First Aid > Wilderness First Aid Training

Wilderness First Aid Trainingwilderness first aid on snow mountain

The purpose of the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is to train and certify people to cope with wilderness hazards and emergencies. WFA is intended for those people who do wilderness recreation.


Course Prerequisite: CPR
Course Length: 24 Hours
Medical Approval: No
Delivery Mode: Lecture 18.0 hours, Practicum 6.0 hours
Prepared by: Robert Paradiso, SETA QA / CQI coordinator


The course appeals to individuals, who hike, camp, travel, bike, or spend a frequent amount of time outdoors. At the completion of the WFA course participants will be able to recognize wilderness emergencies and provide basic emergency care. WFA combines lectures, slides, and hands on skills practice to help students take charge of their own learning. Students will not be required to have a full understanding of the emergency they encounter rather an understanding of how to care for the injury. WFA course topics are divided into five main sections.


  • Environmental hazards

  • Wilderness wound and burn care

  • Biological hazards

  • Bone and joint injuries

  • Medical problems


An important part of dealing with an emergency in the wilderness is being able to understand the patient assessment system. At the completion of the course, students will have a general idea of the importance of getting a good patient assessment. Participants will also be required to use their patient assessment skills in mock wilderness scenarios.


In review, WFA is designed for those folks who want to learn more about medical or traumatic emergencies they may encounter in the wilderness. The focus of learning will be on recognizing emergencies and providing basic care till help arrives. There is no pre requisite for this course.


Wilderness First Responder

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is a nationally recognized program offered by the American Safety and Health Institute that trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings. WFR is designed for individuals who recreate frequently or spend a great deal of time in the wilderness. Individuals from outdoor organizations such as the Sierra Club, scout leaders, wilderness trip and guide leaders, park ranger, ski patrol, and many other outdoor enthusiasts are common participants. WFR is specifically designed to provide students with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. Emphasis of the course is placed on prevention and decision-making, not the memorizing of lists. Half out the WFR course will be lectures and the other half of the time will be spent completing practical skills and case studies. The general topics are the same in the WFR course as they are for the WFA course. WFR covers the following topics more in depth than the WFA:


  • Patient Assessment
  • Vital systems and shock
  • Spinal injuries
  • Emergency medical services in the wilderness
  • Evacuation techniques
  • Understanding mechanism of injuries


Course Outline:

At the end of this course, the student should be able to understand:


  • The anatomy and physiology of all the body systems
  • Heat exposure and heat illnesses
  • Hypothermia/Hyperthermia
  • Altitude illnesses
  • Lightning injuries
  • Sunburn
  • Wilderness wounds and burns
  • Infections
  • Shock
  • Types of wounds and wound cleaning
  • Bandaging wounds
  • Contaminated water and disinfection techniques
  • Disease transmission via insect vectors
  • Spider bee and wasp bites
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Venomous snake bites
  • Hazardous animals and plants
  • Bone and joint injuries
  • Mechanisms of common wilderness injuries
  • Management of limb fractures
  • Splinting with improvised materials
  • Eye, facial, head, spinal, chest, abdominal injuries
  • Medical problems in the wilderness


Course Instructional Materials:


  • ASHI WFA manual and videos
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • First Aid Gear


Instructors: SETA WFA instructor, with student to instructor ratio not to exceed 8:1


Training Prerequisites: CPR


Course Handouts:

  • Course Outline
  • PowerPoint presentation handouts
  • Manual

Participant Evaluation: Written evaluations regarding the effectiveness of the trainer, the training, and the visual aids.


Written Exam: Yes with 80% grade to pass course


Practical Exam: Yes, student must demonstrate successfully minimum practical competencies.


Certification: SETA "certification of completion", ASHI WFA card



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