Wilderness First Responder Courses???

I am interested in taking a Wilderness First Responder course but am not sure where to start looking.

I have done some google searches and lots of stuff comes up all over the country.

Can anyone tell me what the organization is that sanctions these certifications? I figure that would be the best starting point to find a course in my area.



look up solo in nh
they’ll probably have all the info your looking for on their website.


Good place to start::

I’ve been planning to take this course for YEARS but haven’t quite gotten around to it.

Try this…

– Last Updated: Aug-27-07 11:29 AM EST –

Wilderness Medical Associates

Thats where I received my training/certification as a Wilderness First Responder.


Red Cross

– Last Updated: Aug-28-07 6:35 PM EST –

In Alaska the Red Cross offers a wilderness first aid course that I've found to be useful. I'm sure other chapters have the same course available given sufficient interest. Perhaps you can get a local paddle club to sponsor the course.

Wilderness Medical Associates

– Last Updated: Aug-28-07 9:16 PM EST –

I took a WMA course about 13 years ago and the quality of instruction, degree of immersion and reality of simulations was so good that I still recall an alarming amount of the info with extreme clarity. Granted, instructors have a great deal of impact on the quality of the course but the didactic material was, at the time, top notch and well written and I felt like it gave our instructors freedom to do more because they weren't struggling to make up for poor texts.

At the time I went, I was a licensed paramedic, enrolled in pre-med classes in school, working part time in a busy metropolitan ER and had just gotten out of the Navy after 6 years of service as a field Corpsman with the Marines. It was a great and different challenge to think in terms of how to fix/repair the crashes/bangs/scrapes/amputations/beheadings of outdoor adventures without the benefit of a simple radio call for a scoop and run at the curb.

It tested your ability to be resourceful and decisive in the face of some very different contexts and scenarios. I think it is more pertinent now given that many of us live in the cellular age with overnight Fedex and immediate gratification notions. When faced with the failure of technology, what do you do next to stay alive or keep those around you from becoming a statistic?

I would suggest securing the reading material beforehand and reading it through once just to be familiar with it. I enjoyed the course and while I can't speak for other organizations, the WMA experience I had was exceptional and, I hope, still is.

My instructors were Nancy Doherty and Dennis Kerrigan and both had lots of paddling scenarios (as both have lots of paddling experience!) If you finished one scenario in an inordinately short amt of time, they could improv a more complicated scenario and run you through the ringer again to see how prepared you were. More importantly, if you struggled with the scenarios and simulations, they would slow you down, delve back into the subject and continue to teach as we went, often times side by side in some of the simulations. I think this helped many of my classmates and I know I appreciated it on more than one occassion.


– Last Updated: Aug-29-07 7:00 AM EST –

As far as I know, there are no national standards for WFR or WEMT courses, and most states don't recognize WFR or WEMT as a licensing category.
In many(most?) cases the class includes all of the material in the national-standard DOT curriculum for FR or EMT, plus the wilderness-specific material. In that case the class and instructors would be registered with the state EMS bureau, and completion would qualify you to test for state licensure and national registry as a First Responder or EMT. The "Wilderness" skills might be of interest to your future employer, but the state just cares that you pass the standard tests.
If you're doing it just for your own knowledge you can take any course that looks good to you.

Get your course through WMA, WMI or Solo. reason being, 1 there the best, and 2 the recognize each others certifications, so when you go to re-certify you can do it with any of the three regardless of where you took your first course.

If you find some other organization don’t write them of completely, many of the wilderness schools use Solo, WMA, or WMI to teach there course.

It might help if you mention your geographic location. Because WFA classes require at least a weekend and an outdoor location, it can be difficult to get the minimum number of participants needed to cover instructor & facility expenses & someone out there might be looking for you. The WMA, WMI & SOLO recommendations are all good. Many of their classes are set up and publicized by organizations such as camps and university outdoor clubs, so you should check with such groups in your area. In addition to WMI, WMA & SOLO, some Red Cross chapters are offering WFA. The RC course has been around awhile but it has been hard to find a class. Now that Philmont Scout Reservation requires one person in every “crew” to be certified in WFA, there is more demand for Red Cross classes because they are the least expensive. Don’t expect WFA to be offered by every Red Cross chapter or often- Red Cross relies heavily on volunteers and good ones (volunteers, that is) aren’t easy to find.

Make sure any class you sign up for involves extensive outdoor practice.