Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

This is a nationally recognized program that trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings. The 80-hour curriculum includes standards for urban and extended care situations. Special topics include but are not limited to: wound management and infection, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long term management problems, up-to-date information on all environmental emergencies, plus advice on drug therapies. Emphasis is placed on prevention and decision-making, not the memorization of lists. This course is designed specifically to provide you with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. Half of your time will be spent completing practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge your decision making abilities. Adult CPR is included in this course.

The WFR course is designed to provide you with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. Classroom lectures and demonstrations are combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will challenge you to integrate your learning.

Learning takes place both in the classroom and in outdoor settings regardless of weather conditions. Come prepared for wet, muddy, cold or hot environments.

Course Length: 
9 Days
Prerequisites: 

None

Primary Classification: 
Certifications Received: 
  • WMI Wilderness First Responder certification
  • WMI Adult & Child CPR certification

*Currently certified EMT's may receive WEMT Certification instead of WFR.

Certifications are current for two years.

 

Continuing Education: 

The 80-hour Wilderness First Responder course is the industry standard.

Topics include:

  • Patient Assessment System
  • Documentation
  • Medical Legal
  • CPR
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Long-term Patient Care
  • Chest Injuries
  • Shock
  • Head Injuries
  • Wilderness Wound Management
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Fracture Management and Traction Splinting
  • Dislocations
  • Cold Injuries
  • Heat Illness
  • Altitude Illness
  • Cardiac, Respiratory and Neurological Emergencies
  • Abdominal Emergencies
  • Mental Health Emergencies
  • Bites, Stings and Poisoning
  • Allergies and Anaphylaxis
  • Diabetes
  • Search and Rescue
  • Leadership, Teamwork and Communication
  • Communicable Disease
  • Lightning
  • Submersion
  • Urinary and Reproductive System Issues
  • Medical Decision-Making
  • Common Wilderness Medical Problems
  • Wilderness Drug and First Aid Kits

We will try to be outdoors as much as possible, regardless of the weather. Please dress appropriately for the weather, and to be comfortable both in and outdoors at any time during your course.

*If you are recertifying your current or in grace period WFR, please bring a copy of your card to the course for your instructor to verify. OR, send it with your registration form when you sign up for the course. We cannot give a new card until we have a copy on file. Thank you!

*Required: (These items should be packed and ready to go for mock rescues throughout class times, and at any moment.)

  • Day pack or similar size pack, lined and waterproof, filled with:
  • A watch, preferably with a sweeping second hand, but digital is adequate.
  • 2 water bottles
  • Backcountry clothing – appropriate to season and climate, (think layers and staying dry)
  • 1 set of clothing (shirt and pants) that can be completely destroyed with stage makeup and shears.
  • 1 warm hat/toboggan (weather dependent)
  • Gloves (weather dependent)
  • Rain gear, including rain pants
  • Synthetic tops and bottoms – long underwear
  • Hiking boots / hiking socks
  • Synthetic jacket/top (Polartec or comparable, wool OK)
  • Head lamp/flashlight
  • Notebook/writing utensils
  • Camp chair, ensolite pad, thermarest, or similar
  • Bandanas, p-cord, ties, straps, or anything else that can be used for attachment (the more the better)

In additon: If you participate in gear intensive activities (paddling, climbing, etc.) feel free to bring your gear / what you would normally have with you. The more you practice with what you would actually have on hand, the better your patient care in an actual emergency.

Optional: (Consider acquiring these items over time.)

  • Bivy kit - Stuff sack containing:
  • Warm hat, additional
  • 2 garbage bags
  • Whistle
  • Plumber’s candles / candle lantern
  • Lighters/waterproof matches
  • Metal water cup
  • 60’ p-cord/nylon cordage
  • 10’x10’ plastic sheeting
  • Compass
  • Extra wool socks

The WFR course is rapidly becoming the industry standard certification for guides and trip leaders. It is a 9-10 day intensive program, with greater than 80 hours of contact time in a learning setting. Teaching methods include an emphasis on didactic lectures and hands-on, experiential workshops and scenarios. There will be two evening sessions - one on the 3rd day of the course, and one on the 7th day (subject to rescheduling based on local weather and other logistics). The night mock rescue is one of the highlights of the course, pulling it all together in a backcountry setting, and illustrating what it truly takes to evacuate an injured or ill person. Your rescue gear needs to be packed and ready to go at any moment throughout the course. Please refer to and follow the WFR Rescue Gear Checklist closely, and contact us with any questions you may have.

WMI provides its own CPR certification within this course. It incorporates the American Heart Association’s 2010 curriculum guidelines with wilderness protocols to deliver a set of skills that is pertinent to our use in a wilderness setting. If you require, for your job description, an AHA training certificate we can discuss this with you prior to the course.

Bad things happen outdoors and usually in bad weather! So, be prepared for the weather...dress in layers that you can be removed indoors or in the sun, and layer up when we go outside. Full rain protection is a necessity, both rain tops and pants. Your comfort and ability to pay attention during this intense course will be helped if you stay well-hydrated and have snacks on hand to munch during class. The course ends with a written exam and a scenario-based practical exam. You must score 70% or better on the written exam and pass the practical exam to be eligible for certification. It is your responsibility to pass the exams on your own, and to let us know throughout the course when you are finding challenges and needing additional help. It is our job as educators to help you know where you are succeeding and where we see you are needing additional help, so that you can focus your energies and be successful at course end.

The course ends near 5PM on the last day with the exams, student evaluations of the experience, and graduation. Please do not make travel plans that require an earlier departure or you will have to make alternative testing arrangements at a later course.

Additional Resources:

If you would like to read ahead, you can visit the NOLS bookstore on-line at www.nols.edu/wmi

You will find some great resources there, particularly Todd Schimelpfenig’s NOLS - Wilderness Medicine. Other resources will be provided during your course.

Offerings

Flat Rock, North Carolina

Sat, 2017-03-25 to Sun, 2017-04-02

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Cullowhee, North Carolina

Sat, 2017-04-22 to Sun, 2017-04-30

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Collegedale, Tennessee

Mon, 2017-05-08 to Wed, 2017-05-17

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Cullowhee, North Carolina

Wed, 2017-05-10 to Thu, 2017-05-18

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Portland, Maine

Sat, 2017-05-13 to Sun, 2017-05-21

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Boone, North Carolina

Sun, 2017-05-14 to Mon, 2017-05-22

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Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Sun, 2017-05-21 to Mon, 2017-05-29

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Harrisonburg, Virginia

Wed, 2017-05-24 to Thu, 2017-06-01

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Marshall, Virginia

Sat, 2017-06-03 to Sun, 2017-06-11

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Cullowhee, North Carolina

Fri, 2017-06-30 to Sat, 2017-07-08

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Nashville, Tennessee

Sat, 2017-08-05 to Sun, 2017-08-13

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Dahlonega, Georgia

Sat, 2017-08-05 to Sun, 2017-08-13

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Brevard, North Carolina

Sat, 2017-08-26 to Sun, 2017-09-03

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Cullowhee, North Carolina

Sat, 2017-09-02 to Sun, 2017-09-10

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Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mon, 2017-12-11 to Tue, 2017-12-19

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Apopka, Florida

Thu, 2018-01-04 to Fri, 2018-01-12

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Brevard, North Carolina

Sat, 2018-01-13 to Sun, 2018-01-21

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