WFR 5-Day Upgrade

This course upgrades the Wilderness First Aid for Field Services to a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) in 5 days. This course must be taken within 3 years of receiving the WMA International WFA-FS certification. Wilderness First Aid courses from other providers will not be considered for equivalence.

 The WFR is the definitive medical training course for all outdoor professionals and enthusiasts. This course may be used as a recertification for those holding a current WFR certification or equivalent from another provider whose original WFR training was at least 64 hours in length. Current WMA International Wilderness EMT/EMS may also use this course to recertify the wilderness portion of their certification.

**If you are using this course to recertify a WMA WEMS it is your responsibility to let the sponsor know when registering, and to inform the instructor on the first day of class.**

Course Description

This course builds on the materials learned during the WFA - FS certification and is delivered over 5 days, with 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.

​Students will have access to the pre-course assignments 2-4 weeks prior to the course. These assignments must be submitted in order to receive proof of course completion.

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


Sample Syllabus:

  • General Concepts in Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
  • Patient Assessment System Critical Body Systems: BLS and CPR; Anaphylaxis and Asthma
  • Practical Skills: Lifting, Moving and Extrication; Spine Stabilization and Litter Packaging; Wound Cleaning and Exploration
  • Environmental Topics: Exposure Control; Bites and Stings; Altitude Illness; Cold Injuries; Diving Emergencies; Thermoregulation; Lightning; Near Drowning; Avalanche
  • Musculoskeletal Systems: Spine Injury Assessment; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Extremity Splinting; Dislocations
  • Other: Medical Legal Issues; Soft Tissue Injury; Toxins; Search and Rescue; Backcountry Medicine; Emergency Childbirth; Medical Kits


All eligible students who successfully complete the WAFA to WFR Bridge course will receive WMA International’s Wilderness First Responder certification including anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-Level CPR or equivalent. All WMA International certifications remain valid for three years.


Within three years, graduates may recertify by completing a Wilderness Advanced First Aid or taking the Bridge (WAFA to WFR).


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

  • ​The Field Guide of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
  • Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A practical guide for the basic and advanced practitioner
  • WFR Class Notes
  • Wilderness Medicine Workbook
  • 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 Wilderness First Aid - Field Services certification from WMAI within three years of the Bridge course. If using this course to recertify, students must have proof of a valid WMA International WFR or WEMS certification or a valid WFR certification from another organization, whose original training was at least 64 hours in length. Proof of 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.