WILDERNESS ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT (WALS)
Learn Practical Skills For The Outdoors!
This program’s primary goal is to apply current medical knowledge and critical thinking for use in remote/resource challenged patient care settings. It is targeted toward advanced care medical practitioners (MD/DO, PA/NP, RN, paramedic or an AEMT with ALS experience) interested in rescue, mass casualty, and remote outdoor environments or urban areas in disaster.
WALS is Wilderness Medical Associates International’s most advanced course. This 36 hour course is constantly evolving course and is highlighted by discussions of new and controversial ideas and the appropriate application of technologies. The learning environment is challenging, stimulating, and fun.
The style of the course is the result of input from outdoor educators, medical experts, search and rescue personnel, and field providers. Certification through Wilderness Medical Associates International will be granted following successful completion of the course.
The WALS curriculum is written in-house by a team of medical and rescue professionals and researchers. We do the research and find the evidence supporting this unique approach to medicine in austere settings. The curriculum is comprehensive, complete, and kept current on an annual basis. We believe that this is the one of the most relevant and peer supported medical curriculums for remote and extreme environments in the world.
Date & Location
July 21 – 24, 2023
Cornish Flat, NH
Use promocode PA/NP at checkout
RN / Paramedic / AEMT:
Use promocode RN/EMTP at checkout
Space is limited, register early.
This course is 36 hours taught over 4 days.
In class, students will be expected to participate in discussions, outside practical sessions and outside real-life scenarios.
Advanced medical practitioners (MD/DO, PA/NP, RN, paramedic or an AEMT with ALS experience) interested in rescue, mass casualty, and remote outdoor environments or urban areas in disaster. Others admitted on a case-by-case basis.
- Understand the challenges and limitations of working in a remote/resource challenged, patient care setting.
- Explain principles of preventive care for patients and team members when faced by environmental challenges.
- Perform an accurate patient assessment when access to advanced diagnostics are not available
- Via case studies and in practice during patient-oriented drills, demonstrate decision making ability for treatments and evacuations in remote resource/challenged patient care settings.
- Further develop improved critical thinking and diagnostic/analytical skills enabling optimum decision-making
- Demonstrate the skills, knowledge and abilities to provide basic and advanced emergency for a care for wide array of injuries and conditions in a remote setting
- Utilize useful medical and basic rescue equipment often available in a remote/resource challenged patient care setting.
- Clearly communicate diagnosis and treatment plan to victims, rescue workers and other expedition members
- Discuss how to manage the site environment to avoid additional injury to the victim while keeping the site safe for other expedition participants
- Decide which medications and equipment that might be useful and appropriate in a variety of remote/resource challenged patient care settings.
Wilderness Medical Associates now uses an education platform called Moodle for pre-course paperwork and study materials along with post-course evaluations and PDF certifications. The following steps will guide you through creating an account and enrolling into your course.
Pre-course Study Guides will be mailed to learners two weeks prior to the start of the course. Each participant is asked to take an online pretest and complete case study assignments prior to the beginning of the course.
You must create an account on wildmed.com and then enroll in the WMAI Moodle learning management system. Direction below.
Step 1: Create Your Moodle Account. Click on the following link and create a new Moodle account: https://courses.wildmed.com/login/index.php You will need to confirm your new Moodle account via email.
Note: Please check your spam or junk mail folder if the confirmation email does not show up in your inbox. Sometimes those working for agencies with robust cyber security measurements results in the course confirmation emails being blocked. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not receive an email and we will manually confirm your account.
Step 2: Enroll Into Your Course. While logged into your Moodle account, click on the following Enrollment link and then click the Enroll Me button: https://courses.wildmed.com/enrol/index.php?id=3805&enrollKey=31272
Note: In order for the Enrollment Key to auto-fill, you must be logged into Moodle before clicking on the link in Step 2. If the self-enrollment key does not auto-populate enter the 5 digit number at the end of the link in the self-enroll box located at the bottom of the page.
Step 3: Complete the Start Here and Course Paperwork Sections. Complete these sections as directed in your course. At a minimum you will need to complete 3 activities in the General Course Information section and fill out 3 forms in the Course Paperwork section to unlock additional pre-course work, if applicable.
After Your Course: Course Evaluation & WMA Certification Card. Once you have completed your course, you can 1) complete a course evaluation and 2) generate a PDF copy of your WMA certification. Both are located in the Course Evaluation and Electronic Certification section.
You will need a headlamp, a roll of duct tape and old throwaway shirts, socks and pants for simulations.
Texts included with the course fee:
Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A Guide for Basic & Advanced Practitioners. This will be sent to you in advance to use for pre-course study.
The following will be provided on day 1 of course:
Wilderness Medicine Workbook
Field Guide of Wilderness & Rescue Medicine
WFR Class Notes
SOAP Note Book
July 21 – 24, 2023. Class will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 6:00 p.m. and may occasionally run over by 15 – 20 minutes. These days will be long and intense and you must plan time for evening study. Try to get a good rest and get personal matters out of the way before the course.
Cornish Flat, NH in what was formerly the Cornish General Store (address is 226 NH Route120). We will be commuting to field sites within 15 – 30 minute drives.
Please bring an easy to eat lunch, snacks and drinks for each day. See below.
Cornish Flat is a small village located about 15 minutes south of Lebanon, NH (off I-89), 15 minutes north of Claremont, NH and 15 minutes east of Windsor, VT. All of these communities have a selection of lodging, restaurants and food stores. There are also a number of B&Bs in the Cornish area. Camping is also available at Mount Ascutney State Park and Wilgus State Parks as well as several private campgrounds. Rustic free tent camping (no facilities) is also available if desired about 10 minutes away.
IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU ARE PREPARED WHEN YOU COME TO CLASS.
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.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE INVOLVED IN THE CLASS AND ASK QUESTIONS IF SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.
Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, paramedics and other ALS certified professionals may receive up to 36 hours continuing education hours.
Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Wilderness Medical Society and WMAI. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians and designates this educational activity for a maximum of 36 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
WMS FAWM: This course has been approved for Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) credits through the Wilderness Medical Society. Actual credits awarded depend on personal credit needs and history.
Nurses: Most State Boards of Registered Nurses accept AMA Category 1 Credit as meeting continuing education requirements for license renewal. Nurses should check with their state board regarding use of CME Credit.
Physician Assistants / NPs: The American Academy of Physician Assistants accepts Category 1 CME approval from organizations accredited by the ACCME.
Paramedics / AEMTS: The course is registered for 36 hours of continuing education credit through CAPCE.
Day 1 (0830 – 1815+/-)
0.5 hrs Intro – Logistics and Introduction to course –
1.25 hrs General Principles in Wilderness Medicine – both pathology and wilderness/rescue
1.25 hrs Patient Assessment System (PAS) Scene
Managing a Lost person / SAR Scene – Formal ICS
Backcountry Group ICS
Hike, Help or Helo
Heli Ops / Safety
.5 hrs Lunch
0.25 hrs Patient Assessment System (PAS) Primary
0.25 hrs BLS in the backcountry (PM), protocol review
1.5 hrs Tools & Tech: Tourniquets, Airway Management, BVM Extension, IV Warming, RSI Review, Vacuum Splints
0.5 hrs Patient Assessment System (PAS) Secondary Quick Review / SOAP
1.5 hrs Group Scenario 1 – Scene Mgmt and BLS/ALS focus
Debrief Day Wrap-up
1930 – 2100 Optional: All things Rope – Useful knots, hitches and bends.
Day 2 (0830 – 1815+/-)
1.5 hrs Small Group PAS Drill Critical Systems Round 1, BLS to Critical Care, Practical and Disc.
2.0 hrs Small Group PAS Drill Critical Systems Round 2, BLS to Critical Care, Practical and Disc.
TBI – Mild / Severe – altered mental status in the backcountry
.5 hrs Lunch
1.5 hrs Spinal Assessment and Spinal Cord Protection
1.5 hrs Litter / Trail lowers, Vacuum matt and improv spine splint / collars
2.0 hrs Group Scenario 2
Debrief Day Wrap-up
Evening Optional: The Evolution and State of Wilderness Medicine Roundtable at the Pub
1930 – to whenever we tire of talking – meet at local pub TBD
Day 3 (0830 – 1815+/-)
0.75 hrs Discussion – Integrating WMED into daily practice
1.5 hrs Small Group PAS Drill Critical Systems Round 3, BLS to Critical Care, Practical and Disc.
0.5 hrs Asthma / Anaphylaxis practical
0.75 hrs Hypothermia
0.75 hrs Cold injury / Frostbite
0.5 hrs Lunch
0.5 hrs Hyperthermia / Hyponatremia
1.0 hrs Wound Assessment and Management
0.5 hrs Burn Care Assessment and Management
2.5 hrs Small Group Scenarios / Discussion
Debrief Day Wrap-up
1930 – 2100 Optional Session on Traditional Navigation and/or Use of Cal Topo / Gaia / Avensa Mapping
Day 4 (0830 – 1815+/-)
1.0 hrs Pharmacology – pain, antibiotics, others
0.75 hrs Musculosketal assessment and Mgmt
1.5 hrs Splinting / Dxl Reduction Stations
2.0 hrs Backcountry Rodeos “Clinic medicine in the austere”
0.5 hrs Lunch
0.75 hrs Altitude
0.5 hrs Avalanche
0.75 hrs Toxins / Bites
2.0 hrs Group Final Scenario
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.
Full Payment is required upon registration.
Upon sponsor registration, sponsor will send students the course ID number and password to access their online pre-course materials two to four weeks prior to the first day of their course.
A minimum of six (6) participants are needed to run this program and there is a maximum of 21. 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.
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.
It matters who teaches your course! Don’t let your instructors be the limiting factor for your learning.
Jon Tierney: Course host. RN / Paramedic, FAWM, WP-C, FP-C, retired Flight Paramedic, RN, IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide, former NPS climbing and backcountry ranger. WMAI Lead Instructor since 1980s. Jon is one of the nation’s most experienced wilderness medicine instructors with thousands of teaching days and tons of real-life mountain rescue and EMS experience. He is an IFMGA internationally licensed mountain guide as well as a practicing Flight Paramedic and RN. Jon brings a unique blend of educational delivery and field experience in outdoor leadership, mountain guiding, backcountry rescue and emergency medicine spanning over three decades. See full bio here.
Evie Marcolini: Emergency Medicine and Neuro-critical Care Physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Former Outward Bound instructor.
Paul Marcolini: Paramedic, retired Flight Paramedic, former climbing ranger and EMS co-coordinator and QI Coordinator for Denali National Park and Rainier National Park. Former Outward Bound instructor and course director. WMAI Lead Instructor since 1980s.s
• 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.
All instructors are certified as AMGA or PCIA Single Pitch Instructors and all guides have been trained or certified by the AMGA.
• 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.
AMGCS also rents outdoor equipment for your convenience. All clients receive 25% off rental equipment for use on our courses.
See what we have.