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  • Wilderness first responder


    Wilderness First Responder Course & Open Recert Course

    Dates: WFR - Jan 4 -10, Recert - Jan 12-14

    Download an info packet or registration form

    COURSE DESCRIPTION: Essential for anyone who spends significant time in remote places or who has a professional career in the outdoors, the Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course will prepare you to make difficult medical decisions. This course is fast-paced and engaging. You'll spend half your time outside of the classroom doing hands-on skills and realistic scenarios. WMA's curriculum encompasses a wide range of topics including long-term patient care, wound and risk management, splinting, bandaging, reducing dislocations, litter packaging and administering medications. You'll complete this course with the tools and confidence to manage patients in the backcountry for multiple days. The intensive 70-hour curriculum is nationally recognized and supported by such organizations as Outward Bound, The National Park Service, and the FBI. You'll be taught by dynamic educators who have practiced both wilderness and urban medicine. This 7-day course is ideal for all professionals operating in remote environments. Adult CPR certification is included. 

    COST: On or before Monday. Dec. 2, 2013

      WFR Recert
    UW-L Student $610.00 $365
    General Public $635.00 $385.00


    After Monday, December 2, 2013

      WFR Recert
    UW-L Student $640.00 $385.00
    General Public $665.00 $405.00

    Make checks out to: UW-La Crosse Outdoor Connection

    Please mail check to: 
    c/o Wilderness First Responder
    1725 State St.
    130 REC
    La Crosse, WI 54601

    LOCATION: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Campus (Recreational Eagle Center), La Crosse, WI

    Students must be at least sixteen years old to participate in the standard WFR course. Those under 18 years of age will require written consent of a parent or guardian. No previous medical training is required. 

    All eligible students who successfully complete the course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates'® Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification. These certifications remain valid for three years. This certification can be used to challenge the DOT First Responder Exam, which is at the discretion of the local or state EMS authorities.

    Bring appropriate clothing for the location and time of year. Remember that, rain or shine, much of our time is spent outside. Winter in Wisconsin can be very cold with wind chills well below 0 degrees at times. Bring plenty of layers. You will also need a pen or pencil and a notebook.

    A deposit of $300.00 is required to reserve a space in the course. Tuition balance is due the first day of the course. Payments may be made via check, with driver's license number, Visa/MasterCard or cash. The tuition fee covers textbooks, syllabus, equipment and certifications. A full refund will be given if we are forced to cancel the course for any reason.


    If a student cancels or withdraws from a course:

    • Greater than or equal to 30 days prior to the course starting date, sponsor will retain a $35.00 administrative fee.
    • Within 29 days of the course start date and once the course has begun, tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable.

    Check in is at 7:45 AM on the first day of the course. Course days run approximately from 8:00am - 6:00pm. The format for this 70-hour WFR is classroom lectures integrated with practical scenarios, skills practice sessions, case studies, role-playing and simulated rescues. Attendance is required for all scheduled classes. Scenarios, and practice sessions will take place both inside and outside. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Please bring outdoor clothing appropriate for lying on the potentially wet, muddy or snowy, cold ground playing the role of both rescuer and patient. Frequently stage (moulage) blood and make-up will be used to emphasize the reality of a scenario. Generally the classroom environment lends itself to a pair of comfy shoes/slipper and a crazy creek-type chair.

    The course will take place at the Recreational Eagle Center on the UW-La Crosse campus.

    Directions to UW-L:

    From Interstate I-90, Exit 3, Exit 4 and Exit 5 all lead to the UW-La Crosse campus, but only the closest exit is listed below for each direction. Exit 3 travels along the scenic Great River Road and is the main route to Historic Downtown La Crosse.

    Exit 4 is a direct route south linking Hwy. 53 from the north with Hwy. 16. Exit 5 is the most easterly route into the City of La Crosse via Hwy. 16. From the West (I-90): Exit Interstate I-90 at Exit 3 onto US 53 South. Drive 3.9 miles and turn left on La Crosse Street; continue for 1.1 miles and turn right on East Avenue to Campus. 

