First Aid Courses

IWLS offers a full complement of wilderness medicine courses for outdoor leaders. IWLS first aid training instructors are Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians (WEMTs) who bring a wealth of knowledge from years of guiding and instructing in wilderness areas. They present scenarios you are likely to encounter in the field, and prepare you to handle emergencies efficiently, safely and professionally. They understand the realities of managing emergencies in remote locations, not only in Alaska, but around the world.

While some time is spent in a classroom, our courses utilize a scenario-based, hands-on, practical approach to the curriculum. Once you’ve learned the tools for assessment, treatment, and transport in a backcountry setting, you’ll practice numerous wilderness medicine scenarios incorporating problem solving, teamwork, communications and client care. All IWLS first aid training programs incorporate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for the professional rescuer.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
24 hours

The IWLS Wilderness First Aid course is a 3 day introduction to Basic Life Support Skills and general medical concepts.  The course is designed for outdoor enthusiasts on day trips or short 1-2 day adventures. The course can be used to recertify Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness Advanced First Aid and Wilderness EMT (wilderness portion only) certifications from IWLS.

Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)
40 hours

This 40 hour, 5 day course is geared toward individuals leading short trips into the backcountry. This first aid training curriculum is significantly more detailed than our Wilderness First Aid course. It covers common medical emergencies encountered in a wilderness setting, fundamentals of patient assessment, environmental considerations, body systems, and numerous practical scenarios.

WAFA to WFR Bridge Course
50 hours

This 5 day first aid training course is designed for Wilderness Advanced First Aid course graduates who want to increase their medical knowledge. The bridge course expands your scope of practice and is a great way to get a Wilderness First Responder certification, the standard in wilderness medicine.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
90 hours

WFR is the standard in wilderness medicine for guides, outdoor educators, SAR team members, and anyone that works or plays in remote areas. This first aid training course draws on the experience of both professional wilderness leaders and professional EMS practitioners for a comprehensive curriculum that teaches students to give solid emergency care in isolated locations.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
140 hours

This 140 hour course exceeds standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It prepares students for careers as emergency responders. You’ll learn the fundamentals of ambulance based response and practice extensive hands-on scenarios over 24 days. The course prepares you for the written and practical examinations in the national registry test.

Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)
200 hours

This 200 hour course combines solid learning progressions with the practical principles and expertise required to deal with medical emergencies in wilderness environments.  This course exceeds standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for EMT curriculum.