Wilderness First Responder (April 2019)

Wilderness First Responder is the highest recognized backcountry medical certificate in Canada, and is considered the gold standard for those who operate as professional guides, outdoor educators, or professional responders outside the safe confines of the city.

Welcome to the team.

  • Significant portions of this course take place outside, including several full days, one late night scenario and one overnight scenario. Rescue gear will be provided, but you must come prepared for multiple day hikes and to camp during the overnight session in whatever weather the season throws at us. No matter the time of year, expect and prepare for rain. During the winter, remember that we will be training in cold, wet and snowy environments. Dress appropriately.

  • There is a physical element to this course - hiking, team lifting, walking, carrying light to medium 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 the course, or speak to your instructor about alternative roles or learning methods. Our main concern is preventing injury.

  • The outdoor classroom is not particularly remote, but accessibility is limited. 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 – of course – step out anytime you feel uncomfortable.


Hypothermia Awareness & Management Pre-Study…

This course does not require any prerequisite certification or training. However, in an effort to maximize the value of our short two and a half days together, you are asked to complete an online pre-study on hypothermia awareness & management before your course begins. The course takes about 3 hours to complete. Find it at bicorescue.com.

Anatomy & Physiology

Our brand new Anatomy and Physiology pre-read is now online! Find it at https://coast-wilderness-medical-training.teachable.com/p/foundations-of-wilderness-medicine. It should take about 2 hours to complete.


General Gear - Prepare as for Light Day Hike

  • Water, Meals & High Energy Snacks.

  • Knife or Multi-tool (preferred).

  • Personal First Aid Kit (inc. personal medications)

  • Waterproof Emergency Layer (poncho or garbage bag)

  • Matches / Lighter (waterproofed)

  • Toilet Paper

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

  • Rope / Paracord (10’)

  • Whistle

  • Rescue Mirror or 10 sq in. Aluminum Foil

  • Tactical Flashlight or Headlamp (preferred)

  • Notebook, Pencil / Pens

  • Zip-lock Bags

  • Sturdy, Waterproof Boots

  • Proper Seasonal Clothing (can get dirty or stained)

  • Extra Socks

  • Extra Warm Hat

  • Backup Insulating Layers

  • Sleeping Pad or Thermarest

  • Camp Chair (optional but recommended)

The premise is to use whatever gear you have on hand to solve an emergency. We will provide mock Wilderness First Aid Kits

Overnight Gear

For the Day 6 Overnight Scenario, 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)

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

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Overview of Course Topics

This course is scheduled to take place entirely at the group campsite on Mount Seymour.

Always come prepared to spend time in the weather!

Day 1 (Friday) 9:00 - 18:00

A&P Review - Human Body Systems
Assessment Models
Scene Approach & Management
Basic Life Support (CPR/AED) In The Wilderness

Day 2 (Saturday) 9:00 - 18:00

Measuring Blood Pressure and Other Vitals for the Professional Responder
Environmental Emergencies
Lifts, Carries, Stretchers & Harnesses
Assessing & Managing Spinal Injuries
Leadership and Emergency Team Management

20:00 - 22:00: Evening Scenario

Day 3 (Sunday) 9:00 - 18:00

Airway and Respiratory Emergencies
Oxygen Administration
Circulatory Emergencies

Day 4 (Monday) 9:00 - 18:00 (Day Hike)

Musculoskeletal Injuries
Wound Care
Wound Packing

Day 5 (Tuesday) 9:00 - 18:00

Morning: Advanced Hemorrhage Control

Afternoon: Assessments
Advanced Hemorrhage Control
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Professional Communication

Day 6 (Wednesday) 11:00 - 18:00

Professional Spinal Injury Management Tools
Multi-trauma Management
Group Dynamics and Self-Care
Multi-Casualty Incidents
Overnight Preparation

20:00 Overnight Scenario

Day 7 (Thursday) 9:00 - 14:00

Systems Based Assessments
Course Assessment Preparation

Day 8 (Friday) 9:00 - 18:00

Student Group Presentations
WFA / WFR Kit Building
Low Angle Rescue

Written & Practical Assessments


Course Assessments


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


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.


Full course attendance and successful completion of the above assessments earns you the following certifications:

Wilderness First Responder (3 years)
First Responder (3 years)
Advanced Wilderness First Aid (3 years)
Basic Life Support (Supersedes CPR/AED HCP)

Additionally, you will qualify to receive:

First Responder License
FR License Qualifies you to Receive OFA-2 Equivalency ($100 Fee)

The most powerful predictor of your success is a great attitude and a willingness to learn!

The most powerful predictor of your success is a great attitude and a willingness to learn!