Wilderness Emergency Medical Specialist (WEMS)

Training for medical personnel who would like to enhance their skills and experience for use in the rural, wilderness, and technical rescue setting. This course is popular with all levels of medical professionals but primarily geared toward pre-hospital EMS providers.

The WEMS (WEMT in the U.S.) curriculum builds on EMS training and expertise to meet the special challenges of the remote and unconventional environment. It is designed for medical personnel working in rural EMS, search and rescue, law enforcement, disaster response, and on wilderness expeditions. Like all WMA International training, it represents the best application of the available science balanced by considerable clinical experience and the reality of providing medical care in difficult and dangerous places.

As part of our commitment to your medical rescue training, our instructors will teach according to your group’s backgrounds, environments, and experience. Simulations and hands-on activities will be realistic and relevant. Relevant adult education is incorporated directly into our curriculum to maximize learning of medical theory into practical skills.

Course Description

This course is delivered over 5 days with a minimum of 45 hours of instructional and practice time. Evenings should be reserved for study and required assignments, averaging 1-2 hours per evening. Expect rescue scenarios with made-up victims and simulated wounds to prepare you for backcountry emergencies.

It is suggested that students not plan other activities during the course dates, as the course load is intensive.

This program is continuously revised and updated by Wilderness Medical Associates International. The course and schedule are flexible enough to be adapted to specific groups and goals while still meeting the requirements of the core curriculum.


Sample Syllabus:


Day 1

Logistics and Introduction; General Concepts; Patient Assessment System; Critical Body Systems Review; PAS/SOAP Practice; Spine Injury Assessment; Medical/Legal Issues

Day 2

Test I/Review; Anaphylaxis and Asthma; ALS/BLS Appropriate Technology; Lifting, Moving, Extrication; Litter Packaging and Carries; Scenarios I

Day 3

Test II/Review; Pain Management; Soft Tissue Injury; Wound Cleaning and Exploration; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Extremity Splinting, Dislocations; Scenarios II

Day 4

Test III/Review; Environmental Medicine; Scenarios III; Search and Rescue; SAR Exercise

Day 5

SAR Exercise Debrief; Expedition Medicine; Scenarios IV; Medical Kits and Medications; Test IV and Course Debrief


Certification as a Wilderness EMS is valid for three years and is contingent on current regional or national registration as a medical provider such as PCP, RN or MD.

​CPR or HSF BLS recertification can be added by request and at the discretion of the instructor. This may increase the total education hours required for this course.

​This course qualifies for 45 hours of CME credits.


All learning materials are provided at no additional cost. Students will receive the following books on this course:

  • ​Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A Practical Guide for the Basic and Advanced Practitioner
  • The Field Guide of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
  • Wilderness Medicine Workbook
  • Wilderness First Responder Class Notes
  • SOAP Notebook


Successful completion with certification is based on 100% attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments and written quizzes, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills, and a successful grade on a final written exam. Tundra Medical Resources and Wilderness Medical Associates International are committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs.


Current PCP or other professional medical certification is required.

Students must fulfill WMA's Functional Position Description for Wilderness Medicine Providers to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age will require the written consent of a parent or guardian.


Functional Position Description

Cancellation Policy

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Contact Info

100-303 Strickland Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2J9