Wilderness First Aid Course

Learn Practical Skills For The Outdoors!

Are you tired of the same old wilderness first aid course? 

  • 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
  • Develop good assessment and scene leadership skills. Further your risk benefit and decision making skills
  • Understand real shock. Learn to safely move spine injured patients. Treat ugly wounds and broken bones with greater confidence
  • Administer 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
  • 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
  • Three year certification through Wilderness Medical Associates International upon successful completion

Date & Location

December 19 – 20, 2020
Bar Harbor, ME


Space is limited, and register early

Extrication Practice
Even down there!
Job well done!

Specific Info

General Info

The Wilderness First Aid 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.

This course meets the state requirements for those seeking a Maine Trip Leader Certification and exceeds the state requirements for those seeking a Maine Guide license.

*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.

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.

  • Introduce backcountry emergency procedures and evacuation skills
  • Introduce backcountry improvisation skills.
  • Introduce major topics in emergency care relative to the wilderness.
  • To better understand the limits of medical care in a remote setting.
  • Develop confidence and competence in responding to backcountry accidents.
  • Improve personal judgment and decision making skills.

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. 

  • Explain a first aider’s obligation to provide medical assistance as a private citizen and as an employed trip leader. 
  • Perform a patient assessment and formulate a problem list for both medical problems and injuries. 
  • Demonstrate BLS skills including: one person rolls, head and neck stabilization; manage airway with spine stabilization; jaw thrust, head tilt; abdominal thrust; chest compressions; assisted ventilations; apply and use an automatic external defibrillator; well-aimed direct pressure to control bleeding 
  • Explain the limitations of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the wilderness context. 
  • Name the major problem for each of the critical systems and explain when and why a victim may need to be evacuated. 
  • Give examples of high-risk wounds and describe their management. 
  • List definite criteria for unstable injuries and demonstrate basic splinting skills for an injury to a long bone and joint. 
  • Describe typical signs/symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. 
  • Describe the treatment for an anaphylactic reaction and demonstrate the injection technique used to administer epinephrine. 
  • Demonstrate the technique for moving a person with spine injury. 
  • Describe techniques to lower the probability of being struck by lightning. 
  • Describe the difference in signs/symptoms and treatment of mild and severe hypothermia. 
  • Describe the signs/symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 
  • Describe some red flag criteria for common medical complaints (including: abdominal pain, vomiting/diarrhea, cough, chest pain, fever, headache and urinary tract complaints).

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

No pre-course study is required. However you do need to create Moodle account with Wilderness Medical Associates now uses an education platform called Moodle for pre-course paperwork and post-course evaluations and PDF certifications. 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 Moodle account: https://courses.wildmed.com/login/index.php

– You will receive an email to confirm your new Moodle account.

Step 2: 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=3400&enrollKey=30816

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

Step 3: Read and sign the pre-course release forms and complete the Proper Hygiene Review lesson. Completing all three forms and the lesson 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.

You will need a headlamp, a roll of duct tape and old throwaway shirts, socks and pants for simulations.

December 19th – 20th
, 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.

Bar Harbor Based Courses: Meet at 228 Main St in Bar Harbor, ME. Great hiking, mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, cross country skiing and beautiful sunrises can be had minutes away in beautiful Acadia National Park.

Orono Based Courses: Meet at 92 Maine St. in Orono, ME. 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 meal options within a five minute walk that offer a selection of food including vegetarian and vegan options.

Bar Harbor based Courses:
There are numerous accommodations within walking distance or a short drive in Bar Harbor.

Orono based Courses: 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.

Enjoying the outdoors necessitates a certain degree of risk-taking. You are participating in this trip at your own risk.  You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While such accidents are rare, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. Our guides draw upon solid guide education coupled with extensive experience to manage significant hazards inherent to rock climbing.

Some of the hazards that can lead to injury or death associated with this trip include but are not limited to extreme weather, demanding physical travel, avalanche, vehicle transportation and falls or collisions while skiing or snowboarding. Please be sure that you are fully aware of such risks. 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.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to minimize various hazards through the application of good judgment gained from a foundation of education and experience. On this course we ask that you ski or ride with good control at all time.

Full Payment is required upon registration.

A minimum of ten (10) participants are needed to run this program and there is a maximum of twenty 0ne (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.


If you are symptomatic or found positive for COVID, have been exposed to COVID + person(s) in the past 14 days you may request to be either rescheduled or receive a full refund.


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.

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


Jon is one of the nation’s most experienced wilderness medicine instructors with over 1500 teaching days and tons
of real-life mountain rescue and EMS experience spanning over 30 years.
He is an IFMGA internationally licensed mountain guide as well as a practicing Flight Paramedic. 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.


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


• 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.