5-Day Wilderness EMS Upgrade

The Wilderness EMS Upgrade, or WEMS curriculum builds on EMS training and expertise to meet the special challenges of the remote and unconventional environment.

Price: $1050.00 per person

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Wilderness EMS Upgrade is designed for medical personnel working in rural EMS, search and rescue, law enforcement, disaster response, and on wilderness expeditions. Like all of CB Outdoors and WMA International training, it represents the best application of the available science balanced by considerable clinical experience and the reality of providing medical care in difficult and dangerous places.Wilderness EMS Upgrade training is for medical personnel who would like to enhance their skills and experience for use in rural, wilderness, and technical rescue settings. This course is popular with all levels of medical professionals but primarily geared toward pre-hospital EMS providers.

We have recently been approved as a Continuing Education Provider by the California Board of Registered Nurses, and the WEMS upgrade course now provides 45 hours of CEUs for nurses. “Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17692, for 45 contact hours.”


Wilderness EMS Upgrade

June, 2024 – Glacier National Park, MT

Exact Dates T.B.D.

Please email Susan Purvis if you’re interested in registering for this course.


Wilderness EMS Upgrade 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 – 10.5 hours
Logistics and Introduction; General Concepts; Patient Assessment System; Critical Body Systems Review; PAS/SOAP Practice; Spine Injury Assessment; Medical/Legal Issues

Day 2 – 9 hours
Test I/Review; Anaphylaxis and Asthma; ALS/BLS Appropriate Technology; Lifting, Moving, Extrication; Litter Packaging and Carries; Scenarios I

Day 3 – 8.5 hours
Test II/Review; Pain Management; Soft Tissue Injury; Wound Cleaning and Exploration; Musculoskeletal Injuries; Extremity Splinting, Dislocations; Scenarios II

Day 4 – 9 hours
Test III/Review; Environmental Medicine; Scenarios III; Search and Rescue; SAR Exercise

Day 5 – 8 hours
SAR Exercise Debrief; Expedition Medicine; Scenarios IV; Medical Kits and Medications; Test IV and Course Debrief

WEMS Certification

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 a EMT or paramedic. Other medical professionals will be awarded a course completion certificate. The course is registered for 45 hours of continuing education credit through the CAPCE. CPR recertification can be added by request and at the discretion of the instructor.

WEMS Included Materials

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

  • The Field Guide of Wilderness & Rescue Medicine
  • Wilderness and Rescue Medicine: A  Practical Guide for the Basic and Advanced Practitioner
  • Wilderness First Responder Class Notes
  • Wilderness Medicine Workbook
  • SOAP Notebook


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 accommodations to any student with special needs.


Prerequisites to Wilderness EMS Upgrade Course

Current EMT or other professional medical certification is required.

Students must be at least eighteen years old to participate in the 5-Day Wilderness EMT Upgrade 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.

To learn more about the Wilderness EMS Upgrade course instructor, Susan Purvis, check out her bio on the WMAI website.

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