Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
Wilderness First Aid is a short and intensive course for those working, playing, and traveling, in remote environments. The training prepares students to make decisions on whether injuries are serious or not, improvise equipment, provide life-saving treatments, and assist those with more training. This course is fun and hands-on with many topics covered over a short period of time.
Boreal River Rescue and Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA)
For our medical courses, we partner with WMA. WMA has set the standard in wilderness medicine and rescue training for over thirty 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.
Students must be 16 years of age to participate in this course. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent.
- Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification
- CPR A (CPR for adults, includes AED training) certification
- Included materials: Text book, SOAP note booklet, waterproof WMA pocket guide
- CPR, AED, and basic life support skills
- Major problems with critical body systems such as shock, respiratory problems, and brain injuries
- Assessing and splinting bone, muscle, and joint injuries
- Spine injury management
- Allergies and anaphylaxis
- Medical emergencies such as heart problems, asthma and diabetes
- Wound and burn management
- Environmental problems such as hypothermia, heat illnesses, lightning, and drowning
- And more…
Wilderness Medical Associates International is dedicated to the development of remote and practical medicine around the globe. We are medical rescue professionals, researchers, experienced educators, and advocates for healthcare in wilderness contexts. Our curriculum, overseen and continually revised by a committee of medical practitioners and academics, has been taught on all seven continents.
The core curriculum is designed to provide the skills and insight needed to improvise, adapt, and exercise reasonable judgment at any level of medical training. Although the company's roots are in the mountains, deserts, and oceans as the name implies, the training philosophy has proven effective in any setting where access to definitive care is delayed or impossible. The term wilderness context applies just as well to a city whose infrastructure has been destroyed as to a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska.
Wilderness Medical Associates International annually trains over 8,000 medically and non-medically trained students around the world. Our participants include colleges and universities, medical schools, camps, outdoor adventure companies, rural ambulance services, private industry, and government entities. Wilderness Medical Associates International will train the responders and practitioners needed for medical care in low resource settings, anywhere in the world.
Source: Wilderness Medical Associates International websiteClose
We will try to spend as much time as possible outside. Please bring appropriate clothing to be comfortable outdoors for prolonged periods.
- Comfortable footwear for indoors
- Comfortable clothing for indoors
- Warm clothing for outdoors. Multiple layers, top and bottom
- Waterproof rain/snow jacket and pants
- Warm socks
- Shoes or boots appropriate for weather and rough terrain
- A set of clothing that can be stained and cut during simulations (expect to throw these away)
- Watch (for taking vital signs)
- Sunglasses (optional)
- Water bottle or thermos
- Snack food (lots!)
- Something to sit or lie on outside such a foam camping mattress or 'crazy creak' chair
- Small backpack for carrying your belongings during the course
Q. What is the daily schedule like on a WMA course?
A. After registering, participants will receive a Student Information Package by e-mail with specific meeting times for their course. Typically class starts at 8:30am and goes to 5:30pm.
Q. What is a typical day like on the 2-day Wilderness First Aid course?
A. A typical day on a WFA course includes a mixture of indoor and outdoor time. We use a combination of demonstrations, practical drills, small group simulations, short lectures, discussions, and review exercises.
Q. Are there any prerequisites?
A. For all courses students must be 16 years of age to participate. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent.
There are no prerequisites for Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA), Wilderness First Aid (WFA), or Wilderness First Aid for Field Services (WFA-FS).
For Wilderness First Responder-Bridge (WFR-Bridge) courses students need valid Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certification. Please contact the office for approval. You will also need to complete a pre-course reading and assignment package that will be due on the morning of day 1 of the WFR-Bridge course.
For Wilderness First Responder Recertification (WFR Re-Cert) courses students need valid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification. Please contact the office for approval. You will also need to complete a pre-course reading and assignment package that will be due on the morning of day 1 of the WFR Re-Cert course.
Q. How are students assessed and evaluated for certification?
A. Practical assessment is ongoing. There will be a written test on the last day of the course on which students must receive a grade of 80% or higher.
Instructors will do everything they can to accommodate students with different learning styles and needs. Please let us know what we can do to help you succeed.
Q. Is attendance mandatory?
A. 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 for the sake and safety of the other students.
Q. How long is certification valid for?
A. Your certification is valid for three years from the date of issue.
Q. Is CPR certification included in the course?
A. Yes, students on all courses will receive CPR-A (adult) certification from WMA. Students on WFR, WFR-Bridge, and WFR-Recert courses receive CPR-C (adult, child, infant) certification from WMA.
Q. Can I take the WFR Bridge course or the WFR Recertification course if my current certification is through another provider and not WMA?
A. Yes. Please contact the office for approval.
Q. How do I register for a course?
Q. What is the cancellation policy?
A. For cancellations more than 60 days from course start: full refund minus $35 registration fee.
For cancellations less than 60 days but more than 2 weeks from course start: 50% refund.
For cancellations less than 2 weeks from course start date: no refund.
"The instructors were very well informed. Great presentation style. Relaxed and fun but very informative and professional."
- Connie Downs
Wildlife biologist, Environment Canada
Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, Ottawa, Ontario, 2011
"Excellent instruction, informative, clear presentation,great communicator, approachable (friendly), answered all questions clearly, knows his stuff, presentation of material is well paced, inclusion of whole class and good comfort level during class.
- John Sekerka
WFA course, Wakefield, QC - 2013