It’s a well-known fact that one outdoor education industry standard for trip leaders, wilderness guides and backcountry educators who work on multi-day expeditions, is that you have to have a current and up-to-date Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training. How you satisfy that requirement is up to you.
Traditionally, the only way to earn the WFR credential was to enroll in an 80-hour course that took place over a one-and-a-half to two-week timeframe. That meant taking a leave from work, packing up your stuff, saying goodbye to your family, and driving to some random outdoor facility where you’d either camp or bunk with strangers for up to 14 days while you participated in the training. And while that format is still very popular and effective, a new approach for completing ‘woofer’ training has emerged, allowing those of us who aren’t able to commit up to two weeks away (from work and family) to receive the same training and certification.
It’s called a Wilderness First Responder & Wilderness EMT Hybrid/DLP Training (the DLP part stands for distance learning project), and it combines an approved at-home study and online testing component, followed by a four-night / five-day hands-on training here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) in Wilmington, North Carolina.
This NCOAE-sponsored course exceeds the Wilderness First Responder & WEMT Scope of Practice requirements endorsed by the Wilderness Medical Society and is eligible for Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine credits from WMS!
With this approach to receiving your Wilderness First Responder certification, you complete 30-50 hours of home study, successfully past four tests administered online (which means you need a computer and reliable broadband/high speed Internet access), and then make your way to Wilmington for the short hands-on component.