Yamnuska Mountain Adventures hosts our 40-hour wilderness first aid course with Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine, Canada (RMAM).
This 40-hour course is designed for those who take on a leadership role in the outdoors. This is the industry standard for those who lead custodial groups in the backcountry, teachers, raft guides and trip leaders. This level of certification is required by many companies, school boards, camps and youth organizations. The course is delivered over 4 days (32 hours) and supplemented with online learning.
Participants will receive a Wilderness Advanced First Aid Certificate and an Intermediate (Standard) First Aid and Level C CPR certificate (for the workplace). The Intermediate (Standard) First Aid certification is recognized by Alberta Occupational Health & Safety. There is no pre-requisite for this program.
This course is 40 hours, delivered over 4 x 8-hour days, with additional online learning required to supplement your learning. The program is highly practical and is presented using a blend of theoretical concepts and practical activities, scenarios and simulations. There will be reading and quizzes to complete outside of the in -person sessions.
The curriculum covers Intermediate (Standard) First Aid Topics plus Wilderness Advanced First Aid topics with a focus on remote settings, where help is not immediately available and extended care in the field may be required
Intermediate (Standard) First Aid components:
- Medical, Legal and Documentation Issues
- Communicable diseases
- Patient Assessment System
- Airway, Breathing and Circulation Management
- CPR Level C with AED training
- Soft Tissue Injuries and their care
- Heart Attack, Angina and Stroke
- Bone and Joint Injuries
- Spine, Head and Pelvic Injuries
- Chest Trauma
- Medical Emergencies
- Bites, Stings, Poisons and Toxins
- Heat and Cold Injuries
Wilderness Advanced First Aid components:
- Principles of backcountry emergencies
- Wound management in the field
- Sprains and strains
- Head and facial trauma
- Abdominal trauma
- Lightning caused injuries
- Drowning / near-drowning
- Environmental Emergencies, including oral re-hydration guidelines
- Allergies and anaphylaxis, including use of an Epi-pen
- Water and foodborne illness, including water purification techniques
- Changes in the level of consciousness
- Outdoor first aid kits
- Patient packaging and transportation.
Training focuses on the initial care, stabilization and management of an incident that occurs in a wilderness location.
For successful certification, participants must complete the following course components:
- All online course elements with a score of 75% or higher
- 100% attendance
- Demonstration of all required practical skills at the WAFA level
- My certification is already expired. Am I still able to take the recertification course? Unfortunately, no. You must currently hold a valid 40-Hour Wilderness First Aid certification in order to take the recertification course. If you allow your certificate to expire you must take the full 40-hour program again to regain your certification.
- What time of year do you usually offer WAFA courses, and how fast do they fill up/sell out? WAFA programs are typically offered in the shoulder seasons- Spring (April/May) and Fall (September/October). Programs do tend to fill quickly (sometimes 2-3 months in advance), so be sure to register for the date of your choice as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
- I took my original 40-hour course through a different company. Am I able to re-certify through Yamnuska and Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine? Yes. Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine can recertify any 40-hour Wilderness First Aid certification. Students who have not taken a course with Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine in the past will need to submit an electronic copy of their current (not-expired) 40-hour course certificate to the Yamnuska Office.
- Which provinces in Canada is my certification valid in? Am I able to use this internationally? Your Intermediate (Standard) First Aid Certification is recognized in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Equivalence can be sought in BC at OFA1 level. The outdoor industry has no uniformity when it comes to recognition. Many outdoor companies simply want you to have a “wilderness” first aid. These courses can be anywhere from 16 hours to 120 hours in length. We recommend checking with your employer, especially if working outside of North America. Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Getting to Canmore
Canmore is a 1-hour drive west of Calgary. If visiting the area from far away you may want to rent a car so you can visit local attractions and enjoy the surrounding mountains.
The course begins at the Yamnuska office at 8:30 am on Day 1. Map
The course is being taught by professional instructors from Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine (RMAM). They receive intensive vetting and training. Course quality is continually monitored and assessed to ensure it meets the most current standards.
Accommodation & Meals
These are your responsibility.
Accommodation and meals in Canmore are not included. A variety of accommodation options exist in both Canmore and Banff, including campsites, hostels, all levels of hotels as well as condo-style accommodation with kitchens or suites. We recommend that you book your own pre and post-trip accommodations well in advance as all levels of accommodations in the Bow Valley fill quickly.
What to Bring
Please bring appropriate clothing for the location and time of year. Remember that rain or shine, much of our time is spent outside. You will also need a sleeping pad/mat (for simulations), pens, and a notebook.
- Something to write on
- Lunch unless you want to head into town for the break
- Clothing suitable for whatever the weather throws at us for the outdoor portions of the program
- For the field days, we would recommend you bring a pack containing items that you would normally take with you on a day out into the backcountry e.g. extra clothing, tarp, ski poles, duct tape, fire starter kit, ensolite/Thermarest, Swiss army knife/Leatherman.
- Additionally, participants are welcome to bring equipment with them that they regularly use in a backcountry setting to use as part of scenarios, examples would be snowshoes, skis, snowboards, ice axes, avalanche probes, etc.
- The First Aid kit you would normally bring on a trip.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment at the time of booking.
Risk is an inherent part of all mountain activities. We strive to manage and reduce it however, it is impossible to totally eliminate. Learn more about our safety and risk management approach here. Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the national and provincial parks, however, costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care, and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries, and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical, and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure trip.
Please note: the Fall 2023 courses run over 2 consecutive weekends, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (Sept 16-17 & 23-24, Oct 21-22 & 28-29)
$550 Cdn includes instruction and course materials. GST is extra.
Please note you will be required to sign the Yamnuska Release of Liability, and Waiver of Claims prior to commencing the program. Please review the sample waiver prior to booking and call us with any questions.
Full details about the recertification course can be found here.
Is it for you?
While helpful, no prior first-aid certification is needed for this course. The minimum age is 16 years.