Welcome to Wilderness First Responder (BLS)

The 80 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

Items in Bold Italics* are required. The rest are suggestions - there is no requirement for you to purchase this additional equipment just for the course! 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 (preferred).

  • Waterproof Emergency Layer (poncho or garbage bag)

  • Matches / Lighter (waterproofed)

  • Toilet Paper

  • Sheltering Equipment (polypropylene, sil-nylon, etc…)

  • Rope / Paracord (10’)

  • Rescue Mirror or 10 sq in. Aluminum Foil

  • Zip-lock Bags

  • Sleeping Pad or Thermarest

  • Camp Chair (recommended)

Overnight Gear

For the overnight activity on Day 6, come prepared for the worst of the season, including:

  • Shelter (tenting is the norm)

  • Sleeping Bag suitable for seasonal conditions

  • Cookstove

  • Sleeping Pad

  • Extra Tarp

  • Food & Water (plus extra for patients)

Missing something? There will be ample opportunity to coordinate supplies as a group before the overnight scenario.

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
Day 5 (Tuesday) - 9 AM to 6 PM
Day 6 (Wednesday) - 9 AM to 6 PM + FULL OVERNIGHT
Day 7 (Thursday) - 8 AM to 2 PM
Day 8 (Friday) - 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 Agenda

For a detailed agenda with topics, click here to download a PDF of the course outline.

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)

Advanced Wilderness First Aid with CPR/AED C (3 years)

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