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Wilderness EMT Upgrade • WEMT | Center For Wilderness Safety

Wilderness EMT Upgrade

This 5-day intensive course is designed for those holding current EMT-Basic certification through either State or National Registry, and is very fast paced. The course will build upon the advanced knowledge of patient care of the EMT and will introduce wilderness protocols and procedures that are significantly different from those taught in urban settings due to the element of time and therefore extended patient contact time and care.

Wilderness EMT Upgrade - WEMT
Practicing Stokes Carry
SAR Patient Handoff - National Park Service

Why Upgrade to Wilderness EMT?

Learn to adapt with constantly changing environmental conditions including weather and terrain, not to mention limited resources; while learning to make difficult medical decisions with confidence. This course will test your abilities to provide basic treatment interventions while our experienced instructors guide you through scenario-based, hands-on learning. Be prepared to spend time not only in the classroom, but also outdoors; regardless of weather conditions (after all, this is wilderness EMT).

Time is the essential element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. When calling 911 is not an immediate option, or when help could be an hour or even days away, the task of managing the injured and the ill will challenge you beyond basic first-aid knowledge, and require the skills you will learn in this course.

In your Wilderness EMT Upgrade course, you will not only refresh your patient care and assessment skills, but you will also gain new insight into long-term care, improvisation techniques, and the addition of Wilderness Medical Field Protocols.

The equipment needed for treatment and evacuation may have to be improvised from what’s available, and communication with the “outside world” may be limited—or even nonexistent. Remote locations and harsh environments may require creative treatments. All of this comes into play being a wilderness first aider.

What To Expect

This course is an intensive course which offers a lot of hands-on practice through scenarios, case studies and simulations. Students will constantly be both indoors and outdoors for simulations and practice, regardless of the weather, barring severe inclement weather. Come to class prepared for the weather, as we spend a lot of time outdoors training.

Army Ranger Medic practicing care
  • General Info
  • Course Outline
  • Qualifications
  • Find a Course
Course Length:
45–55 hours of instruction
Actual course may be longer, incorporating hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
Course Format:
WEMT Upgrade is typically taught over 5 or 6 consecutive days (please see below).
Courses taught over 5 consecutive days are typically 8am–5pm daily, with several night sessions.
Courses taught over 6 consecutive days are typically 8am–5pm daily , with one evening session.

Course Tuition:
$485 – $685
Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, meals accommodations, etc.
Wilderness EMT (valid 3 years) *
Only valid with a current state or NR EMT certificate and healthcare provide CPR/AED certification.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.*
    ** The minimum age requirement to take Wilderness ;EMT Upgrade is 18 by the last day of the course, however younger participants may be allowed to take the course on a case-by-case basis.
  • Current Healthcare Provider level CPR/AED certification is required. *
    Healthcare (BLS) Provider CPR/AED certificate MUST be from either AHA or Red Cross.
  • Complete the Two Required Forms (waiver & medical forms) prior to class.*
    All Prerequisites MUST be completed at least 48 Hours prior to your course start date (if a course starts on Monday, they are due the Friday before at Midnight). Failure to do so will result in not being permitted to attend the course with no refunds.
NOTE: Access to these forms is granted once enrollment is complete.
Recommended For:

Wilderness EMT Upgrade is an advanced 5 to 6-day training, designed for medical personnel who would like to enhance their skills and experience for use in rural, wilderness, and technical rescue setting. This course is geared toward current EMS providers looking to broaden their skills in remote and wilderness environments.

The 45-hour Wilderness EMT Upgrade course is geared toward current EMS providers looking to broaden their skills in wilderness and remote environments. A sample list of topics covered in this course include (but are not limited to):

Airway Emergencies Life-Threatening Conditions
Allergies + Anaphylaxis Lightning Safety
Altitude Illnesses North American Snakebites
Anatomy + Physiology Orthopedic Injuries + Dislocations
Backcountry + Sudden Illnesses Patient Assessment System
Bites + Stings Patient Care Documentation
Body Substance Isolation Risk Management
Burns + Blisters Scene Leadership + Control
Chest Injuries Shock + ASR
Cold Related Injuries Soft Tissue Injuries
Common OTC Medications Submersion Emergencies
CPR in Remote Settings Suspected Spinal Injuries
Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Tick Safety
Evacuation Considerations Traumatic Brain Injuries
Hands-On Practical Simulations Venomous Spider Bites
Heat Related Illnesses Vital Signs
Improvisation / MacGyvering Wilderness Field Protocols
Introduction to Wilderness Medicine Wilderness Medical Kits

Your Wilderness EMT certification may be renewed by taking any Wilderness EMT Refresher or Wilderness First Responder Refresher class taught by Center for Wilderness Safety.

Criteria to Recertify:
    • Current WFR certification (not expired)
    • Current Adult CPR/AED certification (not expired; must be by an accredited certifying body)
    • Candidates must successfully pass all practical scenarios and skills tests
    • Candidates must successfully pass the written WFR exam (even if taking a WFA to recertify)

      Recertification is offered to anyone who holds a current WFR certification from one of the following organizations: Center for Wilderness Safety (CWS), NOLS Wilderness Medicine (formerly WMI), Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) or Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO). CWS does not recognize any other organization's "grace periods" for recertification.

      Unsure if your WFR certification is accepted?
      Give us a call us at Toll Free 1 (855) 505-1700.

Find a Wilderness EMT Upgrade Course Near You        Sponsor a Wilderness EMT Upgrade Course at Your Location

If your group or organization is interested in sponsoring a Wilderness First Responder course at your location, simply click the link above. Please note that we are scheduling courses out in advance (late Spring into early Summer) due to COVID-19 precautions.