Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

1Accidents happen. People get hurt, sick, or lost. The temperature drops, the wind picks up, and it starts to rain. Would you know what to do? Many backcountry emergencies are preventable, and even when bad things happen, sometimes the wrong care can make things worse. By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one-and maybe even save a life.

WHO IS THE WFA FOR?
The WFA is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants a basic level of first aid training for short trips with family, friends, and outdoor groups. It also meets the ACA guidelines.

WHAT IS TAUGHT?
The WFA is 16 hours long (two days), and focuses on the basic skills of: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental Emergencies, Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies – see course outline in sidebar.

WHERE AND WHEN IS IT HELD?
The WFA is held around the world throughout the year. See Schedule.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The total price will vary depending on the sponsoring organization and what amenities (e.g. room and board) they include. The Course Schedule may list the specific price for each course, or sponsor information will be provided. WFA courses taught at the SOLO campus cost $175 (tuition only).

WHAT ABOUT ROOM AND BOARD?
This is also up to the sponsoring organization.

IS THERE AN EXAM?
Yes, there is ongoing evaluation of practical skills, and there are written assessments throughout the course.

DO I GET CERTIFIED?
Yes. You will receive a SOLO WFA certification, which is good for two years.

DOES THE WFA COUNT AS CONTINUING EDUCATION?
The WFA may give continuing ed credits (depending on the specific requirements for your certification) and is approved for recertifying SOLO’s Wilderness First Responder program.

Course Topics

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is SOLO’s most popular course and it creates a solid foundation in the basics of backcountry medical care. Started as the “Mountain/Woods First Aid” course in 1975, this was the first course of its kind in the United States, and it is the curriculum upon which all other backcountry medicine courses are based.

 

  • Introduction
  • Anatomy of a Wilderness Crisis
  • Anatomy of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Asthma
  • Backcountry Essentials
  • Cold-Related Injuries
  • Environmental Emergencies & Survival Skills (including lightning)
  • Heat-Related Injuries
  • Medical Emergencies & Critical Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Patient Assessment System
  • Patient Lifting & Moving
  • Principles of Fracture Care
  • Rescue Plan
  • Response & Assessment
  • Soft Tissue Injuries & Medical Emergencies
  • Spinal Cord Injury Management
  • Sprains & Strains
  • Techniques
  • The Human Animal
  • Trauma-Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Trauma-Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Universal Precautions
  • Use of Epinephrine
  • What is Wilderness First Aid?
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