    From the North (Hwy. 53): If traveling south on Highway 53 (go over I-90 at Exit 4). Follow Highway 157 to Highway 16. Turn right on Highway 16. Drive 3.5 miles and turn right on La Crosse Street and then left on East Avenue to campus. 

    From the East (I-90): Travelers heading west to La Crosse on Interstate I-90 exit at Onalaska-La Crosse Highway 16 (Exit 5). Turn left onto Highway 16. Drive 4.8 miles and right on La Crosse Street and then left on East Avenue to campus.

    From the South: Highway 14, 61, and 35 enter the city on the south. Follow the green "UW-La Crosse" signs north on Losey Boulevard to Highway 16 (3.0 miles). Turn left on La Crosse Street and then left on East Avenue to campus.

    The Recreational Eagle Center is located parallel to La Crosse St across from the cemetery. It is a large brick building with a green roof. There are 2 parking lots immediately in front of the building.


    Free lodging is available in the Recreational Eagle Center. Parking passes will be available to purchase on line via the parking offices "Click to Pay" service, in the near future.  Free street parking is very limited, located some distance from the facility, and alternate side parking for snow removal is enforce so vehicles will need to be moved daily.

    If staying at the Recreational Eagle Center please bring the following items:

    • Sleeping Bag
    • Sleeping Pad or air mattress
    • Eating Utensils (bowl, spoon,etc)
    • Food and snacks
    • Personal Items (towels, soap, shampoo, etc)

    *Limited refrigerator space and a microwave are available. 

    PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THE COURSE. THIS INCLUDES LEASHING THEM OUTSIDE. NO EXCEPTIONS. Any student bringing pets to class will be asked to leave class until the pet is safely situated in a kennel or other facility.



    The Open Recertification course is open to graduates of all wilderness medical training courses of 64 hours or longer with a current Wilderness First Responder certification. Successful graduates of this course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates' Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certifications. WMA WEMT graduates with a current EMT-B or Paramedic certificate may also recertify the wilderness portion of their WEMT with this course.

    Open Recert Course Content
    This course is presented in 24 hours over three days. Typically, mornings are devoted to lectures, discussions and quizzes, with afternoons devoted to outdoor practical skills and scenarios. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Expect rescue scenarios with made-up victims and simulated wounds to prepare you for backcountry emergencies. Sessions may be videotaped for enhanced learning.
    Day 1: 8 hours - Introduction/Registration; Review Study Packet, Patient Assessment System, Basic Life Support (including Healthcare Provider-level CPR), Circulatory System, Respiratory System, Nervous System, Lifts, Moves and Extrications, PAS Drills
    Day 2: 8 hours - Musculoskeletal, Dislocations, Spine Management, Wounds and Burns, PAS Drills, Splints I - Extremities, Splints II - Spines, Simulation
    Day 3: 8 hours - Allergies and Anaphylaxis, Environmental Injuries, PAS Drills, Simulation, Final Testing, Conclusion

    OPEN RECERT Certification
    All eligible students who complete this course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates' International Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification. These certifications remain valid for three years. This certification can be used to challenge the DOT First Responder Exam, which is at the discretion of the local or state EMS authorities. 


    The three-day Open Recertification course may be used as a WFR recertification option for those with a current WMA International or other qualifying WFR. Only WMA International graduates are eligible to use this course as a WEMT recertification. For the WEMT recertification to be valid, WEMTs must have either a current license or certificate as an EMT-B or higher.

    OPEN RECERT Prerequisites

    To be eligible for a WFR recertification through this course, candidates must have completed a wilderness medical training course of at least 64 hours. Cumulative training hours from different courses are not eligible. Training must have been completed within three years of participation in our Open Recertification course. Any exceptions to these conditions must be verified prior to the course by contacting the Wilderness Medical Associates office. Proof of current certification is required at the start of the course. Students without proof of certification or approval from WMA International will not be eligible for WFR certification. Only WMA International trained WEMTs are eligible for WEMT recertification through this course.


    Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 11:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. Central Time. 
    Phone: 608.785.6530
    FAX: 608-785-5224 
    web site: - web info coming soon.
    Address: 1725 State St. 130 REC
    La Crosse, WI 54601