Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Hybrid

Location: Highline State Park outside Fruita in Loma Colorado

Dates: Online Hybrid Section: April 1 – May 6. All online material must be completed by 8am on May 6.

Field Dates: May 9-13, 2016

Want to be a WFR? Want a unique wilderness rescue medicine certification program to hone your skills after completing the WFR? Well read on!

WFR Course Description:

Outdoor Enthusiasts, Guides, Educators, and Search and Rescue Team Members – Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification remains the most comprehensive baseline wilderness medical training. Learn to assess, to treat and to appropriately evacuate patients with emergent backcountry medical issues during CMC’s upcoming WFR practicum in Highline State Park just outside of Fruita, in Loma Colorado.

Earn 4 college credit hours and an array of medical knowledge in CMC’s hybrid 30 hour online and then intensive 5-day for a total 75-hour WFR course. Our instructors all have more than a decade of Outdoor Education, SAR and/or Guide experience, and also currently hold positions at medical facilities and/or ambulance services.

Why the WEMS program and not another?

The CMC WEMS Certification remains the standard for individuals who seek specialist-level wilderness rescue and medical training. This certification program was developed by professional wilderness rescuers to provide the most updated, realistic, hands-on training in wilderness medicine that you can get if you are looking for a career in wilderness medicine or rescue. CMC’s WEMS program always has its finger on the pulse of rescue medicine and is proud to up the student experience by offering:

  • WFR courses taught by wilderness guides who also work as medical professionals
  • Updated wilderness medicine protocols and field guides
  • 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 pro’s
  • And the unique technician level WEMS program* (15 credit certification) to support & enhance the skills you learn in the WFR course.

*You don’t have to be enrolled in the WEMS program to take the WFR course. You can take the WFR class as a stand-alone class. Many students enroll in the WEMS certification program after taking the WFR to obtain more skills and training in wilderness rescue. Contact Brian for more details about enrolling in the WEMS program.


The course will be held at the private group camping site in Highline State Park in Loma, Co. 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 sheltered tables, grills, campfire ring, modern restrooms, electricity and water. The group site is near Highline Lake which offers fishing, swimming & boating. There are also 7 miles of hiking and biking trails within the park.


  • RV’s are not allowed in the group site. Tent camping only!
    • Students who wish to camp in their RV need to reserve and pay for their own RV site
  • CMC will pay for students daily park pass from Monday to Friday ($35 cost).
  • Students will need to pay for their own pass if they stay at Highline State Park on Sunday night (sorry the group site was not available Sunday night!)


After class in the evening students can hike, bike, climb, raft, kayak or go sight-seeing in this amazing environment. The put in for the Colorado River is about a 10 minute drive. World class mountain biking in Fruita and Loma is 10-20 minutes away!

Fruita is about 13 miles away. In Fruita there are grocery stores, restaurants, bike shops and other accommodations.

Dates, times & transportation

The field course will be held over May 09-13 (Monday to Friday) from 8 am-5 pm. The course ends on May 13 at 5 pm. Students have evenings free to explore the area. Students are encouraged to show up in the area on Sunday, May 08. Transportation is not provided by CMC! There will be a carpooling option for interested students. Notify Brian to get on the email list for further details on carpooling.


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. Fruita is about a 10 minute drive 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 emailed to students once they register for the course.

Course and Certification Details

  • Course Cost $345 (in district rate)
  • Course cost $605 (in state rate)
    • Includes wilderness medicine field guide
    • Includes camping fees & permit fees
    • Includes certification fees & certification cards
    • CPR certification cards
  • Course Books:
    • Wilderness Medicine Pro Field guide, Brian Taylor (handed out first day of class)
  • Wilderness First Responder: How To Recognize, Treat, And Prevent Emergencies In The Backcountry, ISBN-13: 978-0762754564 (needed for pre-course work)
  • CPR is included in course (2 year certification through ASHI)
  • A WEMS WFR certification card valid for 2 years (with a one year grace period) and an American Safety and Health Institute CPR certification card (valid for 2 years) will be awarded upon successful course completion
  • Course exceeds the Wilderness Medical Society’s Guidelines for WFR training
  • Course lead instructor is Brian Taylor (CMC wilderness medical director)
  • Assistant instructors are Ben Butler and Tom Schwander (CMC WEMS staff).
  • No pre-requisites needed for this class.

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