This two and a half day Wilderness First Aid Afloat course teaches participants the assessment of, and treatment given to an ill or injured person in a remote and often times, cold, wet environment. In this type of setting, access to definitive care such as a hospital or clinic, as well as emergency transport may delayed for hours or even days. Course participants will learn how to assess, treat, and when possible, prevent medical and traumatic emergencies within the scope of their training – pertaining most specifically to water-related emergencies.
Why Take Wilderness First Aid Afloat?
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.
Long hikes, extended lengths of rivers, large expanses of ocean, and miles of asphalt may separate the patient from a medical facility. You may have to endure heat or cold, rain, wind, or darkness.
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 first aider.
A U.S. Coast Guard Approved Course
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.
25 hours of instruction
Actual course times my vary, and incorporate hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
WFA is typically taught over two and a half consecutive days (typically Friday evening + Sat/Sun).
Typically taught over a FULL weekend; Friday 6–10pm, Saturday 8am–7pm, Sunday 8am–7pm.
$235 – $285
Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, etc.
Wilderness First Aid Afloat (valid 2 years)
A digital certificate is available upon successful completion of course.
This course is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
This introductory wilderness medicine course is recommended for anyone who spends time on the water; whether it be boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, or even snorkeling! It is strongly recommended for anyone who spends any amount of time in the great outdoors, including "weekend warriors" Scouting and youth program leaders, teachers leading school trips, backcountry guides, canoe & rafting trip guides, private expedition groups, college/university outdoor education programs, hiking club trip leaders, wilderness therapeutic programs, and adventure race safety personnel.
The 25-hour Wilderness First Aid Afloat course includes many advanced topics that other programs leave out such as reduction of dislocations and epinephrine administration. A sample list of topics covered in this course include (but are not limited to):
|✓||Airway Emergencies||✓||Life-Threatening Conditions|
|✓||Allergies + Anaphylaxis||✓||Lightning Safety|
|✓||Anatomy + Physiology||✓||North American Snakebites|
|✓||Backcountry + Sudden Illnesses||✓||Orthopedic Injuries + Dislocations|
|✓||Bites + Stings||✓||Patient Assessment System|
|✓||Body Substnce 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 First Aid Afloat 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 Afloat certification can only be renewed by taking another Wilderness First Aid Afloat course. Because wilderness medicine is constantly changing as science and medical research make greater and greater strides, there is no "refresher" course for Wilderness First Aid.
Center for Wilderness Safety's Wilderness First Aid Afloat course curriculum changes every several years, as new and improved techniques and science move forward to offer better ways of providing patient care.
If your group or organization is interested in sponsoring a Wilderness First Aid course at your location, simply click the link above. Please note that we are scheduling courses out in advance (late Spring into early Summer) due to COVID-19 precautions.