Wilderness First Responder

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is a required medical training certification for most wilderness guides and outfitters. Wilderness first responder certification is also sought by individuals who spend a lot of time in the wilderness, especially when they are responsible for groups (family, etc.)

This WFR course, hosted by BOSS in Boulder, Utah, is taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS and covers all aspects of WMI’s 80-hour certification course. All students who pass the course will be certified Wilderness First Responders.

This course is intense! Be prepared to learn and practice an enormous volume of material. Each day will be packed with classroom time and field scenario practice.

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Need to Recertify?

We also offer a 3-day WFR Recertification.

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About the Course

In our Wilderness First Responder certification course, emphasis is placed on the development of good decision-making skills and the prevention of emergencies, as well as patient assessment, transport, and treatment. This course will be held in Boulder, Utah and the surrounding canyons, desert, and mountains for necessary field trips/practicals. The course is open to anyone interested in learning wilderness medical techniques.

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About BOSS

Since 1968, BOSS Courses have set the standard for low-technology camping and survival skills instruction. All wilderness travel and teaching is conducted with minimal intrusion of modern technology in environments that allow course content to be learned and experienced first-hand. Our commitment to quality and to our core philosophies has earned BOSS its reputation as the gold standard for survival and low-impact wilderness education.

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The Course Location

The BOSS WFR course will be taught in the town hall of Boulder, Utah, with day trips as needed into the surrounding natural areas. For this reason, students should plan on bringing hiking boots suitable for day trips that may take us in water and over rocks.

Course Content

The following is a sample of topics covered based on past Wilderness First Responder Certification courses (WFR):
  • Wilderness vs. Urban care 
  • Patient Assessment System
  • Medical Documentation 
  • Spinal Cord Injury Assessment and Care
  • Lifting and Moving, Litter Packaging
  • Chest Injuries 
  • Shock
  • Head Injuries 
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Fracture Management & Traction Splinting
  • Dislocations
  • Wilderness Wound Management 
  • Hypothermia, Frostbite and Non-Freezing Cold Injury 
  • Heat Illness and Hydration 
  • Altitude Illness 
  • Bites and Stings 
  • Lightning 
  • Submersion and Drowning 
  • Leadership, Teamwork & Communication
  • Cardiac Issues & CPR 
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Allergies and Anaphylaxis 
  • Diabetes 
  • Search And Rescue
  • Evac and Emergency Plans 
  • Decision-making 
  • Mental Health 
  • Urinary and Reproductive Issues
  • Poisoning 
  • Communicable Disease 
  • Wilderness Drug and First Aid Kits
  • This list subject to change

Food and Lodging

All students are invited to eat meals prepared by BOSS. Meals are served family-style (buffet) by our staff and are prepared using the freshest possible ingredients, typically organically or locally grown. 

This can include:

Breakfasts – Organic eggs, whole grain pancakes, organic yogurt, fresh fruit for breakfasts (as well as a variety of teas and coffee).

Lunch – Whole-grain sandwiches, salads, fruit, and other simple but nutritious options

Dinner – Pastas, soups, stews, enchiladas, grilled chicken… basically, something hot and filling, also made from whole-grains, organic vegetables (as much as possible) and whatever seasonal dishes our cooks prepare.


Based on the feedback of past students, we can say that while the food is not the focus of the course, it will certainly be appreciated, as our staff works very hard to prepare your meals so you can focus your energy on the WFR curriculum. Please call our office if you have specific questions regarding diet or food requests. If you wish to supplement your diet with snacks or meals, you can visit some of the local stores and restaurants (cost not included in the tuition).

For more information

See the WMI/NOLS website for more on Wilderness First Responder Certification courses, including a detailed course outline, details on earning academic credit and continuing education credit.

This course is not on the schedule at the moment.

Contact Us if you're interested!

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BOSS™ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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