This 10-day 80-hour course is the industry standard for outdoor professionals and advanced first aid for remote workers. Many organizations require this certification as part of their job qualifications.
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 WFA course is recommended for outdoor professionals, outdoor recreationists and employees who are in the backcountry for days or weeks at a time. The premise of this course is that you may have to care for a patient over an extended period and advanced medical support is not immediately available.
This WFA course is hosted by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and taught by Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine. This program is recognized by Alberta Occupational Health & Safety as an Advanced First Aid certificate and is an important distinction when choosing a wilderness first aid course.
This course is 80 hours, over 9 days with one day free for study (total of 10 days). Mornings are devoted to lectures and exams. Afternoons are devoted to practical hands-on sessions and first aid or emergency simulations. Evenings are free for study and assignments. You will have 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
The curriculum covers Advanced First Aid and Wilderness First Aid topics with a focus on remote settings where help is not immediately available.
- Principles of extended care
- Medical-legal issues
- Communicable diseases
- Patient assessment
- Airway management, including oropharyngeal airways, use of BVM’s and suctioning
- Wound management
- Thermal burns
- Sprains and strains
- Fractures, including femur and pelvic fractures
- Dislocations and field relocation techniques
- Head and facial trauma
- Spinal injuries; spinal restriction techniques; protocol for continuing or negating the need for spinal control
- Chest trauma
- Abdominal trauma
- Heat injuries and dehydration, including oral re-hydration guidelines
- Cold injuries
- Bites and stings (for North American beasties!)
- Poisons and toxins
- 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
- 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
- Health Care Provider level CPR and AED skills
- 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 is the difference between the Advanced Adventure Medic Certification and the Wilderness First Responder Certification? The AAM certification is recognized by Alberta Workplace Health and Safety and by extension, the other western provinces. The WFR is recognized by the Outdoor Industry or other professions that require 80-hour advanced first aid. You can only qualify for the AAM if your certification is from an approved Alberta WH&S provider. Many of the 80-hour wilderness-based courses are not recognized. Please check on the Alberta government or another governing body website for more information.
- What time of year do you usually offer the recertification courses, and how fast do they fill up/sell out? Recertification 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 80-hour Advanced 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) 80-hour course certificate to the Yamnuska Office. You must bring a copy of your current certification to your instructor on the first day of the recert.
- Which provinces in Canada is my certification valid in? Am I able to use this internationally? 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. You must check with your employer, especially if working outside of North America. The AAM certification is fully approved by Alberta Workplace Health & Safety and as such is recognized throughout the western provinces in the industrial setting as an 80-hour advanced wilderness first-aid certificate.
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.
Advanced Adventure Medic/Wilderness First Responder Certification including Healthcare Provider CPR & AED training.
Advanced Adventure Medic / Wilderness First Responder
The Advanced Adventure Medic Certification is recognized by Alberta Workplace Health and Safety and will allow for mobility between Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon. It is equivalent to Wilderness First Responder certification. Successful students will receive an advanced first aid certification card from RMAM, which is valid for 3 years. You will also receive your Health Care Provider level CPR & AED. Within 3 years, graduates must recertify by way of a five-day course to keep current.
Successful completion of this course is based on attendance (100% required), and performance on both written and practical final exams. Not everyone passes this course.
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 also like you to 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.
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.
$845 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 Aid Course (WFR, AAM, etc.) in a 5-day 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.