View Full Version : Wilderness First Responder re-certification

01-26-2006, 21:57

Anyone else out there a Wilderness First Responder?

I got my WFR card 3 years ago. Now I need to recertify by completing a 2-3 day course.

Here is where I'm confused:

I completed my WFR via Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA). That particular program has a reputation for being the most thorough.

This time, in order to recertify, I'd actually prefer to take the WFR recertification class offered by NOLS because it is right in my neighborhood. (If I sign up for a WMA recert class I will have to travel and pay lodging.)

HOWEVER, the WMA web site and the NOLS web site seem to have conflicting information. The NOLS web site says I can get recertified via NOLS if I just bring in my WMA card. The WMA web site, on the other hand, says WMA "will not recognize other wilderness medicine schools" (presumably including NOLS) to get recertified. It implies I can get recertified only via WMA.

Does anyone understand this? I have a lot of respect for WMA, but on the surface this appears to be an attempt by WMA to claim a monopoly on recertification.

Anyone else out there try to recertify a WMA WFR card via NOLS?


01-27-2006, 00:02
Just a thought - as I really do not know - but maybe NOLS will let you recertify and you end up with an NOLS cert at the end of the class?? Maybe they recognize the courses are similar enough to not make you take their begining class again... I know Red Cross and YMCA have a similar arrangement for CPR classes (I got my original cert through Red Cross and then re-certified through YMCA with no problems).

01-27-2006, 14:37
I just got a clarification from WMA that confirms your theory. If I recertify through NOLS, then NOLS 'takes over' as my 'certifying company,' and I'm no longer certified through WMA. That is something that I can live with - as long as SOMEBODY recertifies me.

There is another distinction that I learned: WMA allows no grace period. Once your 3-year certification runs out, you have to take the full 8-day WFR class from scratch. NOLS on the other hand allows a full one-year grace period. Which means I have an extra year to recertify! (Though my certification will 'lapse' in the interim.) Yet another reason to do NOLS.