How to Get Recertified
We strongly encourage you to maintain a current certification, as frequent refresher courses will help ensure you are prepared to respond in the event of an emergency. Most American Red Cross and wilderness medicine certifications are valid for two years, as studies have shown that individuals tend to start losing information from first aid training after about two years if not using the skills consistently in that time period.
CPR/AED (Adult, Child, & Infant)
Due to the constantly changing nature of American Red Cross CPR/AED courses, in order to recertify any American Red Cross Adult, Child, or Infant CPR/AED certification, you must take another CPR/AED course. Unfortunately, there are no refresher or challenge courses.
All American Red Cross CPR/AED certifications are valid for two years. This change went into effect March 2010. Any certification prior to that was valid for only one year.
Standard First Aid
There is no refresher or recertification course available for American Red Cross first aid courses. In order to recertify, you will be required to take another Standard First Aid course. All American Red Cross First Aid certifications are valid for two years (as of July 2011).
Wilderness (& Advanced) First Aid
In order to recertify your Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification, you must take the course again in its entirety. There are no "refresher" courses available due to the constantly changing nature of these introductory wilderness medicine courses.
Wilderness First Responder
In order to recertify your Wilderness First Responder certification, students may take any CWS Wilderness First Aid course. Our Wilderness First Aid courses include many practical scenarios as well as case-studies which aid in reinforcing evacuation decision-making, patient assessment and treatment intervention skills. These courses also provide participants with the latest updates in wilderness medicine. You will be required to pass a written and practical exam.
In order to recertify your WFR by taking Wilderness First Aid, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- Hold CURRENT Adult + Child CPR/AED certification from ARC, AHA, ASHI or ECSI.
- Hold CURRENT certification as a Wilderness First Responder through CWS, SOLO, WMI, or WMA.
Participants must possess a current (unexpired) WFR certification from one of the following nationally-recognized organizations in order to recertify through a WFR Recertification course: CWS, WMI of NOLS, WMA or SOLO. Expired WFR certifications may be afforded a one-year grace period within which to recertify so long as the participant holds current professional-level CPR certification and/or if the WFR certification was earned through CWS.
Students certified by any organization other than CWS are REQUIRED to submit a photocopy of their certification card on the first day of the course. Please note: We cannot issue you a new card until we have verified your previous training. We ask that CWS certified WFR students present their card in person in class.
WFR Recertification Preparation
We strongly recommend that you prepare for your Wilderness First Responder Recertification course by studying prior to your course. Participants who are the most successful tend to be those that have reviewed their textbook and studied their notes from their previous course. In addition to this tip, we have resources on our website that we highly recommend you review prior to your course.
In order to recertify your Wilderness EMT certification, you MUST be currently certified as a State Registered or National Registry EMT-Basic AND be currently certified in healthcare provider level CPR/AED through either the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.
Once you have met these two criteria, you can either take a Wilderness First Responder course (typically 7-9 days) or a Wilderness EMT Upgrade course (5-days) in order to recertify as a Wilderness EMT.