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 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.
What 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.
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36–40 hours of instruction
Actual course may be longer, incorporating hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
WFR is typically taught over 4 or 5 consecutive days (please see below).
Courses taught over 4 consecutive days are typically 8am–6:30pm daily (with a 45 min. lunch).
Courses taught over 5 consecutive days are typically 8am–5pm daily (with a 60 min. lunch).
$349 – $499
Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, meals, accommodations, etc.
Wilderness Advacned First Aid (valid 2 years)
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.
The 36 to 40-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid course incorporates many in-depth topics, including (but not limited to):
|✓||Allergies + Anaphylaxis||✓||Life-Threatening Conditions|
|✓||Altitude Illnesses||✓||Lightning Safety|
|✓||Anatomy + Physiology||✓||North American Snakebites|
|✓||Backcountry + Sudden Illnesses||✓||Orthopedic Injuries + Dislocations|
|✓||Bites + Stings||✓||Patient Assessment System|
|✓||Body Substance Isolation||✓||Patient Care Documentation|
|✓||Burns + Blisters||✓||Risk Management|
|✓||Chest Injuries||✓||Scene Leadership + Control|
|✓||Cold Related Injuries||✓||Shock + ASR|
|✓||Common OTC Medications||✓||Soft Tissue Injuries|
|✓||CPR in Remote Settings||✓||Submersion Emergencies|
|✓||Epinephrine Auto-Injectors||✓||Suspected Spinal Injuries|
|✓||Evacuation Considerations||✓||Tick Safety|
|✓||Hands-On Practical Simulations||✓||Traumatic Brain Injuries|
|✓||Heat Related Illnesses||✓||Venomous Spider Bites|
|✓||Improvisation / MacGyvering||✓||Vital Signs|
|✓||Introduction to Wilderness Medicine||✓||Wilderness First Aid Kits|
Valid for two years, our Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification is nationally-recognized by the American Camp Association, Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America), U.S. Coast Guard, JCC and many other organizations across the United States and Canada. The certificate earned by taking this course is accepted by Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier, Florida Sea Base, Bechtel Summit, and all other Scouting programs.
- This course meets the American Camp Association 2021 Standards and the 2021 Scouts BSA Wilderness First Aid requirements for BSA High Adventure programs (such as Philmont, etc.)
- This course is approved by the United States Coast Guard to satisfy the first aid and CPR training requirements [46 CFR 11.205(e)(1)(i) &46 CFR 11.205(e)(2)(iv)] for a merchant mariner license.
Currently, your Wilderness First Aid certification can only be renewed by either taking another Wilderness Advanced First Aid course -OR- any standard Wilderness First Aid course, taught by CWS. Because wilderness medicine is constantly changing as science and medical research make greater and greater strides, there is no "refresher" course for Wilderness Advanced First Aid.
Center for Wilderness Safety's Wilderness Advanced First Aid course curriculum changes every several years, as new and improved techniques and science move forward to offer better ways of providing patient care.