Wilderness First Responder — WFR
The definitive wilderness course in medical training, leadership, and critical thinking for outdoor, low-resource, and remote professionals and leaders
The Wilderness First Responder program is the ideal medical training for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.
Prior to enrolling in a course, please review our Functional Position Description. The criteria set forth in this document allows students to self-assess their ability to meet the demands of both a Viristar wilderness medicine course as well as the demands of a certified wilderness medical provider in the field.
Curriculum and certification for Viristar's Wilderness First Responder course is provided by Wilderness Medical Associates International. Viristar is proud to be a Licensed Training Company of WMAI.
The Wilderness First Responder curriculum is written by a team of remote medical rescue researchers and professionals. Ongoing evidence based research and review contributes to a unique and innovative approach to patient care in backcountry and austere settings. The curriculum is comprehensive, complete, and kept current on an annual basis. This is the most current and cutting edge course of any first response medical training (urban or remote) in the world.
General Principles of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine with an emphasis on the prevention and identification of medical emergencies, appropriate technology, and risk management.
Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR, basic life support (BLS), and the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and asthma.
Environmental Medicine including altitude illness, hypothermia and heat illness, frostbite and cold injury, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
Backcountry Medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
Musculoskeletal Problems including unstable and stable injuries overuse syndromes, and dislocations.
Wound management including open fractures, lacerations, burns and blisters.
Practical skills including splinting, bandaging, litter packaging and medical kit preparation.
WMA International Wilderness Protocols including wound cleaning and exploration, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, CPR in the remote setting, and anaphylaxis and asthma.
Get a Wilderness First Responder (8-day) course schedule here.
As part of Viristar’s commitment to your medical rescue training, our instructors and management will consult your group’s needs and teach according to your group’s backgrounds, environments, and experience. Simulations and hands-on activities will be realistic and relevant. Relevant adult education is incorporated directly into our curriculum to maximize learning of medical theory into practical skills.
Recertification can be earned at any time during the three years following your course. Recertification options include the 36-hour WAFA-to-WFR Bridge Course or the 24-hour Open Recertification Course.
Contact us more information about recertification options.
All teaching materials will be at no additional cost. Participants will receive the following books on this course:
Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A Practical Guide for the Basic and Advanced Practitioner
The Field Guide of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
Wilderness Medicine Workbook
Wilderness First Responder Class Notes
We ask our sponsors and course hosts to provide basic outdoor equipment and any specific gear relevant to their personnel when in remote and austere environments. Viristar will supply a specific equipment list to cover simulation and classroom needs.
Successful completion with certification is based on 100 percent attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments and written quizzes, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills and a successful grade on a final written exam. Viristar is committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs.
This course has several formats including the traditional eight day, offerings over 7 and 5 days, and a hybrid option which features both online and in-person sections. Each include a minimum of 70 hours (80 hours in Canada) of preparation, didactic, and practical time. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Wilderness First Responder certification and certification of CPR taught to an equivalent health care provider level. Certifications are valid for three years. The course is registered for 70 hours of continuing education credit through the Commission on Accreditation for Prehospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).
Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age require the written consent of a parent or guardian.