Training for medical personnel who would like to enhance their skills and experience for use in the rural, wilderness, and technical rescue setting. This course is popular with all levels of medical professionals but primarily geared toward pre-hospital EMS providers.
The WEMS Upgrade curriculum builds on EMS training and expertise to meet the special challenges of the remote and unconventional environment. It is designed for medical personnel working in rural EMS, search and rescue, law enforcement, disaster response, and on wilderness expeditions. Like all 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.
This program is continuously revised and updated by . 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
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 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.
All published teaching materials are produced and provided by 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
- WEMS-WALS Class Notes
- Wilderness Medicine Workbook
- SOAP Notebook
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. is committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs.
Current EMS provider 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.