus completely on the material. The WAFA, WFR & WFR Recert/Bridge are levels of medical certification that carry substantial responsibility.

To fully prepare you, we use realistic simulations requiring patient examination and treatment employing simulated wounds and blood. While we recognize that this can be uncomfortable for some people, it is important to developing the confidence and competence that you would expect of a medical professional.

This course is challenge by choice, it’s YOUR course, so do what is comfortable for you. Please don’t push yourself too hard in simulations and please let the group or at least the instructors know if there is some pre-existing condition, situation, etc. that might not allow you to fully participate in the hands on portion so they can give alternative evaluation opportunities.

Please ensure that you have completed our online waiver before the course begins. Click here to complete the waiver

Wilderness Medical Associates will bring their own waivers to the course that will need to be filled out on the first day. 

Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian. No previous first aid experience is necessary.

All teaching materials will be at no additional cost. Students will receive the following books on this course:

  • Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A Practical Guide for the Basic and Advanced Practitioner
  • The Field Guide of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
  • Wilderness Medicine Workbook;
  • Wilderness First Responder Class Notes
  • SOAP Notebook

WFR: This course is held over 9 days, with a 1 day break in the middle. Each include a minimum of 80 hours of preparation, didactic, and practical time. 

Upon successful completion, students will receive a Wilderness First Responder certification and certification of CPR taught to an equivalent health care provider level. Certifications are valid for three years. The course is registered for 80 hours of continuing education credit through the CAPCE.

Re-certification

If you are using this course to re-certify a WMA or WEMT it is your responsibility to let the sponsor know when registering, and to inform the instructor on the first day of class. Click here for more information about recertification options.

Successful completion with certification is based on 100% attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments and written quizzes, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills, and a successful grade on a final written exam.

Wilderness Medical Associates International is committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs. 

Please click here for the Course Participation Standards.

Please press ‘Book Now’ to enter our online booking system. If it’s easier for you, only pay a deposit of $200 (+taxes and fees) now and pay the rest later. Full payment will is due 30 days before the course start. Contact us

Please click here for our cancellation policy.

Please visit the WildMed webpage for full information. For general questions, please call Amy on +1 (866) 929-3539 or e-mail [email protected].

Extra Information

Have you completed your waiver?

Before a course each participant must complete a release of liability waiver. Save time on the first day and complete it online.

Taxes & Online Booking Fees

At checkout, a 5% Goods and Sales Tax (GST) will be applied.

We use an online booking system and credit card processing system that charges up to 8%. Book direct to avoid these charges.

Booking & Cancellation Policies

A $200 (plus 5% GST & booking fees) non-refundable registration fee is required for our courses.

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