Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive. If your question isn't one of these, please use one of the links to the right to get in touch with us!

          Do I need to buy a course textbook & pay for course materials?
          What's the difference between Wilderness EMT & Wilderness First Responder?
          What are the basic requirements to take a class?
          How do I replace a lost certification card?
          Who accredits and recognizes your curriculum?
          What is your cancellation & refund policy?
          Do I need to be present for the entire class?
          How can I get [college/CME] credit for my course?
          If I don't see a class near me, what options do I have?
          How can I go about sponsoring a course at my location?
          What opportunities are available to get more involved with CWS?


Do I need to buy a course textbook & pay for course materials?
Nope! Your course tuition includes all necessary textbooks & workbooks, course materials, handouts, certification, patch, and more.

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What's the difference between Wilderness EMT & Wilderness First Responder?
Wilderness First Responder (WFR), an 80-hour intensive course, is designed for outdoor leaders and travelers who will be taking part in treks or expeditions off the beaten path. Most students have little or no prior medical training or experience as caregivers. The WFR course provides graduates with a comprehensive introduction to practical medicine and a solid foundation from which to make treatment decisions about routine and complicated medical problems when sophisticated medical care is far away.

The Wilderness EMT upgrade course is simply the wilderness component, which builds upon the student's pre-existing EMT certification. As a result of the fact that students already posses an EMT certification, the WEMT upgrade course is shorter than WFR. The WEMT upgrade course is for outdoor professionals who already hold EMS credentials for a job or who are looking to have a leadership position as an outdoor professional (e.g., park service, exploration, disasters, relief work, ski patrol, aid stations).

The course covers much of the same ground as the WFR course, but goes much further in depth into aspects of extended patient care, evacuation considerations, risk management, and wilderness medical field protocols, focusing more on the appropriate selection and use of EMS technology in a backcountry or wilderness setting, as well as medications and complex decision making.

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What are the basic requirements to take a class?
There are actually very few general requirements to take a class with CWS. Most courses do have an age requirement due to the intensity and/or length of the class. For CPR/AED/First Aid classes, participants must be at least 11 years old ; wilderness first aid: 14 years old; wilderness first responder & wilderness EMT: 16 years old.

Certain courses may also have additional requirements such as a pre-class reading assignment and pretest or may require a CPR/AED certification prior to the class. Please see the course description page for the course you're interested in to learn about the specific prerequisites.

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How do I replace a lost certification card?
Don't worry - we can fix that. If a certification card is lost or damaged we will replace it once for free. To request a replacement certification card for a course which you took with Center for Wilderness Safety, simply fill out the form. Please note that we can only replace lost certification for students who took their course through Center for Wilderness Safety; this includes American Red Cross CPR/AED and first aid.

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Who accredits and recognizes your curriculum?
CWS teaches courses all over the United States and we attempt to acquire accreditation wherever possible. Often times we are engaged in setting the standard of practice in various fields and geographies. CWS is an nonprofit partner of the Wilderness Medical Society, who developed many of the advanced course curriculum that we use. The Wilderness First Aid course which we teach currently is that of the American Red Cross.

With respect to recognition, most certifications are recognized nation-wide, across a variety of industries. Ask a potential employer if they’ll recognize your certification and what level will give you the most visibility on your resume for the work that you want to do.

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What is your cancellation & refund policy?
To read our cancellation & refund policy, please click here.

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Do I need to be present for the entire class?
For the most part, YES. For a 4-9 hour course, participants are not permitted to miss any part of class in order to earn certification. For courses between 10 and 40 hours, participants are permitted to miss up to one hour of class; and for courses over 40 hours, students are permitted to miss up to four hours of class without any penalty.

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How can I get [college/CME] credit for my course?
CEUs are offered as an add-on to any American Red Cross taken through Center for Wilderness Safety. Prior to ordering your CEU certificate you must have completed an approved course. Courses that are approved for CEU credits include: Adult+Child CPR/AED (0.2 CEUs), CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer & Healthcare Provider (0.8 CEUs), Wilderness First Aid (0.9 CEUs), and Emergency Medical Responder (5.1 CEUs), Wilderness First Responder (5.1 CEUs), and Wilderness EMT Upgrade (5.1 CEUs).

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If I don't see a class near me, what options do I have?
None, you lazy sack of potatoes! Get your duff off the couch and come travel to your nearest CWS course! Just kidding! Check out the next question, below!

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How can I go about sponsoring a course at my location?
Sponsoring a course is a great way to offer a wilderness medicine or American Red Cross course at your location for your employees, members and the general public. Many scout troops, search and rescue teams, and outdoor organizations host courses at a location of their choosing across the east coast throughout the year. Sponsoring a course is also a great way to earn revenue for your group or organization! Click here to learn more.

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What opportunities are available to get more involved with CWS?
We are extremely proud of our passionate and experienced staff and instructors. Our instructors come from all walks of life and have a broad range of experience from serving in the military, to volunteering with local rescue squads, working in hospital emergency departments, and more. Think you've got what it takes to become staff? To learn more, click here.

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