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Wilderness First Responder


80 hours


16+ yrs


$775 to $1,700

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Our 9-10 day Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is for you if you work or recreate in an outdoor setting or in other austere environments where access to medical care is delayed or communication is unreliable.

Delve into the essential principles of wilderness medicine, learning how to perform a comprehensive physical examination, gather critical patient history, and evaluate vital signs – crucial elements of proficient wilderness medical care. You'll acquire the prowess to administer emergency treatments, manage musculoskeletal injuries, and navigate the intricacies of medical evacuations.

Whether you're a seasoned wilderness enthusiast, a dedicated outdoor educator, or an aspiring wilderness guide, this WFR course is designed to empower you with the experience and practical skills required to stay calm and responsive in disaster relief and medical emergency scenarios.

NOLS' Wilderness First Responder courses are the industry standard for professional wilderness guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, outdoor enthusiasts, and international travelers.

WFR Curriculum

Our 10-day WFR curriculum is meticulously crafted to foster an in-depth understanding of medical intervention in outdoor scenarios. Spanning a duration of 9 to 10 consecutive days, this Wilderness First Responder course offers you a dynamic blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical skills development. You will receive in-depth wilderness-based experiential education that goes beyond conventional medical training, targeting those moments when immediate medical care is hampered by distance or unreliable communication. 

We also offer a hybrid format Wilderness First Responder course, which combines an online portion with in-person training sessions. This WFR course includes 30-40 hours of engaging online work, allowing you to progress at your own pace, followed by 5 days of in-person instruction that combine hands-on learning and real-life scenarios outside. This hybrid format ensures accessibility for individuals from various walks of life, from outdoor enthusiasts looking to enhance their skill set to dedicated professionals and outdoor educators seeking WFR certification.

The outdoor portions of our courses take place regardless of weather, so come prepared for wet, muddy, cold, or hot environments!

Upon successful completion of our 10-day and hybrid WFR courses, you'll not only earn a prestigious WFR certification but also garner the confidence to tackle medical emergencies, make critical evacuation decisions, and offer reassurance and guidance when it's needed most.

You'll be primed to tackle medical emergencies in remote environments, rendering vital assistance when high-speed internet and immediate medical assistance are distant luxuries.

Embark on this transformative journey, where medical knowledge, outdoor practicality, and leadership development converge. Prepare to be challenged and inspired, gaining the tools to be a confident and competent wilderness first responder.

Join us and become a part of a community dedicated to the well-being of individuals venturing into the great outdoors.

Course Policies

Please review our policies including cancellation policies, attendance requirements, minimum age requirements, and more. 

Also see our Hybrid Wilderness First Responder course.

Additional Details

Continuing Education (Learn More)
This course is pre-approved for 70 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).

This course has been approved for Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) credits through the Wilderness Medical Society. Actual credits awarded depend on personal credit needs and history. 

Academic Credit (Learn more)
This course is approved for 3 college credits through the University of Utah and 3 college credits through Western Colorado University.

Course Approval
This course is recognized by the American Camp Association to meet specific ACA standards requiring certifications. The course meets the Boy Scouts of America Wilderness First Aid training requirements. Additionally, the Wilderness First Aid course (WILDMI-554), and when included the CPR/AED course (WILDMI-134), are approved by the United States Coast Guard to meet the first aid and CPR training requirements of 46 CFR 11.201(i)(1)(ii) and 46 CFR 11.201(i)(2)(iiI) for a merchant mariner credential.

Topics Covered

  • Patient Assessment System
  • Documentation
  • Medical Legal
  • CPR
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Long-term Patient Care
  • Chest Injuries
  • Shock
  • Head Injuries
  • Wilderness Wound Management
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Fracture Management and Traction Splinting
  • Dislocations
  • Cold Injuries
  • Heat Illness
  • Altitude Illness
  • Cardiac, Respiratory and Neurological Emergencies
  • Abdominal Emergencies
  • Mental Health Emergencies
  • Bites, Stings and Poisoning
  • Allergies and Anaphylaxis
  • Diabetes
  • Search and Rescue
  • Leadership, Teamwork, and Communication
  • Communicable Disease
  • Lightning
  • Submersion
  • Urinary and Reproductive System Issues
  • Medical Decision Making
  • Common Wilderness Medical Problems
  • Wilderness Drug and First Aid Kits

Financial Aid & Scholarships

NOLS supports a variety of outside financial aid options:

  • AmeriCorps
  • 529 College Savings Plans
  • Veteran's Benefits (In Wyoming only)

If you are fluent in American Sign Language or Signed Exact English, you may be eligible to receive a full scholarship to your wilderness medicine course. 

Keep Your Certification Current

Your Wilderness First Responder certification will be current for two years. Recertify your course with a WFR Recert or Hybrid WFR Recert course, or look into our WAFA and WFA courses for other recertification options.

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