What is the difference between WRFA 20hr and AWRFA 40hr?

• 20 hours of time. This allows for more time to prefect skills, more scenarios and additional advanced skills, extended scenarios, night exercises, and more variety in splinting/bandaging.
• Skills in AWRFA not in WRFA

– Helmet Removal
– Clearing Patients Spinal Precautions
– Re-alignment / Re-setting of Fractures & Dislocations
– Extended care up to 48 hours
– Evacuation planning in more detail
– Longer scenarios with complicating factors

Do I have to have First Aid before taking a Wilderness course?
Technically no. But the more you know and the more training you have had prior to the course the more we can expand upon. Every student will come in with a different background and skill set.

I’m a Paramedic / Firefighter / Nurse / Doctor / Health Practictioner etc. Why would I take this course?
As a professional responder you have the advantage of previous training and expert knowledge. BUT when you don’t have the equipment you need, you don’t have a team of professionals working with you, and you’re in a remote environment you may need to improvise. WRFA will challenge you to go back to the basics and improvise with minimal resources and no immediate assistance.

What certification do I get?
All courses are Red Cross. Depending on the course you take you will get either a Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid/CPR/AED certification or a Red Cross Advanced Wilderness & Remote First Aid/CPR/AED certification.

Are you Red Cross or St. Johns?
Back40 is a Red Cross Training Partner. All our instructors are Red Cross WRFA Instructor certified.

How long is my certification valid for?
3 years.

Can I recertify?
If you are not expired and registering for the equivalent course – yes! If you are expired, no matter your excuse, you must take a full course again.

Can I recertify my St. Johns Wilderness First Aid or another agency’s certification?
Yes. Please contact to compare courses and content first to confirm.

Is there a test?
Yes. The Red Cross requires you pass it with minimum 75% grade. Don’t worry though, we haven’t had anyone fail it yet!

Is there homework?
Yes. Mostly reading ahead in the manual prior to the next class so that we can move quicker through the content. Some things deserve more time than others and reading assignments help us allocate more time to skills than to lectures. We may also ask you to research a specific topic as a means to broaden your knowledge.

I don’t need Wilderness First Aid, do you offer other first aid training?
Yes! Please see our Everyday First Aid page, or contact us directly.

How much survival training will we get?
None. This is a FIRST AID course not a SURVIVAL course. However you would be surprised at what comes up in conversation among the class. Many people who take this course will have a vivid and experienced background in backcountry situations and therefore bring a lot of knowledge to the class. You will not be required to set up shelter and build a fire in class….but I won’t stop the scenario if you get to that point either!

Why does this course cost so much?
This is a specialty, advanced course. Each participant pays approximately $12.50+/- per hour of instruction. If you think about that, it’s equivalent to what most paid leisure programs charge. Your book, certification, class supplies, rental of classroom, and instructor are all expenses we need to cover with your registration fees.

Does WRFA or AWRFA meet my workplace requirements?
YES! They EXCEED workplace requirements! WRFA is 20hrs, AWRFA is 40hrs. Both cover and exceed the OHS Requirements of a Standard First Aid 16hrs and both include CPR. Your employer will likely not know this so please have them call us! These courses will also meet the OHS requirements for workplaces needing Wilderness & Remote First Aid

Do I have to stay overnight if the course includes it?
If you registered for a course that boldly advertises an overnight component it is likely being hosted in an area where staying overnight is the best option. Please discuss with us first before registering for a course that includes an overnight component if you have no intention of staying over. Overnight courses would include an evening/dark component before ending class for the night and allowing participants some personal/social time. Class will reconvene in the morning.

Are accommodations covered by my course fee for overnight courses?
Maybe. Course locations where Back40 books a group tent site for the course and for group tents you will be permitted to take advantage of the free spot to put up your own tent. If you choose different accommodations like booking your own cabin or bringing an RV/Camper trailer – you will be required to cover your own costs. This information will be given on a case-by-case basis.

Does Back40 provide tents / personal sleeping gear for overnight trips?
No. You will have to bring your own. If you are really stuck – please let us know as we have a few spares of our own!

Is travel arranged or provided?
No. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation to the course location. Some courses will be held at places like Blue Mountain Adventure Park close to North Battleford, or Blackstrap Provincial Park, or potentially even the Rocky Mountains. Even within the city limits, our course locations can change each day. You will have to find your own means to get there.

What if the weather is terrible?
All courses will have a back-up plan for inclement weather. That being said, scenarios will still likely be done outside in rain or snow, but with shorter durations, to provide a realistic learning experience. Participant safety and lesson quality will always be priority. Some courses will have a temporary shelter set up for mild changes in the weather. Participants are still required to be independently responsible for their personal comfort outside in any weather.

What if I don’t like bugs?
Then you should likely never go outside and should probably reconsider taking this course.

What do I have to bring?
• Food: You need to bring your own food for the day (or overnight if that’s the case). Full lunch breaks will not be given. Any overnight class will allow time for students to make a full supper and relax before starting the evening portions.
• Water: Bring extra even!
• Weather Appropriate Clothing: You don’t want to suffer.
• Activity Specific Gear: Bring only if you want to incorporate it into a scenario. We will likely discuss this prior to the class starting.
• Personal Backpack / Bag: Bring what you would normally have with you on most of your outdoor pursuits. We strongly encourage each person to bring at least a small backpack with some personal essentials and extra clothing for the purpose of the class.
• Thermarest/Ground Insulation/Sleeping Bag: We would encourage you to bring your own to practice with but we do have a full stock of class ones as well for you to use.
Every course will also have a specific document listing what to bring and other details for that particular class. Please visit our Resources page for more information.

Should I bring my first aid kit?
YES! But only to compare and analyze the contents. We will supply all the gauze, bandages, and triangles used for scenarios.

What do I have to wear?
Look outside. Check the forecast. And come prepared for changes in the weather for that day because we all know the weatherman has a tendency to be wrong. Clothing is a personal choice and we assume since you are registering for an outdoor course that you have a certain level of experience to know what works best for you. However, if you are unsure or are new to outdoor activities, especially with variable weather conditions, please do not hesitate to ask for our advice. These courses allow you the opportunity to try out your clothing choices and learn from other’s as well. Student safety is our priority but we may let you suffer a bit if your toes get cold because you decided to wear sandals.

Why do you suggest bringing extra clothing?
Many of our improvised splints/slings are done with clothing because this is likely a more realistic reality for many of us in our outdoor activities of choice. Having some extra clothing, something you may normally have with you, may allow you to practice your improvisation skills. The weather may also change and we want you to be comfortable.

Why do I have to bring clothing that might get trashed?
Some scenarios may include fake blood or cutting of clothing to expose an injury. We do not want you to ruin good clothes. So for those willing, we would appreciate it if you brought a few clothing pieces you wouldn’t mind getting used for these scenarios. You will always be warned ahead of time so you can change.

Will they cut my clothes off in a scenario?
There will be no socially inappropriate exposure of anyone’s body in our classes. Everyone has different comfort levels and we will work with each person who offers to wear clothing that might get cut to expose an injury.

Do I have to act in scenarios?
We see great humor in bad acting. We don’t expect professional performances either. But if you are really uncomfortable in scenarios please talk to your instructor and come up with a plan. Scenarios are excellent learning opportunities and do provide a certain amount of stress, but most people start to relax after everyone has done a few and you get to know your classmates more.

I’m just beginning to explore, play and work outdoors. Is this course for me?
Yes! Each public class will have a variety of different people with all different backgrounds and experiences. This is a chance to network and learn from others as well. We would much rather see you get trained before you go on your next adventure!

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