The administration and staff here at the Wilderness Medicine Training Center firmly believe that 16 hours is too short to adequately deliver the core requirements described in the current WFA SOP. We also believe that the ability to assess a potential spine injury is critical to all wilderness medicine providers. To that end our Standard Wilderness First Aid course is 24-27 hours long and includes instruction in assessing an awake & reliable traumatic patient for a potential spine injury. We will not teach lifting, moving, and packaging of a spine injured patient, dislocations, altitude medicine, cold injuries (frostbite, frostnip, cold water immersion injuries, & chilblains), and poisoning in our WFA courses, reserving these topics for our longer 45 hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid courses.
We are fully aware that many potential WFA students prefer to take a two-day course over the weekend. To that end we have developed hybrid WFA and WAFA courses that move the lecture material and testing to an online course of study using dedicated websites with text, graphics, animations, and videos; students have access to the course website and online presentations for a full year that, if utilized, will significantly increase their retention. In addition to the online resources, all hybrid students are mailed a hard copy of the Wilderness Medicine Handbook to aid their study and retention. The online portion of the course must be successfully completed prior to attending a 18-20 hour practical session (the WAFA practical session is 24-27 hours). The practical session contains NO formal lecture and focuses on skill labs, simulations, and case study reviews. Potential students should visit the course website and read the homepage for details; they should also click on the Lightning Injuries page to see if the online presentation of the material will work for their learning style. Click on the respective link to visit our hybrid WFA website or our hybrid WAFA website.
Note that we also offer hybrid WFR, WEMT, and Recertification courses. Each hybrid course has a homestudy component with a dedicated website and online exam(s). Please contact our office for additional information.