Wilderness First Responder

Preparing for an expedition to Everest. Photo: Bill Kane

The Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is the standard for outdoor leaders, guides, outdoor educators, those who plan to be far off the beaten path, for longer periods of time.  The WFR offers a comprehensive understanding of how to handle injury/illness in remote settings while focusing on the types of problems that are most common (and less common). 

Students are taught how to assess people to find what is wrong, how bad it is, and what to do about it…in wild places, far from help, with improvised gear.  Learn how to treat serious airway/respiratory problems, resuscitation, bleeding and shock, long-term wound care/blisters and infection prevention, sprains,, fractures, dislocations, bites & stings, injuries of heat and cold, altitude, organizing a back-country rescue, litter building, and much more. 

The course is taught under the recommended curriculum guidelines of the Wilderness Medical Society following the new National EMS Education Standards.  An integral part of the course presentation is the preparation of the student to be an outdoor leader, with a foundation in understanding why people get hurt/sick in the wild and how to prevent it.  The 75+ hour course uses a blend of lecture, interactive group sessions, skill labs, scenarios, and mock rescues.   The course finishes with both practical and written exams, allowing the student to earn their Wilderness First Responder Certification.  Typically 8 days and two evenings.