Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School

Recertify With Us for WAFA, WFR, or WEMT!

Tired of the same old wilderness medicine recert course? This one promises to be different!  

Do you want to be prepared for a remote accident? Do you want to learn best practices? Are critical thinking and problem solving important to you? If you answered yes to any of the above, then sign up for this scenario based introduction to wilderness medicine.

Refresh good assessment and scene leadership skills. Get feedback your risk benefit and decision making skills. Remind yourself about shock vs ASR. Learn to safely move spine injured patients. Refresh caring ugly wounds and broken bones with greater confidence. Review epinephrine for severe airway constriction. Recognize situations you can manage alone and when you need to scream for help.

Each day is devoted to classroom interaction and outdoor practical skills. You should expect scenarios with made up victims and simulated wounds to occur continuously throughout the course. Certification is through Wilderness Medical Associates International and is valid for three years.

Date & Location

June 13 – 15

8:30am – 6:00pm 


$325.00. Register now by calling (207) 866-7562 or click here. Space is limited, and registration ends May 31.


Jon Tierney. It Matters who teaches your course! Don’t let your instructor be the limiting factor for your learning.


Jon brings a unique blend of education delivery and field experience in outdoor leadership, mountain guiding, backcountry rescue and emergency medicine spanning over three decades. He is an IFMGA internationally licensed mountain guide who also is employed as a Flight Paramedic.

Open to graduates of any wilderness-based first aid training course that was at least 64 hours long and completed within 3 years of the proposed recertification option.  WMA WEMS graduates with a current EMS license may also recertify the wilderness portion of their WEMS certification with this course.

June 13 – 15, 2020. Class will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. and may occasionally run over by 15 – 20 minutes. Try to get a good rest and get personal matters out of the way before the course. The final day will end at 4:00 pm

Due to the COVID outbreak the course has been moved from Bar Harbor to our base in Orono, ME. The exact location will be based on class numbers. Please meet at Alpenglow Adventure Sports at 92 Main St on Day 1.

Importance of heat preservation
Proud work!
Extrication practice

Specific Info

General Info

The course may be taken by anyone who would like to gain practical medical first aid skills. Intended for the person who frequently travels in the backcountry with friends or in small groups and who is seeking a basic level of competency in first aid.

*Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age require the written consent of a parent or guardian.

Below is a sample curriculum for the 2 day Wilderness First Aid. We strive to make each class slightly different in structure to maintain presentation freshness. 

Day 1

.5 hr Introductions, Registration and Overview

.5 hr General Concepts Overview

.5 hr Scene Leadership / Backcountry ICS

.75 hr Patient Assessment

1.5 hr BLS Skills

1.0 hr Lifting / Moving / Extrication

2.5 hrs Critical PAS Drills 

Day 2

1.0 hr Enviro (hyperthermia/hypothermia, Cold)

1.0 hrs Anaphylaxis and Asthma  

.5 hr Enviro (Lightning, Drowning, Avalanche)

1.0 hrs Soft Tissue Injury / Wound 

1.0 hrs Musculoskeletal Injuries 

1.5 hrs Backcountry Medicine

1.5 hrs Simulation Exercise

.5 hr Evaluation

  • Students will develop improved critical thinking and diagnostic/analytical skills enabling optimum decision-making
  • Student will have the skills, knowledge and abilities to provide emergency first aid for a wide array of injuries and conditions in a remote setting
  • Students will be able to clearly communicate diagnosis and treatment plan to victims, rescue workers and other expedition members.
  • A strong understanding of how to manage the site environment to avoid additional injury to the victim while keeping the site safe for other expedition participants.

WMAI courses present nationally recognized curricula. The style of the course is the result of input from outdoor educators, medical experts, search and rescue personnel, EMS field providers and prior students. Certification through Wilderness Medical Associates International will be granted following successful completion of the course. This course reviews the WFR/WEMS curriculum.


