Our Courses

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From our introductory Wilderness First Aid class, to our Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT Upgrade certification courses, Center for Wilderness Safety has trained some of the most elite providers in all corners of the world; from military special operators and Search And Rescue professionals, to mountain guides and outdoor enthusiasts.

Our wilderness medical course curricula are evidence-based and are approved by our medical advisory board, the Wilderness Medical Society, and meet or exceed applicable national standards and guidelines as well. We focus on realistic, hands-on education taught by experienced instructors.

Wilderness Medicine Courses
Wilderness First Aid is by far our most popular course, creating a solid foundation in the basics of backcountry & wilderness medical care. Originally taught as ‘mountain & woods first aid’ in 1975, this was the first course of its kind in the United States, upon which all backcountry medicine courses are now based.

Our Wilderness First Aid Afloat curriculum includes nearly all the same topics as the regular Wilderness First Aid, while adding topics of special interest to boaters such as marine bites and stings, sea sickness, and other injuries common in marine environments. Practice scenarios will be tailored to be more relevant to paddlers, sailors, and anyone who spends time on or near the water; whether boating, standup paddle-boarding, kayaking or even whitewater rafting.

This 36-hour class is offers a more thorough and larger variety of topics plus far more hands-on practice for students than a typical WFA class. Taught over three full days, this intensive course offers additional topics which CWS feels are important, such as group leadership, communication, and more.

This intensive 72-80 hour course is specifically designed for professionals such as outdoor educators, guides, SAR and others who are in a position of leadership in an outdoor setting as well as for those who simply want a higher level of emergency medical training for extended backcountry trips and expeditions.

This 5-day intensive course is designed for those holding current EMT certification (state or NR) and is very fast paced. Building upon the advanced knowledge of patient care of the EMT, this course includes wilderness protocols and procedures that are significantly different from those taught in urban settings.

CPR/AED + First Aid Courses

This hands-on adult CPR skills training course could help you save the life of a family member, a friend, or a stranger by preparing you to correctly and confidently respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies in adults and children over the age of one. Training on how to properly use an AED is also included in this course.

Designed for childcare providers, teachers, parents and others who supervise children, this course will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies in infants and children up to 12 years of age.

This course teaches participants how to provide care for injuries at home, work, school, or around the neighborhood; until advanced medical personnel arrive on scene and take over. The course also strives to give participants the knowledge and confidence needed to overcome any reluctance had to act in an emergency.

This course teaches participants how to recognize and provide care for common injuries and illnesses, as well as cardiac and breathing emergencies. The course also strives to give participants the knowledge and confidence needed to overcome any reluctance had to act in an emergency.

This short introductory course will teach you how to identify the signs of a severe allergic reaction, as well as an asthma attack, then correctly administer an Epipen or asthma inhaler while waiting for advanced medical workers to arrive. Also, learn how to properly report the event of an asthma attack and your care to emergency services personnel.

Specialty + Scouting Courses

The American College of Surgeons’ bleeding control program, also known as Stop the Bleed, is a FREE training course designed to teach the public the fundamentals of how to recognize and intervene upon severe bleeding. The use of tourniquets and a focus on sudden emergencies (including active shooters) is included in this 90-minute hands-on training class.

We are excited to be offering the First Aid merit badge, an Eagle-required merit badge! Throughout the year, we anticipate offering several of these courses in the Northern Virginia area; all, being taught by Eagle Scouts who are registered merit badge counselors with the National Capital Area Council, BSA.

Bear attacks are rare. But they do occur, not only in the wilderness and remote places but also in well-populated campgrounds and even in areas close to suburbs and cities. Carry bear spray and know how to use it! Participating in a bear spray training workshop can help prepare you by learning how to properly use bear spray.

Are you ready to face a disaster? Have you ever wondered what you would do when the big one hit? What disasters do you face where you live, and what actions do you take when they happen? In this disaster preparedness course, you will gain valuable insight and knowledge of what YOU can do to not only prepare yourself but also all your family members to survive and be ready for a natural disaster (or even something like a pandemic).
Expedition Medic

Expedition Medic (XMED)

This practical, hands-on course is lead by experts who are seasoned expedition professionals and medics. Includes essential medical topics related to expeditionary planning, medical kits, trauma and environmental medicine, and more. Additional fields of study include tropical medicine, cruise/expeditionary ship settings, remote and austere field settings and more.

CWS is often tasked with designing custom wilderness & remote medical course that meet an organization’s specific needs. Our staff are able to facilitate experiences that include (but are not limited to) hour long lectures, half day skills-based sessions, themed topic sessions or multi-day training courses.  We will work with your group to identify your training needs and create the best possible custom experience for you and your group or organization.