Wilderness First Responder is the highest wilderness medical qualification available in Canada, and is the standard certification requirement for guides, outdoor educators, search & rescue, and anyone who might act as the first point of medical care in remote environments.
Those who choose to become Wilderness First Responders are a different breed. They are driven by accomplishment, hungry for learning and experience, and willingly sacrifice their own comfort to take care of others when the world goes sideways. If this sounds like you, or who you want to be, register now, and join us!
Scheduled WFR Courses
Wilderness First Responder
Red Cross Basic Life Support (CPR/AED-HCP)
Red Cross Advanced Wilderness First Aid
Red Cross First Responder
***Qualify for EMALB First Responder Licence***
The Wilderness First Responder Certification is valid for 3 years from the completion date.
First Responder and Advanced Wilderness First Aid certifications are valid for 3 years from certification date.
BLS certification is valid for one year.
Full WFR recertification is performed over an intensive 3-day period. Group clients can discuss an alternative, yearly schedule.
8 consecutive days 9 AM to 6 PM, with one evening scenario and one overnight scenario.
Courses have a maximum of 12 students, and if there are more than 8 students, there will be 2 instructors.
LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATIONS
The course is held in North Vancouver, and is divided between local community center locations and a beautiful group campsite with a rustic hut and wood-burning stove on Mount Seymour. At least half our time will be spent on Mount Seymour, but the exact schedule varies from course to course.
While overnight camping is not just permitted but encouraged during our time on Mount Seymour, you are responsible for finding your own accommodation during the rest of the course.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for hostel and local hotel recommendations, and for assistance in contacting other students to arrange car pooling.
16+ Years Old
KEY TOPICS COVERED
Wilderness First Responder features a comprehensive, pre-hospital medical curriculum aimed at people who expect to be the first point of contact during a medical emergency in an austere, low-resource environment.
Topics include, basic life support (ABCDEs), medical emergencies, heat and cold emergencies, environmental injuries, managing major and minor trauma wound management, poisoning, and extended patient care.
For a complete list of topics covered during this intensive, 80 hour course, see below.
When you train with Coast Wilderness Medical Training, you get an unparalleled focus on hands-on and scenario-based learning. Short lectures are reinforced with tons of realistic practice scenarios to ensure you have the skills and confidence to provide medical care under all sorts of conditions, even in low-resource environments where evacuation is hours or days away.
You will also be immersed in a robust emergency scene management and leadership development framework that will prepare you to assume a leadership role in a backcountry emergency.
This course went above and beyond any expectations that I had. Awesome course layout backed by highly educated first responders. Cheers to Kieran and Mark on a great job.
Took the Standard WFA (20hrs) back in September, but enjoyed it so much that I upgraded to WFR (80hrs). Lucked out with my classmates, very enjoyable folks, but it's the instructors who really facilitated a solid learning environment. Their teaching methods focused on a way of thinking, not just textbook memorization. Learned more in these courses than in OFAs. Be on guard when you take their course, they're always full of surprises :)
Awesome course filled with realistic scenarios and in a great location. The tutors really make it easy to learn with a bit of humour and a lot of knowledge. 👌🏼
The following is a list of topics covered during the course, not a course agenda or course schedule. A complete course schedule will be sent to you after you register.