  • General Concepts in Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
  • Patient Assessment System Critical Body Systems: BLS and CPR; Anaphylaxis and Asthma
  • Practical Skills: Lifting, Movement and Extrication; Spine Stabilization and Litter Packaging; Improvised Splinting and Litter Construction, Wound Cleaning and Exploration
  • Environmental Topics: Exposure Control; Bites and Stings; Altitude Illness; Cold Injuries; Diving Emergencies; Thermoregulation; Lightning; Near Drowning; Avalanche
  • Musculoskeletal Systems: Spine Injury Assessment; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Extremity Splinting; Dislocations
  • Backcountry Medicine: Routine management and prevention of some common medical problems encountered in the wilderness: sprains and strains, diarrhea, seasickness, minor wounds, urinary infections, dental problems, headaches, etc. 
  • Other: Medical Legal Issues; Soft Tissue Injury; Toxins; Search and Rescue; Emergency Childbirth; Medical Kits
  • 3 year certification from Wilderness Medical Associates International and Anaphylaxis
  • BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification
  • SOAP Notes, WARM Manual or Field Guide if you don’t have one
  • Cell service is good in Orono and WIFI is available on site.
  • Meals and lodging
  • Participants should bring old clothes and extra clothes for scenarios 
  • You will need a headlamp, a roll of Duct Tape and old throwaway shirts, socks and pants for simulations.
  • Transportation to / from local scenario sites
  • Instructor / Guide Gratuities

The course is from June 13 – June 14, starting at 8:30 am and ending at 6:00 pm.

Orono, ME is located just off of Interstate 95. If you are traveling on I-95, take exit 191 (Kelley Road). Go east on Kelley Road (right turn if coming from Bangor or left turn if coming from north). Go approximately 1 mile to a T intersection with red light. Turn left and go approximately 1 mile. Alpenglow Adventure Sports is at 92 Main St. – a large green house/building. If you pass the fire station, you have gone too far.

Lunch breaks will be provided with enough time to get into town. There are several restaurants and lunch meal options within a five minute walk that offer a selection of food including vegetarian and vegan options.

Limited backyard tenting is available. There are numerous accommodations in both Orono and Bangor (about 10 – 15 minute drive. The closest accommodation, within a ten minute easy walk, is the University Inn at 5 College Avenue Orono, Maine. 207 866 7120.

Open to graduates of any wilderness-based first aid training course that was at least 64 hours long and completed within 3 years of the proposed recertification option.  WMA WEMS graduates with a current EMS license may also recertify the wilderness portion of their WEMS certification with this course.

Pre-course review work is done via the Wilderness Medical Associates International Moodle on-line learning center. 

The following steps will guide you through creating an account and enrolling into your course.

Step 1: Click on the following link and create a new account: https://courses.wildmed.com/login/index.php

– You will need to confirm your new account via email

Step 2: While logged into your Moodle account, click on the following enrollment link and then click the Enroll Me button:

Enrollment link for Open Recertification Course: https://courses.wildmed.com/enrol/index.php?id=2974&enrollKey=30363

Course ID # for WFR: 30363. please refer to it on all correspondence

Note: In order for the Enrollment Key to auto-fill, you must be logged into Moodle before clicking on the link in Step 2.

Step 3:  Read and sign the pre-course release forms. Completing all three forms will unlock additional pre-course work, if applicable. Post course, you may complete a course evaluation under Course Files and generate a PDF copy of your WMA certification under Certificates.

Enjoying the outdoors necessitates a certain degree of risk-taking and so does taking a wilderness medicine course. You are participating in this course at your own risk. You will be asked to lift other people, you will have make-up applied to your skin, you will be training in an outdoor environment that may be cold, hot, rocky, slippery, or wet. You will be participating in training exercises in outdoor areas that are remote and, as in all outdoor activities, are inherently dangerous and are often physically and emotionally demanding. You will be participating in emergency medical training scenarios with other students under circumstances where accidents, mistakes or other circumstances may result in injury to me. Please be sure that you are fully aware of such risks. .If you have a pre-existing condition that may impact your participation, it is your responsibility to notify the instructor so that accommodation can be made. It is our goal to interpret the environmental, situational and group variables and to make educated decisions to minimize dangers to you while at the same time providing an enjoyable and memorable experience.

It matters who teaches your course! All of the following courses are led by school owner Jon Tierney. Jon is one of the nation’s most experienced wilderness medicine instructors with over 1500 teaching days and tons of real-life mountain rescue experience. He is a practicing flight paramedic and an internationally licensed IFMGA mountain guide. Jon has a highly developed blend of education and experience in outdoor leadership, mountain guiding, backcountry rescue and emergency medicine spanning over three decades. 


Jon is often assisted by a number of talented WMAI instructors as well that includes paramedics, ER/Critical Care and Flight nurses, and strong outdoor educators and guides. 

If you can’t take one of our courses there are several other highly experienced WMAI instructors to choose from. Among the many wilderness medicine providers, we believe that WMAI has the highest standards for both becoming and maintaining instructor status and WMAI is the company we feel most comfortable recommending to clients.

