Wilderness First Aid  (WFA) provides and introduction to general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures.

The Mazamas Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, provided in collaboration with Base Medical, will teach students critical skills for providing basic first aid in the backcountry. Students will learn the foundations of determining scene safety, patient assessment, and identifying common injuries and illness. The course will develop basic first aid knowledge and skills, with a focus on stabilizing and managing a patient in a wilderness setting, where higher levels of care are often hours away. 

The Fall 2020 WFA is a pilot course presented as a hybrid model, combining self-paced online learning with an in person skills day at the MMC. Registered students will be provided with access to online content 1.5 weeks prior to their skills day. This video based material will allow students to review content at home, where they are encouraged to practice techniques with friends or family. The skills day will cement new learning and skills through scenarios and hands on learning. A final online exam must be completed and passed with a score of 80% or higher within seven days of completing the in person practical portion of the course.

Part One: Online Learning

An individual code will be sent to students on October 24th to begin the online portion. All lectures are video-based and the course can be taken at your own pace as long as you finish by the deadline. Review as many times as necessary. When you are ready, take the final exam.

Part Two: Practical Training

The practical training part focuses on the hands-on skills necessary to gain certification.

Upon successful completion of all sections of the course, students will be awarded a nationally recognized Wilderness First Aid certification.

Scope of Education 

Patient Assessment System
Scene & Management
  • Scene Assessment
  • Documentation
  • Medical Legal
  • Decision Making
  • Basic Lifts / Moves
Trauma Emergencies
  • Shock
  • Trauma
  • Wound Management
  • Spinal
Medical Emergencies
  • Respiratory
  • Cardiac
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Neurologic
Environmental Emergencies
  • Hypothermia & Frostbite
  • Heat illnesses
  • High Altitude
  • Hyponatremia
  • Lightning


COVID precautions will be strictly followed during the skills session to ensure a safe learning environment for all participants and will be capped at 10 students per session. Masks will be worn at all times while inside the MMC and anytime 6 feet distance can not be maintained outdoors as well.  All students will be given their own set of first aid supplies to be used only on themselves the day of the practical. For students participating from home for their practical, first aid supplies will be mailed to them. If there is a surge in COVID cases, we reserve the right to either postpone or change to remote options. 

Mazama activity/event participants are required to sign a liability waiver along with a Covid-19 Acknowledgement of Risk. See Mazamas Covid-19 policy for more details.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will my WFA certification last?

A: WFA Certification lasts for 2 years. Recertification for WFA can be done through the Mazamas or any other nationally recognized provider. 

Q: Is MFA recertifcation available for climb leaders in 2020-21?

A: See the MFA Recert page on information on MFA recerts.

Q: Does this count for an MFA badge?

A: No. This is only WFA Certification. The First Aid committee is currently working on how WFA will combine with additional module(s) to provide students with MFA certification starting in 2021. Please be patient and stay tuned as we work through this process.

Course FAQs

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Class Size

The pilot course will accommodate 30 students broken into three groups of ten students per practical skills day. An additional five students will be enrolled in a fully virtual learning experience including Zoom based skills day. 


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Time Commitment /Duration

Moderate. WFA is a low time commitment course. 

  • 16 hours 
  • 8 hours of online content
  • 8 hours practical skills session at the MMC or Zoom 

Students will have access to online content for roughly 1.5 weeks before their skills day.


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Online: Home or other location with internet access.

Practical: Practical skills sessions are held at Mazama Mountaineering Center, Holman Auditorium at 527 SE 43rd Avenue, Portland, OR.


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  • 18 years old or older
  • Computer and internet access
  • Ability and desire to complete the entire course of study
  • CPR training strongly encouraged
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Application Process

Applications will be processed by the First Aid committee. Students will be notified of their acceptance status about 1-2 weeks after applications close. 

Applications are prioritized as follows: 

  • Climb leaders and leadership development candidates
  • Mazamas activity leaders
  • General interest by order of date application is received
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Length of Certification and Recertification

WFA certification through Base Medical is valid and current for two years. 


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Required Equipment
  • Paper, Pen
  • Insolite Pad (full body; required for patient assessment)
  • Knee pad (classroom has hardwood floors (optional))
  • Backpack with appropriate gear
  • Covid PPE: Mask. Indoor usage face coverings/masks must be a minimum of a double layer of fabric or a multilayer disposable mask.
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Refund Policy
  • Cancellations received at least 14 days in advance of the class may request a refund less a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Cancellations received less than 14 days and greater than 7 in advance of class may request a 50% refund.
  • Cancellations received less than 7 days in advance, no shows, or withdrawals after the class begins will not be issued a refund
  • Cancellations due to medical issues will be considered on a case by case basis and will require a doctor’s notification to be considered.
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Class Policies
  • We reserve the right to change class locations if necessary due to weather or other circumstances; no refunds will be offered due to location changes as long as the class is held.
  • Please note cancellation policy before applying; if the course is cancelled you will receive a full refund.
  • Classes with low enrollment may be cancelled. If a class is cancelled we will notify you promptly. 
  • The class is only available to enrolled students. No auditing allowed. 
  • Pets are not allowed.