Welcome to Wilderness First Responder Upgrade(BLS)

The 40 hour WFR with Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS) exceeds Canada’s highest remote medical certification requirements. This is the gold standard for guides, outdoor educators, or professional responders operating outside the safe confines of the city. Welcome to the team!

Safety Considerations

Much of this course takes place outside, and not always in daytime. Come prepared for the season - and always expect cold, wet conditions.

There is a physical element to this course - hiking, team lifting, walking, carrying light loads, working in awkward positions, and camping in inclement conditions. If illness, injury, or disability might make these tasks difficult for you, please contact us before your course begins.

There is limited accessibility at the outdoor classrooms. If you have any medical conditions, please inform your instructor at the beginning of the course, and discuss a treatment plan in case of an emergency.

Practice scenarios are designed to be realistic, and can be intense. If you have any reason to expect they might cause distress, please talk to your instructor about potentially sensitive subject matter, and step out anytime you feel uncomfortable.

How to Prepare

Please complete these two online courses prior to your course:

Hypothermia Awareness & Management (About 3 hours.)

Anatomy & Physiology (About 2 hours.)

What to Bring

General Gear

These are required gear. We recommend that you pack as you would for a day hike. First aid materials and professional responder equipment will be provided.

  • Water, Meals & High Energy Snacks.

  • Tactical Flashlight or Headlamp (preferred)

  • Notebook, Pencil / Pens

  • Whistle

  • Sturdy, Waterproof Boots

  • Proper Seasonal Clothing (can get dirty or stained)

  • Extra Socks

  • Extra Warm Hat

  • Backup Insulating Layers

  • Personal First Aid Kit (inc. personal medications)

  • Knife or Multi-tool

  • Waterproof Emergency Layer (poncho or garbage bag)

  • Toilet Paper

  • Sleeping Pad or Thermarest

  • Camp Chair

Location & Schedule

Spring, summer and fall courses are held at the Nordic Cafe, on Cypress Mountain’s Nordic Ski Area.

The Course Schedule is as follows:

Day 1 (Friday) - 9 AM to 6 PM
Day 2 (Saturday) - 9 AM to 6 PM + EVENING SCENARIO 9 PM to 11 PM
Day 3 (Sunday) - 9 AM to 6 PM
Day 4 (Monday) - 9 AM to 6 PM


Transportation & Accommodation

Cypress Mountain a short drive from the Greater Vancouver Area, and about an hour from Squamish. The mountain is not served by public transport. If you need to carpool, let us know when you register, and we will arrange a group email or chat to help people organize. This has worked very well in the past.

First Aid Ski Patrol (FASP) is making their cabin on Cypress Mountain available to WFR students for $15 per student per night. It is about 30 minutes from our training area. Please let us know when you register if this is of interest to you.

Course Assessments


You be required to achieve 70% on each of two multiple-choice knowledge assessments.


Continuous Assessments will be done in scenarios throughout the course. Missteps will be discussed as they occur, and you will be given opportunities to revisit areas of concern as necessary.

There will be 2 formal practical assessments, during which you will be required to demonstrate familiarity with the assessment model, to successfully identify any critical injuries or conditions, and to respond with appropriate treatments.


Upon successful completion of all course requirements and assessments, you will receive:

Wilderness & Remote First Responder BLS* (3 years)

First Responder BLS* (3 years)

*Basic Life Support (BLS) replaces and completely supersedes CPR/AED for Healthcare Professionals.