A 50% deposit is required for registration. Balance due three weeks (21 days) before the beginning of program.

Registration closes May 31.

A minimum of ten (10) participants are needed to run this program and there is a maximum of twenty eight (28). The decision to run the program will be made three weeks prior to the start date. In the case of low registration, you will have the options of joining another program, receiving a refund or possibly paying an additional amount to allow the program to run with lower numbers.

Are you part of a college organization, ski club, summer camp, etc.? We are happy to schedule a customized course for organizations, small groups, and individuals. We offer courses in backcountry skiing, avalanche safety, rock and ice climbing, high altitude mountaineering trips, wilderness medicine and slope access / technical rescue. We can travel to you or you can come to us. Of course, if you would like to schedule a course or trip in Iceland, Colorado, or Japan, etc. we would be very pleased to work with you.


When you book a course with Acadia Mountain Guides you are agreeing to our cancellation policy. Please realize that if your travel does not go according to plan in any way and for any reason, we are unable to provide credits or refunds outside of what is described below. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect your activity purchase against unforeseeable circumstances which include but are not limited to: 

  • Anticipation of Inclement Weather
  • Flight and Travel Delays and Conditions
  • Personal or work schedule changes
  • Injury or Illness of self or family member

If you cancel more than 21 days in advance you may put the deposit toward a future course or receive a refund of 50% of your deposit. Cancellations made within twenty-one (21) days of program forfeit full tuition rate. Alternatively, if you find a replacement you will receive a 100% refund. A full refund will be given if Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School must cancel the course.


Make sure you have had adequate sleep and it would be best not to work all night the night before class. Hangovers are another bad idea. Be prepared to be outside in all weather; let me stress, be prepared to be outside in all weather. 

We will be practicing our skill scenarios in real conditions that may mean outside in the pouring rain, the snow, the mud or other unpleasant conditions. Dress warmly in layers and bring a change of clothes for scenarios is a good idea. 

BRING OLD CLOTHES TO CLASS TO WEAR FOR SCENARIOS. At times you will be playing a patient. Some of the make up we use stains clothing and some scenarios will force you to lay in snow, slush and mud. Clothing may get cut up. 

If you have any physical limitations that keep you from performing this type of scenario let your instructor know in advance. 


Any outdoor gear you may want can be purchased ahead of the course from our gear store – Alpenglow Adventure Sports – where you get a 25% off purchases made within 7 days before or after the course and a 15% discount off MSRP for life!!!  Purchases may be made in-store or online. Gear purchased in advance of course can often be brought to you on the course. 

Again, All of our clients receive a LIFETIME 15% DISCOUNT on all outdoor gear and clothing purchases through Alpenglow Adventure Sports in Bar Harbor and Orono, or at our website AlpenglowGear.com. No double discounts allowed, if for some reason an order with double discount is submitted we will contact you. Upon registration you will be provided a discount code.

A History of
Leading the way…

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the preeminent frontrunner in climbing instruction and guiding in Acadia and across Maine. Since 1994 we have specialized in designing customized experiences or training for you, your family, your group or company.

Jon Tierney
Owner and IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide
IFMGA Licensed International Mountain Guide | AMGA Certified Rock Guide | AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide | AMGA Certified Alpine Guide | Flight Paramedic | B.S. Parks and Forest Recreation


• Since 1994 •

AMGCS is one of 32 AMGA accredited programs in the US and was one of the earliest to pursue and achieve accreditation. AMGCS is the only climbing school in Maine to remain continuously AMGA accredited. We have had one or more full time AMGA rock guides on staff each year since 1994.

Owned by internationally recognized IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide Jon Tierney who has been climbing in Acadia since 1982. Jon has over 30 years of local and worldwide experience. The IFMGA requires full AMGA certification as a rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide.

All instructors are certified as AMGA or PCIA Single Pitch Instructors and all guides have been trained or certified by the AMGA.

PCIA Accredited

• Since 2007 •

AMGCS has the distinction of also being accredited to the highest standards of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. The PCIA requires all staff to be individually trained and certified.

Save 15% on
All Gear and Clothing

Become a client of Acadia Mountain Guides and receive a permanent 15% off MSRP on purchases in our stores or at AlpenglowGear.com.

Your Source for Adventure!

Gear Rental Program

AMGCS also rents outdoor equipment for your convenience. All clients receive 25% off rental equipment for use on our courses.
See what we have.