WMAI Wilderness EMS Upgrade, Sipapu, October 9-13, 2023


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SKU: WMAI-WEMS-33565 Category:


  • Location: Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort (sipapu.ski).
  • Dates:  October 9th through 13th 2023
  • Time:  08:00a to 5:30p
  • Wilderness EMS Upgrade class, certified by Wilderness Medical Associates.
  • Lodging/Camping: available at an extra charge from the resort. USFS Campgrounds nearby.
  • Classroom: Yeti Yurt (in the woods)


Training for medical personnel who would like to enhance their skills and experience for use in the rural, wilderness, and technical rescue setting.

The WEMS Upgrade course trains medical professionals to apply scientific knowledge consistent with their scope of practice to patient care in wilderness and remote settings. Participants in this course generally include Advanced Practice Providers, Registered Nurses, EMS personnel certified at a level of EMR, EMS First Responder, EMT and higher, search and rescue medical leaders and physician sponsors, expedition medics, DMAT team members, and military medics. The course focuses on helping providers determine what areas of their scope of practice are effective in pre-hospital wilderness and remote settings. As enrollment permits, interdisciplinary providers are intentionally mixed during performance tasks to promote future collaboration in remote emergency settings. Learning outcomes are accomplished through pre-course self-study, lectures, facilitated discussion, patient assessment drills, and skills labs. Content and context are synthesized through progressive scenario simulations requiring treatment, formulation of evacuation plans, and coordination of a variety of emergency resources and personnel.

The following qualifications, competencies, and tasks are required of wilderness medical providers. Wilderness medical certification will only be issued to those students who fulfill these requirements. Students who participate in a course and pass all written and practical exams but do not meet the following qualifications, competencies, and tasks may receive a Letter of Successful Completion in place of certification.


  1. You must meet the required minimum age for the course for which you are registering by the first day of that course. Minimum age requirements can be found in course descriptions at wildmed.com.
  2. You must have the ability to communicate effectively with instructors, classmates, co-workers, and other rescue personnel; calculate medication dosages based on body weight/mass; interview patients, family members, and bystanders; document all relevant information in the prescribed format; and perform the physical and diagnostic skills required for the level of certification. For WEMT and WALS™ certification levels, the required skills also include determining blood pressure and lung sounds.
  3. You must have the ability to assist in lifting, carrying, and balancing a person weighing up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms). You must possess the dexterity necessary to perform all tasks related to the highest quality patient care. You must have the ability to access another person on uneven terrain, to work in confined spaces, and to work in extreme environmental conditions.
  4. You must have the ability to use good judgment and remain calm in high-stress situations.
  5. You must successfully complete written exams and practical assessments conducted by WMAI instructors.


Course Content

This program is continuously revised and updated by Wilderness Medical Associates International. The course and schedule are flexible enough to be adapted to specific groups and goals while still meeting the requirements of the core curriculum. Specialist instructors are available in marine medicine, combat medicine, technical rescue, and expedition and remote site service.

Day 1 –

Logistics and Introduction; General Concepts; Patient Assessment System; Critical Body Systems Review; PAS/SOAP Practice; Spine Injury Assessment; Medical/Legal Issues

Day 2 –

Test I/Review; Anaphylaxis and Asthma; ALS/BLS Appropriate Technology; Lifting, Moving, Extrication; Litter Packaging and Carries; Scenarios I

Day 3 –

Test II/Review; Pain Management; Soft Tissue Injury; Wound Cleaning and Exploration; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Extremity Splinting, Dislocations; Scenarios II

Day 4 –

Test III/Review; Environmental Medicine; Scenarios III; Search and Rescue; SAR Exercise

Day 5 –

SAR Exercise Debrief; Expedition Medicine; Scenarios IV; Medical Kits and Medications; Test IV and Course Debrief


Certification as a Wilderness EMS is valid for three years and is contingent on current regional or national registration as an EMS provider such as an EMT or paramedic. CPR recertification can be added by request and at the discretion of the instructor.

Certification as a Wilderness EMS provider is valid for three years and is contingent on current regional or national registration as an EMS provider such as an EMR, EMS First Responder, EMT, paramedic, or other Medical License or Certification. AHA BLS Provider CPR recertification can be added by request for an additional fee.

Included Materials

All published teaching materials are produced and provided by Wilderness Medical Associates International at no additional cost. Students will receive the following textbooks and notes during the course:

  • The Field Guide of Wilderness & Rescue Medicine
  • Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A  Practical Guide for the Basic and Advanced Practitioner
  • Wilderness EMS/WALS Class Notes Booklet
  • SOAP Notebook

Continuing Education Credits

The course is registered for 45 hours of continuing education credit through the CAPCE.

This WEMS Upgrade course is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP17692, for 45 contact hours.


WMA International will supply a general list of equipment to be obtained for training by the sponsor or course host. We also invite sponsors or hosts to include any gear that is specific to their staff and mission. Specialist instructors may bring additional material following consultation with the sponsor.


Successful completion with certification is based on 100% attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments and written quizzes, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills and a grade of 80% or better on final written exam. Wilderness Medical Associates International is committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs.


Current EMS or other professional medical certification is required.

Students must be at least eighteen years old to participate in this course.

Bring appropriate clothing for the location and time of year. Remember that, rain or shine, much of our time is spent outside. You will also need pens, a notebook, and a watch with a second hand.  Review the Student Handbook for more comprehensive information on what to bring and how to prepare for a course.