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Wilderness First Responder (WFR) - Extended Classes and Experiences
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By Avery N
From Boulder, CO
Dec 12, 2007
Canadian Rockies Ice 2008.

Hello All,

I am considering re-taking a WFR course, as it has been 6 or so years as it seems like pretty key knowledge to have and rehearse.

For those who have previously taken WFR courses in Colorado:

1) Are you aware of any courses that are spread out over time (e.g. 6 weeks, evenings and weekends) for those who don't want to take off a week? I am only aware that Wilderness Medicine Outfitters does this.

2) Who did you take your WFR course from and what was your experience?

Cheers.


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By Jason Himick
From Boulder, CO
Dec 12, 2007
Future Goal

Jared Workman wrote:
...the quality depends greatly on the co-instructors involved.


Having taken Carl's course, I'll agree with that. Carl is a bit of a curmudgeon... not so personable some times. I think you get out of it what you put into it, but I think there are better WFR educators out there.


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By David Heerschap
From Durango, Co
Dec 12, 2007

I would rather move to Texas and dryhump rattlesnakes than recert a WFR with WMO.


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By Sergio P
From Idaho Springs, CO
Dec 12, 2007
World Champion NY Giants logo

I heard of some college WFR courses that are spread out over a few weeks. I know AIMs community college did that 7 years ago and maybe Red Rocks. You might want to check out that avenue.

I got my WFR b/c I lead a lot of wilderness courses with kids. Your typical Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is only 2 days and covers about 85% of the same content as the WFR. The big difference is that a WFR course has a lot of hands on training and senarios. The WFA course is almost 80% lecture or demonstration. I've taken many WFA courses as WFR recertifications.


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By Avery N
From Boulder, CO
Dec 12, 2007
Canadian Rockies Ice 2008.

Thanks folks.

I had not heard of anyone else teaching a multi week class, particularly in Boulder... but was curious.

Sergio, what's "AIM's community college"?

I have had the class with WMO before, and am not that fond of Carl's style or attitude, though frequently he is not the primary instructor. I think the content was good, and our primary instructor (Dan, I think -- a LA paramedic, ironically) was a pretty nice guy and knowledgeable.

I would prefer to try somewhere else to get a different perspective, as well. However, when you have a limited number of weeks off each year -- it's hard to take one for a WFR course in lieu of a week of climbing!


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By M.Morley
Administrator
From Sacramento, CA
Dec 12, 2007
8-21-09

Avery, I took a course with WMO many years ago ('95?) and found it to be overall of fairly poor quality. Maybe they've improved over the years, but I personally wouldn't recommend them to anyone based on my experience.

Edit: I know Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood offers an EMT course that is a semester-long class; you might consider that as an option.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Dec 12, 2007
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Avery--

I've taken 2 full WFR courses with two re-certs in between. My last full course was instructed by Pete Walka in Flagstaff, AZ. You've already got a bunch of responses about this, so normally I wouldn't bother, but he is one of those instructors that's incredibly experienced and an excellent teacher. If you find yourself in need of a little excursion, it would be worth taking his class in Flagstaff.

There's definitely great winter climbing in AZ if you haven't already tasted that too.

--Marc


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By Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Dec 13, 2007

Avery
I've taken a couple of courses, and I'd suggest First Lead out
of Rigdeway, I think it is--see www.firstlead.com
He offers courses at the CMC once or twice a year, but I don't
think he offers the extended course. Top notch instructor, and
the best medicine course I ever took.


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By Avery N
From Boulder, CO
Dec 13, 2007
Canadian Rockies Ice 2008.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. Kind of the response I expected -- folks that have taken the class from both WMO and elsewhere prefer elsewhere. So, I don't think I'll pay to take the class a second time from WMO at this point. I'd prefer to get some different perspective; until I have the time to take a week off -- I'll just do a review of the material. Like anything -- seems if you don't practice it, you lose it.

Jared -- FWIW, I think you'll get a ton out of the class, and wouldn't second guess your decision. The course has a ton of useful information, and if taking time off work for a week isn't optimal (it isn't for most of us), the 6-week evening format is really nice.


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By Sergio P
From Idaho Springs, CO
Dec 13, 2007
World Champion NY Giants logo

Avery, AIMS or AIM's (or something like) that is a community college outside of Greely. Sorry I don't know much more then that. When I was at UNC in Greely I had some friends get their WFR there. I don't know if it was a one time thing or what.

As for the whole debate as to what school to go to. I've always used WMI and had overall good experience. I usually find that out of the 2 instructors, one is great while the other is ok. My original teacher was named Gates and he was really good. I know that he has been at WMI and NOLS for while. When I took the WFR I drove up to Lander b/c a friend of mine told me that since that course is geared towards NOLS instructors WMI brings out the best. I know someone else who did that and even got a real heli evac scenario.


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By skinner
From Calgary, AB
Dec 15, 2007
Profile photo

I though that the Wilderness First Aid was all done in modules (here at least).

Backcountry Emergencies
Remote Responder
Adventure Medic
Advanced Adventure Medic

..or maybe I'm jus not understanding the levels. I always remeber it being one long course when they first implemented it, but thought that had changed now?


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By Sergio P
From Idaho Springs, CO
Dec 16, 2007
World Champion NY Giants logo

skinner wrote:
I though that the Wilderness First Aid was all done in modules (here at least). Backcountry Emergencies Remote Responder Adventure Medic Advanced Adventure Medic ..or maybe I'm jus not understanding the levels. I always remeber it being one long course when they first implemented it, but thought that had changed now?


The levels of the certifications seem to depend on the company you go through. Here is how WMI does it www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/

Essentially for WMI it is: Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness EMT


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By Lee Smith
Dec 16, 2007
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />

Sergio,

I believe it is Ames community college.


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By Brad Brandewie
Dec 16, 2007
Maya's first trip to RMNP.

Avery,

I took a WFR course in Fort Collins that was spread out over a couple months. It was with Mark R.(?) and was from the Front Range Institute of Safety I believe.

I thought it was a much better way to take the course than the 10 day crunch. That is a lot of material to pack into 10 days.

Cheers,
Brad


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By skinner
From Calgary, AB
Dec 18, 2007
Profile photo

Brad Brandewie wrote:
Avery, I took a WFR course in Fort Collins that was spread out over a couple months. It was with Mark R.(?) and was from the Front Range Institute of Safety I believe. I thought it was a much better way to take the course than the 10 day crunch. That is a lot of material to pack into 10 days. Cheers, Brad


It sounds like a better way to do it for sure, at least for me.. I don't retain as much long-term with a cram-style course.

I'm curious, how many days/hours a week was the course doing it ths way?


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By Brad Brandewie
Dec 18, 2007
Maya's first trip to RMNP.

I believe it was 4 hour classes twice a week for 7 weeks plus 2 full Saturdays in the field.


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By Buff Johnson
Dec 18, 2007
smiley face

I think the biggest reason I ended up not pursuing a WFR was the slamfest -- take it all in one week or leave it.

With the EMT-type programs. I think the main problem I was told that if you want to go for a professional cert it needs to be within a standardized & accredited organization within the EMS system.

Really, for just backcountry recreation only, why would you want to do an EMT cert?

WFR and/or First Aid I can see the benefits; at the time I considered WFR, I just wished that it was offered with more flexibility. I think most of us just want to go out and enjoy the backcountry and help our partners if we can.


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By epoch
From Maine
Dec 18, 2007

If you are pressed for time and don't want to take a full 10 days off out of your already hectic schedule I'd recommend looking into where these five day WFR courses are held.


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