Learn Practical Skills For The Outdoors!

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.


  • An intensive five-day course covering a wide spectrum of emergency care topics relative to wilderness medicine and caring for injuries and illnesses over prolonged periods of time.
  • The course combines discussions, practical stations and real-life simulations. Topics include assessment and management of traumatic injuries such as fractures, burns and wounds; circulatory, nervous, and respiratory system problems; common injuries such as blisters, sprains and strains; medical problems such as anaphylaxis, toxins, altitude, hypothermia, hyperthermia, and infections; and use of improvised materials in remote situations. The course includes information on personal outdoor preparedness, accident management and prevention and introduces you to simple evacuation techniques and rope work.
  • Three year certification through Wilderness Medical Associates International will be granted following successful completion of the course.
4/18 – 22 

Wilderness First Responder
Ely, MN
Hosted by Northern Tier High Adventure
More Information


$900.00 w food & lodging 

5/31 – 6/4Wilderness First Responder
Camden, ME
Hosted by Maine Sport Outfitter
More Information
6/13 – 17Mount Desert Island
Bar Harbor, ME
Importance of heat preservation
Proud work!
Extrication practice

Specific Info

General Info

No experience required. This program is designed for the person who frequently travels in the backcountry and is seeking a level of competency beyond basic wilderness first aid. It is an introduction to the broad concepts of rendering care in a remote setting. The course includes CPR training. You can expect the course to be intensive and to cover the most important aspects of wilderness medicine. Normally taught over eight days, this fast track course requires approximately 25 hours of pre-course study.

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. No other pre-requisites.

COVID related pre-requisite: Students must meet state of Maine Covid guidelines in effect at time of course.

  • 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

Below is a sample curriculum for the 5 day WFR / WEMS Upgrade Class. We strive to make each class slightly different in structure to maintain presentation freshness. 

Day 1

0830-0900 .5 hr Introductions, Registration and Overview
1 hr General Concepts Overview

1015-1100 .5 Scene Leadership / Backcountry ICS
.75 hr Patient Assessment, Demo / Practice, SOAPS, Radio Reports
1300-1500 1.5 hr Lifting / Moving / Extrication 
1500-1630 2.5 hrs PAS Drills – Circulatory System Overview 
1645-1800 1.25 Large Group Scenario
.5 hr Debrief

Day 2
0.5 hr Quiz
1.75 hrs PAS Drills – Nervous System Overview, SOAPS, Radio Reports 

1000-1215 1.25 hrs Spinal Assessment
1.5 hrs Spinal Management

1500-1645 1.75 hrs Respiratory System Overview, SOAPS, Radio Reports
1645-1800 1.25 Large Group Scenario
.5 hr Debrief

Day 3
0830-0900 0.5 hr Quiz
2.25 hrs BLS Skills – Supplemental O2, Airway Adjuncts, ALS
1.0 hr Lifts and Carries, Improvised Litters, Key Knots, Litter Carrying
1.0 hr Thermo-regulation (hyperthermia/hypothermia

1430-1545 1.25 hrs Anaphylaxis and Asthma 
1600-1700 1.0 hr SAR Orientation (basic overview, LZ prep, personal prep)
1700-1800 1.0 hr Small Group scenarios
.5 hr Debrief – Case Studies

Day 4

0830-0900 0.5 hr Quiz
1.5 hrs Soft Tissue Injury / Wound 1045-1230 1.75 hrs Musculoskeletal Injuries

1330-1430 1.0 hrs Dislocations / Review Musculoskeletal as needed
1445-1645 2.0 hrs Small Group scenarios
1.25 hrs Environmental Injury (frostbite, burns, lightning, near-drowning, altitude)

1800-1830 .5 hr Debrief

Day 5
0830-0915 0.5 hr Quiz – Case Studies
.75 hr Toxins, Bites, Stings
1.0 hrs Backcountry Medicine Rodeos – Round One (emphasis use of FG, simple problems: nose bleeds, corneal abrasion, abd pain)
1.0 hrs Backcountry Medicine Rodeos ( 2 – 3 rounds) (GI/GU, dental, infections, altitude, toxin, stable inj., abdominal, Chest pain
Wrap Up
2.5 hrs Final Scenario
1600-1630 0.5 hrs Review Summary
1.0 hr Final Written
1730-1800 0.5 hrs Course wrap

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. 

  • 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

This is a five day (45 hour) intensive style course (alternative to the standard 72 hour course) requiring approximately 20 – 25 hours of pre course reading and completion of a study guide and pre course exam.

Download course packet for links to Moodle pre course material.

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

June 17 – 21. Class will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 6:30 p.m. 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.

Meet at 5 Hall Quarry Road in Somesville, ME.  Look for “WFR/WEMS” signs.

Great hiking, mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, cross country skiing and beautiful sunrises can be had minutes away in beautiful Acadia National Park.

There are numerous restaurants and food stores in nearby Bar Harbor (20 min) and Southwest Harbor (10 min). Lunch breaks will be provided and we recommend that you bring a lunch.

There are numerous accommodations in nearby Bar Harbor (20 min) and Southwest Harbor (10 min). Camping at Somes Sound Campground is a 5 minute walk. 

Cell service is limited based on your provider.  No WIFI is available at course site unless you can get data with your cell.


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. 


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.

A minimum of ten (10) 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 agree 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:

  • The 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 75% of your deposit. Cancellations made within twenty-one (21) days of the program forfeit the 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.

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 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.
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.

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.