This 80-hour wilderness first aid course is the industry standard for outdoor professionals and those who work in remote locations. Many organizations require it as part of their job qualifications. The course is delivered over 9 days, with additional online learning required.
Participants will receive Standard First Aid and Level C CPR certification (for the workplace) in addition to Wilderness First Responder Certification. The Standard First Aid certification is recognized by Alberta Occupational Health & Safety.
Topics include patient assessment system, body systems, environmental injuries/conditions, anaphylaxis, lifting/moving/extrication, patient carries, backcountry medicine, and CPR.
Topics are covered in-depth and include simulations. The wilderness first aid course is recommended for outdoor professionals as well as outdoor recreationalists who lead adventure trips or those who are in the backcountry for days or weeks at a time and may have to care for a patient over an extended period.
This course is hosted by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and taught by Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine.
This course is delivered over 9 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 in the evenings.
- Hands-on simulations with theatrical make-up and props
- Accident Management and Leadership
- Long Term Care of the Sick and Injured
- Improvisation Skills
- Basic Search and Rescue
- Patient Packaging and Evacuation Techniques
This is an intensive course, so be sure to arrive prepared and ready to demonstrate your first aid skills. Each day will begin at 8:30 am and run until about 4:30 pm with a 1-hour break for lunch. Yamnuska has complimentary tea, coffee, and hot chocolate for students, as well as a fridge and microwave available to use if you wish to bring your own lunch.
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 in the evenings. For successful certification, participants must complete the following course components:
- All online course elements with a score of 80% or higher
- 100% attendance
- Demonstration of all required practical skills at the WFR level
The curriculum covers Standard First Aid Topics plus Wilderness First Responder topics. The focus is on remote settings where help is not immediately available and extended care in the field may be required
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 First Responder Components:
- Principles of extended care
- Advanced airway management, including oropharyngeal airways, use of BVM’s and suctioning
- Wound management in the field
- Thermal burns
- Sprains and strains
- Dislocations and field relocation techniques
- Head and facial trauma
- Spinal injuries; spinal restriction techniques; protocol for continuing or negating the need for spinal control
- Abdominal trauma
- Lightning caused injuries
- Environmental Emergencies, including oral re-hydration guidelines
- Allergies and anaphylaxis, including use of an Epi-pen
- Altitude emergencies
- Drowning / near-drowning
- Water and foodborne illness, including water purification techniques
- Changes in the level of consciousness
- Respiratory distress, including use of an Epi-pen / Epinephrine for non-responsive patients
- Abdominal pain
- Outdoor first aid kits
- Bivouac skills
- Search and rescue principles
- Packaging and transportation
- Critical incident stress management
- Triage Rescue and transportation
- Oxygen administration, including both passive and active delivery devices
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Dental emergencies
- Backcountry CPR guidelines
- Anatomy, physiology and terminology
- My certification is already expired. Am I still able to take the recertification course? Unfortunately, no. You must currently hold a valid 80 Hour Wilderness First Aid certification in order to take the recertification course. If you allow your certificate to expire you must take the full 80-hour program again to regain your certification.
- What time of year do you usually offer the WFR courses, and how fast do they fill up/sell out? WFR programs are typically run 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 80-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 current 80-hour Wilderness First Responder 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) 80-hour course certificate to the Yamnuska Office.
- Which provinces in Canada is my certification valid in? Am I able to use this internationally? Your Standard Fist 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 20 hours to 120 hours long. We recommend checking with your employer, especially if working outside of North America. 80-hour certification is widely recognized as the industry standard for those working/ guiding in the outdoor industry.
- With the OHS changes in 2023, how do I get a wilderness certification that will allow me to gain equivalency in B.C. at OFA3 level? Individuals who would like an 80-hour certification that also allows them to gain equivalency at OFA3 level in BC, will need to complete an Advanced First Aid course plus a Wilderness First Responder Re-Certification course. Advanced First Aid in Alberta is recognized as equivalent to OFA3 in B.C., but this is not a wilderness certification
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, snowboard, 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 a 35% deposit at the time of booking. The remaining program fees are due eight weeks before the program start date.
Detailed booking instructions and conditions.
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, the 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’s trip.
$905 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.
Re-certify your 80-hour Advanced Wilderness First Responder Course.
Full course details can be found here
This course begins at 8:30 am at our office location in Canmore. Map
Is it for you?
While helpful, no prior first-aid certification is needed for this course. The minimum age is 16 years.