Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

The Red Cross has been training the world in Emergency and Disaster Response since 1876. Our programs and resources have affected the lives of many people in times of personal and communal distress. The Wilderness First Responder program is a specifically focused version of the Canadian Red Cross First Responder program. This nationally recognized standard of training has been adopted by several EMS agencies across Canada. The first responder level of training is considered the most complete and advanced medical training available before Para medicine.

Red Cross programs are goal-oriented in their teaching focus. We operate within seven fundamental principles that translate into our programs and services. Our training programs will not teach you how to act by remembering a list of procedures when dealing with an emergency situation. Instead we will ask you to follow principles and understand why you are acting. It has been proven when the adult learner can understand the “why” of something, they can overcome any “how”.

Course Format

80 hours, over 8 days. The program is a mix of classroom and experiential sessions and simulations/scenarios. Most evenings you will be expected to complete readings, case study and exercises. An evening will be devoted to an overnight scenario which will involve a short out-trip. Expect continual emergency and rescue simulations with mocked-up victims and stage blood.

Course Materials

The program is supported with the Red Cross new Professional Responder text, workbook, BLS field guide and a Wilderness Field Guide which is on waterproof paper. Also, a handout booklet with supplemental reading and case studies is used to enhance group specific needs. Wilderness first aid and First Response kits will be provided for simulations.

Come With

lots of physical and mental energy! Plus proper clothing for the location and time of year as 50 % or more of the program is outdoors regardless of weather. Our goal is to emulate as much as possible the learner’s “wilderness reality”. We find the more you can place the student in their environment the more effective the learning. Included with the course registration you will find a suggested what to bring list. The idea is to test what you would be using in your WFR environment.


is based on course participation (100 % required) and performance on both written and practical final exams. An 80% pass mark on the written test is required. A mutually agreed upon time to do a second test will be arranged, if necessary.

What You Receive

Students who successfully complete the WFR course will receive a Wilderness First Responder certification card that is valid for three years. This includes CPR level BLS. The WFR course meets or exceeds all requirements of other similarly named courses (Paramedic Association Canada – Emergency Medical Responder). Within three years, students may maintain certification through a re-certification course. Info below:

 pdficonsmall WRFResponderAd-2020

Sample – WRFResponderSyllabus2021