Wilderness Emergency Medicine

IREMS wilderness medicine courses are designed to prepare students to provide emergency care in wilderness or remote settings. This training is usually required for jobs in outdoor recreation or outdoor education such as mountain guides, river guides and camp counselors, and is a requirement for UVM TREK leaders.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is the foundation of the program. This 80-hour program exceeds the minimum number of recommended course topics for Wilderness First Responder, as developed by the Wilderness Medical Society. The course is equally divided between classroom lectures, skills labs and field days conducted off-campus in wilderness areas.

WFR Renewal

Most outdoor recreation or education organizations require individuals to renew their WFR training every two years. This renewal is accomplished by attending 24 hours of training, including recertification in Basic Cardiac Life Support (CPR). This training includes 8 hours in each of the following areas: updates and review in the classroom, skills practice, and scenario-based training in a field setting. Participants who successfully complete the program receive an updated Wilderness First Responder certificate and Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification.

Wilderness EMT

For individuals already certified at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level who wish to expand their knowledge and skills to be better prepared in providing emergency care in wilderness or remote settings. Individuals use this training as preparation for service in search-and-rescue organizations, ski patrols as well as outdoor recreation and education. The 40-hour program includes lectures, skills practice and scenario-based training in a field setting.


This course is designed for individuals certified as Wilderness First Responders to transition to an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).