Principles of Wilderness Medicine
Documenting Medical Emergencies and Patient Care
Patient Assessment Models
Communications & Signaling
Hazard Assessment and Risk Management
First Aid Kit-Building
Emergency Scene Management
Leadership & Communication in an Emergency
Basic Life Support (CPR/AED HCP)
Primary Survey (ABCDEs)
Airway (basic airway techniques, protecting the airway, mechanical airway devices)
Breathing (assessment, assisted breathing)
Circulation (assessing, shock, fainting, managing bleeding, nosebleeds)
Disability (Recognizing spinal, TBI, eye injuries)
Exposure / Environmental
Cardiac Arrest Management
Professional Assessment Tools
Blood Glucose Monitors
Managing Medical Emergencies
Anatomy of the Airway & Respiratory System
Allergies & Anaphylaxis
Respiratory Emergencies in Children
Anatomy of the Circulatory System
Angina & Heart Attacks
Hypovolemic & Circulatory Shock
Anatomy of the Nervous System
Acute Abdominal Illness (Infections of the Abdominal Organs)
Infections / Sepsis
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Managing Environmental Emergencies
Hypothermia Prevention & Management
Trenchfoot / Immersion Foot
Cold Water Immersion
Venomous Bites & Stings
Carbon Monoxide Inhalation
Intoxication, Overdose, and Withdrawal (Includes Opioid Response)
Acute Mountain Sickness
HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)
HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema)
Decompression Sickness (The Bends)
Arterial Gas Embolism
Managing Trauma in Austere Environments
Penetrating Injuries of the Head and Neck
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Skull / Facial Fractures
Blunt Force Abdominal Trauma
Pelvic Fracture Awareness & Management
Holds & Rolls
Spinal Motion Restriction - Uses and Concerns
Full Spinal Packaging (Professional & Improvised)
Splinting Long-Bone Fractures & Joint Injuries
Wrapping Minor Joint Injuries
Realigning Angulated Fractures
Managing Open Fractures
Managing Massive Hemorrhage (Tourniquets, Wound Packing)
Managing Minor Bleeds
Dressings and Bandages
Avulsions & Amputations
Infection Control and Management
The Wilderness Triangle / The Wilderness Hourglass
Field Water Disinfection
Patient Packaging and Transport
The Wilderness First Responder course is team-taught by Kieran Hartle and Mark Van Eijk.
Mark Van Eijk (left) is the lead instructor for Coast Wilderness Medical Training, and was the main program designer for the Wilderness First Responder program. Mark is also a paramedic, working out of Gibsons, BC. He is a card-carrying scientist, and has an extensive educational background supporting gifted and special needs teens in STEM subjects. He is a climber and cyclist by nature, and has found himself performing primary care on a number of injured and ill people with little warning. He is a little bit afraid of the cold, and often chooses jeans in wet weather, but one cannot ask for a finer instructor.
Kieran Hartle (right) is the founder of Coast Wilderness Medical Training. He has been teaching Canadian Red Cross Wilderness First Aid courses since 2014, and has contributed to the design and content of the forthcoming Red Cross WFR curriculum. He is an instructor trainer for the Canadian Red Cross, and is the preeminent wilderness first aid and pre-hospital professional instructor trainer in the lower mainland. Kieran is an experienced paramedic with the British Columbia Ambulance service, a member of ski patrol at Cypress Mountain, and has trained with Lion’s Bay Search and Rescue. He is a skier, a hiker, and enjoys the idea of trail running.
The Best Medicine for the Worst Places
Ready for the big time? This is it - Canada’s top-tier professional wilderness medicine course! Intensive, challenging and always hands-on, this training will have you prepared to intervene and manage medical emergencies on a higher level whenever - and wherever - they arise.
80 Hours - $895 - Includes Basic Life Support (CPR-HCP)
PRIVATE GROUP TRAINING
Are you looking for private training for your company, organization, or a group of like-minded friends? Fill out the form below, and we will get back to you within 24 hours. Additional transportation and accommodation costs may be necessary.
This 40 hour recertification course is a comprehensive review of WFR fundamentals, re-introducing core skills through hands-on practice and learner-centered group activities, and introducing new evidence-based findings and techniques in the field of wilderness medicine. There is an extensive - and required - pre-study for this course. Previewed material will be tested on the first day of class to ensure fundamental knowledge is in place before we begin.
An unexpired Wilderness First Responder certificate, issued within 3 years, is a required prerequisite for this course. If you have questions about this prerequisite, or anything else, please contact us.
The March course will take place entirely at the beautiful G1 Group Campsite, on Mount Seymour. There is a large hut with a wood-burning stove, and tent camping on the site is welcome.
The May course will take place on Cypress Mountain. The site is lovely, and we have a whole mountain to play with, but overnight camping is strictly prohibited. We will happily advise, but you are ultimately responsible for your own accommodation.