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Wilderness First Aid Courses in the Canadian Rockies

→ Find a copy of Vol. 3 of the Canadian Rockies Annual at canadianrockiesannual.com

WILDERNESS FIRST AID COURSES
IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

By Tera Swanson

In Volume 3 of the Canadian Rockies Annual, we featured Wilderness First Aid courses as part of The Kit: Resources for Mountain Living. Here is a round-up of courses on offer throughout the Canadian Rockies, and where to find them.


Photo: Shutterstock 297106298

Backcountry exploration has become more popular than ever these past few years, and for good reason. But with all of these amazing experiences connecting with nature, it’s easy to forget the underlying risk that comes with these journeys. As backcountry use increases, the importance of having a thorough safety skill set is more crucial than ever. Not only will you want to choose your outdoor crew wisely, but you owe it to them to educate yourself too.

While Standard First Aid is a great start, it’s worthwhile to broaden your knowledge with a course catering this information to backcountry and wilderness-specific environments. There is a wide range of courses available to do so, meeting the needs of every type of outdoor explorer – from the beginner mountain scrambler to the ACMG guide.

Here’s a rundown of courses, providers, and where to sign up.

→ Find a copy of Vol. 3 of the Canadian Rockies Annual at canadianrockiesannual.com

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

– Backcountry Emergencies (12 hrs)

While not an official first aid course, these introductory sessions are a great start for those thinking of spending more time pursuing outdoor activities, or for those with time constraints. This course typically includes a half day session, and a one-day outdoor component to apply skills.

– Wilderness & Remote First Aid (20 hrs)
– Remote Responder (24 hrs)
– Wilderness Remote Responder (20 hrs)
– Wilderness First Aid (2 days)

These courses cover material in Standard First Aid certification and apply it to a wilderness and remote setting, including how to care for a victim for up to 24 hours. Typically includes CPR Level-C and AED certification. Certification is valid for 3 years.

While there are several variations on Wilderness First Aid courses, First Aid courses, those covering 20+ hours are typically recognized by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety as a Standard First Aid Certificate. Be sure to verify with the course provider that it is considered an equivalent.

– Advanced Wilderness & Remote First Aid (40 hrs)
– Wilderness Advanced First Aid (40 hrs)
– Adventure Medic (40 hrs)

Developing on skills and knowledge from WFA, the advanced courses teache first aid care in remote wilderness settings for over 24 hours. These courses are geared towards outdoor industry professionals requiring a high level of emergency training.

– Wilderness First Responder (80 hrs)
– Advanced Adventure Medic (80 hrs)

A high-level industry standard for outdoor professionals, the 80-hour courses extensively cover wilderness first aid medical training and leadership, covering detailed simulations with vast nuances and variables of isolated backcountry environments. Includes CPR certification, some courses at Level C and some to Health Care Provider (HCP) level – be sure to inquire with your course provider.

While there are several variations on Advanced Wilderness First Aid courses, those covering 80+ hours are typically recognized by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety as an Advanced First Aid Certificate. Be sure to verify with the course provider that it is considered an equivalent.

COMPANIES

Canadian Red Cross Directory

Website
Locations: Across Canada
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness and Remote First Aid – 20 hrs
  • Advanced Wilderness & Remote First Aid – 40 hrs

College of the Rockies

Website
Locations: Fernie
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness First Aid – 2 days
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid – 4 days
  • Wilderness First Responder – 80 hrs

Flexpeditions

Website
Locations: Revelstoke
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA) – 2 days
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) – 40 hrs

Interpretive Guides Association

Website
Locations: Canmore
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness First Aid – 20 hrs

Mahikan Trails

Website
Locations: Jasper
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness and Remote First Aid – 20 hrs
  • Advanced Wilderness and Remote First Aid – 40 hrs

Pure Mountain Medic First Aid & Safety Training

Website
Locations: Cochrane, Canmore, Banff
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness First Aid – 20 hrs
  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid – 80 hrs

Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine

Website
Locations: Bragg Creek
Courses offered:

  • Backcountry Emergencies – 12 hrs
  • Remote Responder – 24 hrs
  • Adventure Medic – 40 hrs
  • Advanced Adventure Medic – 80 hrs

University of Calgary Active Living

Website
Locations: Calgary
Courses offered:

  • Backcountry Emergencies – 12 hrs
  • Remote Responder – 24 hrs
  • Adventure Medic – 40 hrs
  • Advanced Adventure Medic / Wilderness First Responder – 80 hrs

Selkirk College

Website
Locations: Kaslo, Nakusp 
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness & Remote First Aid / Basic – 20 hrs

Slipstream

Website
Locations: Golden, Nelson, Canmore
Courses offered:

  • Wilderness First Aid / The Essential Course – 50 hrs
  • Wilderness First Aid / The Advanced Course – 90 hrs

Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

Website
Locations: Canmore
Courses offered:

  • Advanced Adventure Medic / Wilderness First Responder – 80 hrs
  • Wilderness Remote Responder – 20 hrs

 


Tera Swanson is a freelance writer and graduate from Mount Royal University’s Journalism undergraduate program. Whether laced into hiking boots or clipped into skis, her favourite way to explore the mountains is on her own two feet. She’s always up for anything that will end in the telling of a good story; be it through photography, from pen to paper, or over a locally brewed amber ale.

The views and opinions expressed in the articles on CrowfootMedia.com are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editor, the editorial team or the publishers.