The Hybrid Wilderness First Responder Recertification course is designed for those that hold a current WFR certification from a reputable organization. Those with a WEMS certification may use this course to recertify. This course is geared towards brushing off the cobwebs and refining skills. Students will review essential skills, wilderness protocols, and will discuss relevant updates in wilderness medicine. The course focuses heavily on hands-on learning through patient assessment drills and guided discussion.

This course requires 24+ hours. It is offered in both hybrid and traditional formats. Select the options below for more details.

Our hybrid courses offer an opportunity for those that have less flexible work schedules and anyone that wishes to, to engage with part of the curriculum over four to six weeks at their own pace.

  • E-Learning Section (12+ Hours)
    • Learners complete 12+ hours of required online coursework at their own pace in an asynchronous format. Learners may spend additional time (up to 30+ hours) completing optional recommended activities should they choose to. Course work is due 3 days prior to the In-Person Learning section. Students have the option to attend virtual office hours by appointment.
  • In-Person Section (~16+ Hours; 2 Days)
    • Learners participate in two days of in-person training.
    • Expect to spend ~ 9+ hours in the classroom each day. No required homework is given.

These courses are for learners that prefer being in a physical classroom with an instructor the entire time. Required engagement with the online learning management system (LMS) is limited to reviewing course expectations and logistics and completing information and release forms. Instructors may use the LMS to facilitate homework assignments and as a tool to disseminate resources.

  • In-Person (~24+ Hours)
    • Learners participate in 3 days of training.
    • Expect to spend ~8+ hours in the classroom each day. Homework is assigned as needed.
    • Students are expected to arrive ready to engage at a WFR level. Review prior to the course is essential. The final written exam will be administered first thing day one.
  • E-Learning
    • Mandatory Pre-Coursework (~ 45 Minutes): All learners will need to register on Wilderness Medical Associates International’s Learning Management System to complete pre-course paperwork (i.e. course expectations, waiver forms).
    • Optional/Highly Recommended Pre-Course Preparation (up to 30+ Hours): Registering in the LMS gives students access to optional online e-learning activities to review material. 

Not sure what option is best for you? Review the Hybrid vs Traditional Format page.

Certifications Offered:
To earn certification, students must meet the criteria set forth in WMAI’s Functional Position Description as well as the minimum WFR performance and testing standards by the last day of course.

  • “Wilderness First Responder/BLS for Healthcare Providers CPR” valid for 3 years (Wilderness Medical Associates)
  • 24 Hours of CAPCE CEU credit available for EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics
  • California Courses:
    • California State Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training Certificate valid for 2 years (Wilderness Medical Associates; eligible for state certification)

Included Materials:

  • Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A Practical Guide for the Basic and Advanced Practitioner
  • The Field Guide of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
  • SOAP Notebook
  • Handouts

The following topics are what a WFR is expected to know. We cannot possibly cover the entire curriculum in a 24 hour course. However, students have the opportunity to review the entire curriculum if they utilize the e-learning tools. Expand the categories below to view specific concepts and skills.

  • Build a solid foundation for distinguishing between serious problems and those that are not.
  • Develop a solid understanding of situations that can be managed without help and when it is necessary to call for assistance.
  • Prevention of the most common backcountry emergencies.

  • Risk-management and decision-making in the backcountry at a critical thinking level including the management of:
    • Others that have less medical training.
    • Situations that involve more than one patient.
  • Working effectively with other responders and rescue agencies.
  • How to communicate clearly in an emergency to get the help you need.

  • WMA International’s conceptual approach to assessing a patient is one of the best in the industry.
  • Learner’s will come away with clear and simple steps for assessing a patient.
  • Assessing a patient at a first responder level, which includes skills such as pulse oximetry, blood pressure, and lung sounds.
  • How to communicate with patients in a manner that makes them feel comfortable, respected, and listened to.
  • Patient assessment and care reporting.

  • Airway management at a first responder level. Includes skills such as the use of airway adjuncts and oxygen delivery devices.
  • Adult and pediatric CPR at a healthcare provider level.
  • How to use an AED.
  • How to stop a life-threatening bleed.
  • How to treat an opioid overdose.

  • An in depth evaluation of various medical problems and how to manage them in remote settings.
  • Recognizing and managing a behavioral health crisis.

  • Identify a concussion.
  • Distinguish between low-risk and high-risk traumatic brain injuries.
  • Distinguish between stable and unstable injuries.
  • Supporting stable injuries.
  • Splinting low-risk and high-risk unstable injuries.

  • How the body maintains its temperature.
  • Identify and treat heat challenge problems.
  • Identify and treat cold challenge problems.
  • Identify and treat altitude related problems.
  • Treatment and prevention of bites, stings, and toxins from animals and plants.
  • Drowning and lightning prevention.

The majority of tools students will come away with can be used anywhere. Wilderness protocols are ones that apply in a delayed care context only.

  • Identify, clean, and care for wounds.
  • How to perform a tourniquet conversion.
  • How to administer epinephrine to someone suffering from anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) or a severe asthma attack using an auto-injector and a syringe where medication is withdrawn from a vial or ampule.
  • Identify simple dislocations and reduce them.
  • Assess for and identify specific spine injuries.
  • Make decisions to not start or stop CPR outside the scope of what is allowed in an urban setting.

  • Rolling patients in a manner that protects the spine.
  • Moving patients out of harms way.
  • Use of extrication tools such as litters, rescue sleds, vacuum mattresses, and backboards.
  • Creation of improvised extrication tools.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be able to meet minimum requirements outlined in the WMA International Functional Position Description.
  • WMA International Graduates
    • Must have a current WFR or WEMS certification. There is no grace period.
  • Non-WMA International graduates are eligible if they meet the following criteria:
    • Earned a valid WFR from an in-person wilderness-based course of 64 hours or more.
    • Have a current certification or are within your one-year grace period as determined by the certification provider.
    • Earned a WFR from a hybrid program with a minimum of 40 hours of in-person instruction and 24 hours of pre-course work.
    • Most recent WFR recertification course included 16 hours of in-person instruction.
  • Note for WEMT or WEMS certification holders:
    Additional mandatory pre-coursework will be assigned.

Hybrid Wilderness First Responder Recertification

October 12, 2024 - October 13, 2024

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