View Full Version : Medical Training?

02-04-2014, 08:54
If one was to pursue a medical certification, what is the most useful entry level certified Medical Training, i.e. EMS type training?

I'm assuming there is an entry level training certificate that is required for backwoods guiding, etc.

Thanks a ton.

02-04-2014, 09:19
Wilderness First Aid. A two day, usually weekend, course that is the entry level requirement for assistant guides, camp counselors, trail crew leaders and so on.

NOLS/WMI and SOLO both offer this type of course.

If you are looking to be the main guide, you'll need Wilderness First Responder. A much more intense course that is a week long and last 8+ hrs a day IIRC.

02-04-2014, 09:43
Check with your local Community College.

02-04-2014, 11:24
Wilderness first aid. Hands. Down.

02-04-2014, 12:06
If you are affiliated with the Boy Scouts, check with your local area Scout council. Frequently, the cost for Wilderness First Aid is generally cheaper. BSA has mandated at least one person trained in WFA for its High Adventure treks - Philmont, Northern Tier, etc. So, Scouts are putting on these classes on a regular basis to fill the demand.

02-04-2014, 13:14
Thanks for the response.

Do you know how NOLS WFA compares with American Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid certification?


02-04-2014, 14:06
Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is the step up after WFA. I think you should just go straight to WFR.

In my personal experience, WFR turned me onto medicine which led to me going to EMT school. EMT school was not nearly as fun, informative, and useful as the WFR even though EMT certification is about 200 hours longer. I say that because I don't work as an EMT nor do I plan on becoming a paramedic.

02-04-2014, 14:25
I've heard really good things about NOLS.

Two Speed
02-04-2014, 14:39
Excellent WFR class (http://www.gsmit.org/wfr.html) at the Tremont Institute in the Smokey's every January. Kinda pricey, but you'll get your money's worth.

02-04-2014, 15:48

Are you looking to apply this training professionally? Are you hopping to apply this training as a backwoods guide or are you looking for entry into medically trained profession?

Professionally, I would assume the opportunities available to someone certified as an EMT or EMT- Paramedic would outnumber those for someone with Wilderness First Aid training as their only qualification. (Meaning, it is backcountry skills I'd look for in my guide. Basic first aid skills I would just assume they possessed)

Good luck, whichever is your goal.

Todd Oyen
02-04-2014, 23:50
I'm a paramedic and instructor. My college offers WFR training. I've taken WFA, WFR, and a WALS (advanced life support) classes. By far, the WFR course is the best. The students that take the WFR course are planning to guide. If you're looking for a career outside of wilderness, then EMT is the beginning. Also, some jobs, like park rangers, may require EMT. Something to consider. The WFA is by far the cheapest, and probably best for most outdoorsy types for just the knowledge, but my experience makes me think the WFR is best for guides. Red Cross offers a good WFA.

02-05-2014, 09:36
I just completed SOLO's WFA training last month and found it useful and informative, but if you are serious about guiding and have the time/means, I'd also recommend going right to the WFR course. Some of the folks in my class needed the WFA certification/recertification for work as guides and camp counselors (seasonal work), but those who had previous WFR or WEMT certifications had more stable employment, most with state agencies as rangers and such.