Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Wilderness First Responder

Colorado Mountain College WFR and BLS Certification Exceeds minimum standards for WMI, WMA, and WMS

Online: August 15 – September 1
Field Days: Windy Point Campground: September 1-5

80 hours

Want to be a WFR? Need wilderness medical certification for your job as a guide, and outdoor educator or your personal habits of getting outside as often as possible? Want a unique wilderness medicine experience taught by instructors with 2 decades of practical experience? Well read on!

Wilderness First Responder & American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Professional Rescuers Course Description:
Join CMC’s Wilderness EMS staff as they offer another intensive Wilderness First Responder in the amazing mountain environment outside Breckenridge, CO. This course begins with an intensive 35-hour online component that introduces students to the didactic portion of Wilderness Medicine – from medical, to trauma, to wilderness protocols, to communication and evacuation.

Students must complete the course modules on CMC’s Canvas platform between the days of August 15 and September 1 with a passing score of 80% or better – multiple repeats in the modules are allowed to offer students the opportunity to truly learn the material and get it right prior to the field component of the course.

Students will also be expected to complete and pass American Heart Association (AHA) BLS for Professional Rescuers Online Portion (with associated $22 additional fee) on their own.

Upon successful completion of the online component and the AHA online component, students meet their instructors outside of Breckenridge, CO, along the Dillon Reservoir at the Windy Point group campsite. Camping is offered to students at the campsite as part of their course fees.

Thursday, September 1, we begin the 5 day intensive skills-based portion of the wilderness first responder certification. Students blend their learning from the online portion of the class, and are taught to apply the knowledge to an intensive hands-on practice of skills that range from CPR, rescue breathing, and AED use; to wilderness pharmacology and drug administration; to improvised splinting; to wound cleansing, dressing and prolonged care; to extrication techniques, to hypothermia packaging; and much, much more!

This course is an official Wilderness First Responder course, taught by working Paramedics and Wilderness EMTs who have decades of experience, and will serve as certification to any company that requires WFR for employment purposes.

Why the Colorado Mountain College WFR program and not another?
The CMC Wilderness First Responder Certification remains the standard for individuals who seek an introductory course to specialist-level wilderness medical training and rescue. The CMC WFR was developed by professional wilderness rescuers over the course of many years.

Our instructors have worked in positions ranging from Search and Rescue agencies, to Outward Bound and NOLS programs, to international Class V river outfitters, to climbing and mountain biking guide services, to expeditionary kayak expeditions, and more. In order to be considered to instruct for CMC, instructors are also required to have worked jobs on ambulance services, medical clinics and hospitals, or helicopter-based ambulatory services.

We provide the most updated, realistic, hands-on training in wilderness medicine that you can get for careers in wilderness medicine or rescue. CMC’s WFR course always has its finger on the pulse of wilderness medicine and is proud to up the student experience by offering:

  • WFR courses taught by professional wilderness search and rescue EMT’s/paramedics who are actively working in the field as wilderness medics and rescuers.
  • The CMC WFR course provides you with instruction and certification in American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for Professional Rescuers.
  • The most updated wilderness medicine protocols by WMS, PHTLS & AHA.
  • Extensive online supportive material with hundreds of videos, research papers and other wilderness medicine resources.
  • Top-notch industry standard medical kits, specialty wilderness medicine tools and technical evacuation equipment that is used by the pros.
  • High fidelity manikins for realistic scenarios.
  • At $345 (in-district rate,) including 5 nights camping, the most affordable Wilderness First Responder anywhere!

The course will be held at the Windy Point group site campground along the shores of Lake Dillon. Students can camp at the group site where the course is held or opt to stay at another campsite or hotel of their choice. This site has multiple tent sites, car camping sites, restrooms, a sun shelter, picnic benches, views galore, established campfire pits and an emergency phone. World class bouldering, hiking, mountain biking, rivers, and lake activities are all within a short distance from the campsite.
After class in the evening students can hike, bike, climb, raft, kayak or go sight-seeing in this amazing environment.

Windy Point is located near Dillon Reservoir at an elevation of 9,000 feet in the White River National Forest. The site consists of a group camp and a group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 100 people each. In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest is a place of serenity and adventure, boasting 8 wilderness areas, 4 defined seasons, and 10 peaks surpassing 14,000 feet in elevation.

Described as being more vertical than horizontal, the nearby Eagles Nest Wilderness, designated in 1976, is a playground of craggy cliffs, sheer rock faces, alpine lakes, and deep, forested valleys. Visitors will find foot travel across this pristine area challenging and often strenuous, but will be rewarded with spectacular scenery.

Wildlife in the area abounds. Bighorn sheep navigate rocky ridges and bull elk bugle at dusk. Scenic rivers sustain populations of cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout. Alpine regions provide habitat for pika and ptarmigan. These species, along with many others, depend on surrounding undeveloped wilderness, clean streams, and diverse forests to live.

Dates, Times and Transportation:
The online portion of the course is August 15 – September 1. You must complete all of the modules with an 80% or better score in order to be able to continue the field portion of the course. You will also be expected to complete AHA BLS for Professional Rescuers online portion.

The field portion of the course will be held over Labor Day weekend, September 1-5 (Thursday through Monday) from 8 am-5:20 pm. The course ends on September 5 at 5:20 pm. Students will have the evenings free to explore the local area.

Non-local students are encouraged to show up on Wednesday, August 31 to settle in and set up camp. Transportation is not provided by CMC for this course.

CMC will provide the common area or shelter with basic camping supplies for the students to use. This will include a camp kitchen, lanterns, ice coolers, 5 gallon water containers & sun shelters. Students will have to supply their own food for the entire course.

Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, and Breckenridge are all 10-15 minute drives from the camp if the student needs any additional supplies or commodities. CMC will provide all the necessary medical supplies for the course. A recommended supply list will be posted on CMC’s online learning platform, “Canvas.”

Course and Certification Details:
Course cost $345 (in district rate), camping included. WFR certification valid for 2 years (with a one year grace period) will be awarded upon successful course completion. American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Professional Rescuers valid for 2 years. Course exceeds the Wilderness Medical Society’s Guidelines. No prior experience or training or prerequisites are required.


  • Includes wilderness medicine field guide.
  • Includes camping fees & permit fees
  • Includes certification fees & certification cards
  • Skills and Testing Portion of AHA Basic Life Support for Professional Rescuers (this is an upgraded CPR course)


  • CMC does not provide transportation.
  • You will be expected to pay for and complete American Heart Association BLS for Professional Rescuers online portion on your own. The cost of this is $22.
  • You must purchase Buck Tilton’s Wilderness First Responder text on your own. The book is available on the Follett book store, and at retailers online.

Please call or email the WEMS office if you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming WFR.

Brian Taylor BS, CCEMT-P
Wilderness-EMS Coordinator
970-453-6757 ext 2624