Wilderness Advanced First Aid - WAFA

 
This 36-40 hour class is offers a more thorough discussion of a larger variety of topics and more hands-on practice for students than a typical wilderness first aid class. Normally taught over three full days, this course follows the recommended curriculum set forth by the Wilderness Medical Society, and has additional topics added to it which CWS feels are important, such as group leadership and communication.

Why Take Wilderness Advanced First Aid?

Wilderness First Aid students during a scenario

Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) combines lecture with skills practice and role-playing to teach the response to various medical and trauma situations in locations 60 minutes more from definitive care. Time is the critical element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. Students will learn to prioritize care, treat injuries, and create an evacuation plan.

When help could be an hour or even days away, separated from you by long hikes, long rivers, or miles of asphalt, the task of managing the injured and the ill will require the skills you will learn in this course. Conditions may be harsh, and the equipment needed for treatment and evacuation may have to be improvised. All these things are part of the world of WAFA.

Time is the essential element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. When calling 911 is not an immediate option, or when help could be an hour or even days away, the task of managing the injured and the ill will challenge you beyond basic first-aid knowledge, and require the skills you will learn in this course.

The equipment needed for treatment and evacuation may have to be improvised from what’s available, and communication with the “outside world” may be limited—or even nonexistent. Remote locations and harsh environments may require creative treatments. All of this comes into play being a Wilderness Advanced First Aider.

Wilderness First Aid students discussing a lesson outdoorsWhat To Expect

This course is an intensive course which offers a lot of hands-on practice through scenarios, case studies and simulations. Students will constantly be both indoors and outdoors for simulations and practice, regardless of the weather, barring severe inclement weather. Come to class prepared for the weather, as we spend a lot of time outdoors training.

Course Length:

36-40 hours of instruction.

Actual course length may vary due to hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.


 

Course Format:

WAFA is typically taught over 4 or 5 consecutive days (please see below).

Courses taught over 4 consecutive days are typically 8am–7pm daily.
Courses taught over 5 consecutive days are typically 8am–5pm daily.


 

Course Tuition:

$349 – $499

Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, meals, lodging options, etc.


 

Certification:

Wilderness Advanced First Aid (valid 2 years)


 

Prerequisites:

CWS requires all Wilderness Advanced First Aid participants to:

  •     • Be at least 16 years of age.*

  •     • Current Adult + Pediatric CPR/AED certification is *NOT* required, however is strongly recommended.

  •     • Complete the two required forms (waiver & medical forms) prior to class.**


* The minimum age requirement to take Wilderness Advanced First Aid is 16 by the last day of the course, however younger participants may be allowed to take the course on a case-by-case basis.
** All Prerequisites MUST be completed at least 48 Hours prior to your course start date (if a course starts on Saturday, they are due the Thursday before at Midnight). Failure to do so will result in not being permitted to attend the course with no refunds. NOTE: Access to these forms is granted once enrollment is complete.


 

Audience:

This intermediate wilderness medicine course is recommended for both front- and backcountry guides, canoe and rafting guides, private expedition groups, college/university outdoor education programs, hiking club trip leaders, wilderness therapeutic programs, EMTs and adventure race safety personnel. This course is strongly recommended for anybody in a position of leadership who may find themselves in a backcountry, remote, or austere environment, where help may be delayed for hours or even days.