We are often asked if WMT runs WFR – wilderness first responder – or “woofer” courses. This page discusses WFR and WMT courses in depth. Wikipedia defines wilderness first responders as individuals who are trained to respond to emergency situations in remote settings. They are part of a wide variety of wilderness medical professionals who deal with medical emergencies that occur in wilderness settings. In this broad sense WMT and WFR have very compatible aims. We hope these notes will help answer any questions about how WMT’s courses and WFR compare:
1. WMT’s Advanced Medicine course content covers almost everything a WFR course does though the terminology and groupings of topics differs slightly so it’s not readily transparent or easy to assess where the content is similar or diverges, and what level of detail is covered.
2. A WFR course is 70-80 hours long and aimed at outdoor amateurs and professionals (guides, ski patrollers etc). WMT’s most comprehensive course for laypeople in our Explorer series – Advanced Medicine – is also attended by professionals – guides and instructors – and also teachers, field workers, geologists, overland drivers, yachtsmen, film makers and many others. The UK gold standard Advanced Medicine course is 4 days long – about 35 hours.
3. WFR training is biased towards domestic (America-based) “back-country” activities and is biased towards managing trauma (fractures, injuries etc) in locations where medical help is usually hours away.
4. WMT’s training is geared towards remote foreign overseas travel, work and expeditions and hence we lend more weight than WFR to managing medical problems, diseases, infections etc. in locations where further medical help may be days, rather than hours away.
5. Both WFR and WMT’s Advanced Medicine courses have a written end of course exam component.
6. For the full detailed syllabus of Advanced Medicine see this page. Advanced Medicine includes invasive skill training (suturing, using intravenous fluids and giving injections) and authorisation to obtain a useful range of POMs (prescription only medications).
7. Retraining/re-certification for WMT’s Advanced Medicine course is achieved on a 2-day, 16 hour course and must be completed every 3 years. WFR certification lasts only 2 years and there’s a 3-day, 24 hour re-certification programme.
8. See Far From Help our 2-day foundation course which covers much of the Advanced Medicine syllabus including prescription drugs, but invasive training is excluded.