Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Manage medical issues in extreme environments

The Wilderness First Responder course will prepare you to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and remote environments.
  • For

    Professional guides, outdoor educators, search and rescue, anybody travelling in remote areas; beginner to advanced

  • Duration

    80 hours over 8 days

  • Cost


  • Prerequisites

    16+ years, no experience needed

Upcoming dates

April 6, 2024 – April 14, 2024 (Whitehorse)

May 25, 2024 – June 2, 2024 (Whitehorse)

October 19, 2024 – October 27, 2024 (Whitehorse)

November 30, 2024 – December 8, 2024 (Whitehorse)

  • Become competent providing advanced medical treatments and prolonged care in wilderness settings
  • Gain skills and knowledge to manage environmental problems and evacuations
  • Practice team-rescues, leadership and decision making
  • Learn through hands-on training sessions, as well as classroom lecture and discussion
  • Prepare for backcountry emergencies through realistic scenarios with stage blood and simulated wounds
  • Grow your confidence on one of the best courses you’ll ever experience—delivered by professional, dynamic, and fun instructors.
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification
  • CPR C certification (CPR for adults, children, and infants. Includes AED training)
  • Included materials: Textbook, SOAP note booklet, waterproof WMA field guide, case studies workbook, notebook (with WMA lecture notes)
  • Your certification is valid for 3 years from the date of issue.
  • General concepts of wilderness medicine and the Patient Assessment System
  • CPR (adult, child, and infant), AED, and basic life support skills
  • Anatomy and major problems of the respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems
  • Musculoskeletal injury assessment and splinting
  • Spine injury assessment and management
  • Allergies and anaphylaxis
  • Medical emergencies such as stroke and diabetes
  • Severe asthma wilderness protocol
  • Wound and burn management
  • Wilderness protocol for reducing shoulder dislocations
  • Environmental problems such as hypothermia, heat illnesses, lightning, and drowning
  • Backcountry medicine and toxins, bites, and stings
  • Litters, improvised litters and patient carries
  • Evacuations, decision making, and leadership
  • Medical legal issues
  • And more
There are no course prerequisites for Wilderness First Responder (WFR). 8-day format: You must be 16 years to participate in this course. 16 and 17 year olds need parental consent.
Practical assessment is ongoing. There is a written test on the last day of the course;  you must receive a grade of 80% or higher. Instructors will do everything they can to accommodate students with different learning styles and needs. Let us know what we can do to help you succeed.
After registering, participants will receive a Student Information Package by email with specific meeting times for their course. On the 8-day WFR, classes are from 8:00am – 6:00pm. On the 5-day WFR, classes are from 8:00am to 6:00pm, with the 3rd day going until 8:00pm. Attendance for 100% of class time is mandatory. If you cannot make a session you must get permission from the instructor in advance. Students who miss a section of the course without pre-approval may be asked to leave the course.
Please bring appropriate clothing and equipment to be comfortable outside for the entire day. If your course is in late fall, winter, or early spring this means:
  • lots of thick, warm layers
  • extra toques, mitts, socks, and footwear
  • and lots of snack food
If you eat well, layer-up, and have extra dry items to change into, you’ll stay functional, get the most out of your training, and have the best chance of achieving certification.

Equipment & Supplies

  • A large backpack so you can carry extra food, water, clothing, and equipment for yourself
  • Day pack for storing your clothing and belongings during class
  • Drybag or waterproof stuff sack to keep your textbooks and learning materials in throughout the course (to leave in the outdoor ‘classroom’ area)
  • A set of clothing that can be stained and cut during simulations (expect to throw these away)
  • Face masks (non-surgical) which covers your nose, mouth, and chin
  • Eye protection: this must be commercial eye protection with side guards. Prescription glasses alone are not safety eyewear. The eyewear must have side shields. Full face shields are also acceptable.
  • Hand sanitizer with 80% alcohol
  • Notebook and pens
  • Waterproof digital watch (for taking vital signs). This is mandatory, you can’t use a smart phone.
  • Water bottle(s) or hydration pack Snack foods (lots!)
  • Lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Something to sit and lie on outside such as an insulate pad
  • Personal medications
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Optional: Sunglasses
  • Optional: Coffee or tea thermos
  • Optional: Waterproof paper and pen
  • Optional: Skis, snowshoes (for winter courses), bicycle, or hiking gear (for spring, summer, fall)


  • Synthetic or wool base layers top and bottom Synthetic or wool insulation layers Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Warm socks (pack extras)
  • Shoes or boots appropriate for weather and rough terrain – an extra pair in case one get’s wet is a good idea.
  • 2 x Toque (warm hat), scarf or neck warmer (winter courses), or sun hat
  • 2 or 3 x Liner gloves / mitts and *over mittens (winter courses)
*Note: in cold conditions, roominess in your boots and mitts makes all the difference for warmth. If they’re too tight fitting—your feet and hands will be cold.

Visit our Privacy & Cancellation Policy page to learn more.

Register here

In order to book a WFR course, please subscribe to the WAFA course and activate the related WFR-Bridge course in the cart. You'll then be eligible for a $50 price reduction for the WFR-Bridge course.

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Partnered with Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA)

For our medical courses, we partner with Wilderness Medical Associates. WMA has set the standard in wilderness medicine and rescue training for over 30 years. The cutting-edge curriculum is constantly updated by a group of healthcare professionals, has been taught on all 7 continents, and is recognized around the world.