Affiliate of the Wilderness Medical Society
Taught live over ZOOM, or watch a recording.
WFA course includes the live or recorded session, exam, three-year certification, and 40+ hours of wilderness medicine podcasts.
Interactive Medical and Survival Scenarios:
Bears, Wolves, Spiders, Snakes, and insects specific to Michigan
Lightning and temperature extremes
Hypothermia, surviving winter storms, and ice rescues
Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cramps, and hyponatremia
Flash floods and rip currents
Altitude illness, Frostbite, Trench Foot, and Environmental Medicine
Common rescue calls and injuries in the Great Lakes, Isle Royale National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and other parks in Michigan
Anaphylaxis and using an Epi Pen
Communicable and waterborne diseases in the Michigan area
Cold weather gear and clothing
Getting Lost, rescue signaling, finding water, and surviving in many environments
Medicolegal topics and liability in MI
If you’d like to participate in the hands-on skills, have the following materials ready:
Sleeping bag ~ Water bottle ~ Tarp or tent ~ ACE bandage or cloth wrap ~ Tree branch or ski pole ~ Flexible splint or magazine ~ Backpack ~ Jacket
To earn the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification, you can take a short exam after attending the course or watching a recording, included in the cost. It is valid for three years.
The certificates do not have a Michigan- specific designation in the “Wilderness First Aid” title.
When you enroll you receive:
- Access to the 2-hour general Wilderness First Aid course. You can watch it as a recording on your own time, or attend any of our upcoming live Zoom sessions. This portion of the course covers many environments and is not limited to Michigan.
- Access to the 1-hour pre-recorded Michigan topics, tailored to this state
- 1 hour of additional hands-on practical skills instruction
- Watch the recordings multiple times and at whatever pace you want.
- 40+ hours of supplemental podcasts
- WFA exam and three-year certificate
Access to all live and recorded sessions is valid for 30 days beyond purchase. You can attend any of the live sessions and view any of the recordings as often as you desire during that time. Access to the podcasts is permanent.
Available Dates for Live General Course:
- Tuesday, August 9: 7-9 pm EDT
- Wednesday, August 17: 6:30-8:30 pm EDT
- Thursday, August 25: 7-9 pm EDT
Or watch the self-paced recording whenever you want. This part of the class is not limited to Michigan.
Ready to get started?
Frequently Asked Questions
Our innovative curriculum was developed by wilderness and emergency medicine physicians at the University of Utah and Southern California, in response to an international need to improve the accessibility and affordability of outdoor education and wilderness certifications. It is widely accepted, both nationally and internationally, including by the National Association of Search and Rescue, American Canoe Association, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Sierra Club, expedition and guide companies, and many more.
First Aid training requirements vary across organizations. If you are using this course for employment purposes, we encourage you to check with your employer to see if it will meet your particular training requirements. We are also happy to provide access to this course for employers to gage if it fits their organization’s needs.
No. Our state WFA courses are available to anyone, anywhere. The state options are designed to offer a wide variety of options for terrain and environment. The portion of this course that includes the 1-hour Michigan topics is suited for anyone who has a general interest in lake, forest, and cold weather medicine.
No. You only need to attend one Wilderness First Aid class, or watch the recording if you can’t make it.
No. All ages are welcome to take the class and earn the certification.
No. You can watch the WFA course or the recording without having the Zoom app or account.
Yes. This course can be taken from anywhere in the world.
Yes. Many organizations use our course to certify their employees and volunteers. However, individual organizations have varying requirements for first aid and wilderness training, so we advise you to check with your organization to see if it will qualify if you are using it for work or volunteer purposes. You can reach out to us by email if you have any questions or if you have particular requirements for a WFA class. We can adapt the Wilderness First Aid class to fit your organization’s needs for the content, length, and depth of training provided.
Yes. This wilderness first aid course qualifies for SARTECH Level 3 with the National Association for Search and Rescue.
If you are interested in SARTECH Level 2, check out our Wilderness First Responder (WFR) online course.
We have had several NPS branches, state government organizations, guide companies, and more who have offered to cover the cost of this class for their employees. We’re happy to discuss the matter with your employer, and we can offer discounts for large groups.
The general class (over Zoom or recording) is about 2 hours. The state-specific pre-recording is about 1 hour. The additional practical skills videos are about 1 hour. The certification exam is 1 hour. The supplemental textbook and podcasts provide up to 40 hours of additional course content. Thus, the extent of your learning in this course is entirely up to you.
We teach from the same established WFA Scope of Practice that all providers use. However, most in-person courses are very expensive and require a full weekend of travel and commitment. These are skills that everyone should have, but many people find the virtual offering to be much more accommodating for their schedules and budgets. This option provides the opportunity to learn the material at your own pace and in as much depth as you see fitting for what you do in the outdoors.
*Please note that some outdoor volunteer and paid positions still require an in-person WFA course. If you are using this course for that purpose, send the syllabus to your organization or employer to check if it will qualify for your purposes.
No. The BSA and American Camp Association both still require a 16-hour, in-person class for their high adventure trip leaders. If you need a WFA certificate for the Boy Scouts of America, this class will not count for that. However, we are working to provide the Survival Merit badge to scouts. This will be available soon.
We work with many different organizations to do this. OSHA typically requires a 90-minute CPR certification, face-to-face (or over Zoom) with an instructor. We can help you arrange this in conjunction with this Wilderness First Aid course.
Natalie Bonthius, MD
- Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) Candidate
- Advanced Wilderness and Expedition Provider (AWEP)
- Advanced Wilderness Life Support
- International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) Board Member
Richard Ingebretsen, MD PhD
- University of Utah School of Medicine clinical instructor
- Program Director, University of Utah “Wild Med U” Program
- Medical Director, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue
- Former Associate Dean of Students Affairs, University of Utah College of Science
- Founder of the Glen Canyon Institute
- Vice-Chair of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
- Founder of Wilderness Medicine of Utah
- Owner of River Bound Adventures
- Firefighter/Paramedic, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Grand Teton National Park
- Award-winning author of Wild Rescues, Lights and Sirens, and Beneath Blossom Rain
- Graduate of UCLA’S renowned Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program
Robert Scanlon, MD
- Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Sleep Medicine
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
- Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
- Owner – Somnopath, LLC-medical science consultant
- Owner – Medical Media Consulting