Skip to content
Go to site map

Wilderness First Responder

This is a nationally recognized program that trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings. The 80-hour curriculum includes standards for urban and extended care situations. Special topics include, but are not limited to, wound management and infection, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long term management problems, up-to-date information on all environmental emergencies, and advice on drug therapies. The program emphasizes prevention and decision-making, not list memorization. This course is designed specifically to provide you with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. Half of your time will be spent completing practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge your decision making abilities. Adult CPR is included in this course.

Click here for additional course registration information.

Course Length: 9 Days/80 Hours

Recommended for: Backcountry guides, canoe trip leaders, private expedition groups, college/university outdoor education programs, hiking club trip leaders, wilderness therapeutic programs, EMT’s and adventure race safety personnel.

Prerequisites: None.

Minimum Age: To participate in a Wilderness Medical Certification through Appalachian State University, participants must be 18 on the first day of the course or a registered Appalachian State University Student who has graduated from high school.

Course Cost: (Due by 4/22/22)

  • $600 - Current Appalachian State University students
  • $830 - Other

Dates of course:

  • Friday, May 6th - Saturday, May 14th, 2022
  • 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (All days and two night scenarios)
  • Participants must arrive at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 6th, for an orientation to the facility and for checking into the program.

Location: Broadstone at Appalachian State University

  • 1431 Broadstone Road, Banner Elk, NC 28604

How to Register: Please view our website to register. From here, you will need to log into your account. If you do not have an account, click “sign up” in the top right corner and follow the instructions to create an account. Click on the button that says "Certifications." (Make sure to input your birthday when making an account because our Wilderness Medicine Courses have an age restriction set on them.) You will find “Wilderness First Responder” listed there. Make sure to click on that one and not the one that says recertification. (Unless a recertification is what you need). If you need lodging accommodations, revisit the "Certifications" button and find our "Wilderness Medicine Housing" listing. (More information on that below.) Select the dates that you need from there! Follow the directions for processing the payment online via the link that you'll be sent. Once you pay for your course and if needed, lodging, make sure to visit the bottom of this website to view all the paperwork requirements! Note: If the course is full, you will be able to sign up on the waitlist following the exact same steps outlined above. The only difference is that instead of the end button saying "Register," it will ask you to "Join Waitlist."

Cancellation and Refund Policy: Payment in full is required to reserve your spot in a course. Payments are non-transferable. If you withdraw from the course 30 days prior to the course state date, you may receive a partial refund. In the case of withdrawing 30 days prior to the course start, UREC will keep $215 for Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and $100 Wilderness First Responder Recertification (WFR-R) and refund your remaining balance. If a course is canceled due to low enrollment, all funds paid are 100% refundable or transferable to another Wilderness Medicine Course hosted by UREC. Transfers must be made during the same academic year or the funds will be forfeited. Within 30 days of the course state, if a participant cancels or does not show up to the first day of the course, 50% of the balance amount will be refunded to the participant, only if their spot in the course was filled. If a participant withdraws after the course has started, no refunds will be given.

Lodging: The WFR is happening at our beautiful Broadstone facility located in Valle Crucis, NC. A part of the Appalachian State University campus, Broadstone provides an ideal location to conduct a wilderness medicine course. The majority of the course takes place in the main lodge which has plenty of room for classroom discussions, as well as a kitchen and dining room. We have many outdoor locations nearby which we will also be utilizing where we can conduct outdoor scenarios for the course. We have cabin accommodations available for the duration of the course. Shared cabin space with bunk beds is available at Broadstone on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any overnight stay is $20/night and grants access to the kitchen appliances and indoor showers located in the cabins. Students may choose to stay from the night prior to the course beginning through the night the course finishes. Students staying the night before must arrive by 8:00 p.m.  A housing package may also be purchased a reduced cost to include lodging for all nights starting on the evening prior to the course and ending the morning of the last day of the course. Please see the above section on how to register. 

NOLS COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: All students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on all U.S. based NOLS Wilderness Medicine courses. Any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) is an acceptable vaccine for the purposes of this policy. Along with your WFR course documentation, there are 3 documents listed at the bottom of this page that relate to the Covid-19 vaccine policy. Please review all paperwork relating to the Covid-19 vaccine policy. For your reference, the following bullet points are the documents to review:

  • NOLS Wilderness Medicine Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
  • NOLS Wilderness Medicine COVID-19 Disclosure, Practices, and Expectations for Students
  • Exemption Forms

Updated Covid-19 Policies (Effective starting May 6th, 2022): NOLS has updated their COVID policies and will go into effect Day 1 of your course. Listed below are the updated policies:

  • Vaccine requirement remains unchanged. Full COVID vaccination completed 2 weeks prior to course start date is required for entry into the course.
  • Students with vaccine exemptions must show proof of a negative COVID test on Day 1 of all courses, and also on Day 6 of longer courses. 
  • Students are encouraged to wear a mask during indoor lecture time, but it is optional. Students can wear their own mask or a KN-95 we will provide.
  • Masks are mandatory during any workshop/close contact indoors or outdoors. KN-95s will be provided or you can bring your preferred KN-95.
  • Scenarios require masks and gloves and to be held outdoors if the environment allows. KN-95s will be provided or you can bring your preferred KN-95.

Certifications Received:

  • NOLS Wilderness Medicine Wilderness First Responder Certification
  • NOLS Wilderness Medicine Adult & Child CPR certification
  • Certifications are current for two years.

Continuing Education:

Course Paperwork:

Please mail all course paperwork to Student Recreation Center C/O Valerie Kankiewicz, ASU Box 32081, Boone, NC 28608 by April 22nd, 2022.

Vaccine policy information (and if needed, exemption form)

Download: Wilderness Medicine COVID 19 Disclosure English

Download: Wilderness Medicine Student Vax Policy

Download: EXEMPTION FORMS

Required paperwork for course listed below. We need a "wet-ink" (black or blue ink) on paper signature for everything. [This means nothing can be typed, scanned, faxed, or emailed.]

Download: Wilderness Medicine Course Application

Download: Landmark Agreement

Download: NOLS Rescue Gear

Download: NOLS Release

Download: Broadstone Agreement

Download: Grounds and Lodging Orientation

Download: General UREC Participant Waiver All Programs

Click here for additional course registration information.

For more information, contact Valerie Kankiewicz at breyve@appstate.edu or (828) 262-4954.