Wilderness First Responder Recertification

WFR Recertification

Wilderness Medical Associates


The Wilderness First Responder Recertification course is designed to recertify eligible Wilderness First Responders and current Wilderness EMS Upgrade/Wilderness EMT graduates. Students will review essential skills, wilderness protocols, and updates in wilderness medicine.

Course Format

This course model is taught in 3 days. Students are expected to review their previous course materials and arrive ready and able to recertify in a limited about of time.  Internet is required to register and complete pre-course paperwork. If applicable, WEMS/WEMT students must indicate that they are recertifying at that level at the time of registration and will be assigned mandatory pre-course work tailored to their level of training.


Pre-course preparation, exams, and class time focuses on competency with the patient assessment system, critical system problems, management of life threats, wilderness protocols, environmental injuries, management of common injuries and illnesses, and critical thinking. The specific content and skills reviewed will vary based on the needs of the group.

Requirements & Eligibility

Eligible WFR Recertification students are current graduates (not expired or within a grace period) from: 

  • A WFR course with a minimum of 70 hours of overall instruction, including a minimum of 45 hours of in-person instruction. 
  • WFR Recertification courses with a minimum of 16-hours of in-person instruction.
  • Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) certification holders are eligible to recertify in WMA recertification courses. Upon successful completion, students will receive a WFR certification.
  • Additional pre-course work will be required.
  • Some work may require high speed internet.

WEMS/WEMT cardholders may recertify their WEMS in a WMA WFR Recertification course. Mandatory pre-course work is required.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WMA International currently accepts one-year on-line extensions of WFR courses that meet the above requirements. We do not accept online extensions that are greater than one year. We do not allow students with a certification from an exclusively online WFR (or WFR recertification) course to attend a WMA recertification course.

Prior to enrolling, please review our Functional Position Description. The criteria in this policy allow students to self-assess their ability to meet the demands of a WMA International course as well as the demands of a certified wilderness medical provider in the field.


This course is pass/fail. 100% attendance is mandatory. Evaluation is based on practical patient simulations, hands-on activities, and a written test. WMA International is committed to making reasonable accommodation for any student with special needs.


Certifications are valid for three years. Graduates of this course may recertify by taking the Bridge (WAFA to WFR) or by repeating this course.

Course Topics

The course will focus on the review of the major curricular areas and skills taught in a Wilderness First Responder course. Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • The general principles of wilderness and rescue medicine with an emphasis on identifying medical emergencies, critical thinking, and risk management. 
  • Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR and AED use, basic life support skills, the patient assessment system, patient reporting, and calling for help.
  • Treatment of injuries from traumatic mechanisms and the treatment of musculoskeletal problems such as overuse syndromes and dislocations.
  • Environmental medicine including illness and injuries related to altitude, temperature, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
  • Backcountry medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
  • Non-technical lifting, moving, and extrication of patients with an emphasis on spinal motion restriction when applicable.
  • Practical Skills including bleeding control, wound management, bandaging, splinting, spine stable patient packaging, hypothermia management, medical kit preparation. 
  • WMA International wilderness protocols, including treatment of anaphylaxis, wound management, CPR in a remote setting, spine injury assessment, reduction of simple dislocations, and treatment for severe asthma.