This is a full DOT Emergency Medical Technician program followed by a WEMS Upgrade course. The training will satisfy eligibility requirements for the National Registry, State and WEMS certification. Training will take place daily, Monday through Friday, for four weeks.

Prior to enrolling in a course, please review our Functional Position Description. The criteria set forth in this document allows students to self-assess their ability to meet the demands of both a WMAI course as well as the demands of a certified wilderness medical provider in the field.


Wilderness Medicine

Wilderness Medicine differs significantly from standard Red Cross courses and other programs that are oriented toward the urban environment. This course teaches what to do with a medical emergency when help is miles away and calling 911 isn’t an option. We prepare students for emergency situations that involve prolonged patient care, severe environments and improvised equipment.

Class Format

This course is 181 hours over 25 days including six days off. On most days class will run from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mornings will begin with quizzes and case presentations from students who had hospital rotations on the previous day. The rest of the morning will be devoted to lectures. Afternoons are devoted to practical hands-on sessions and video taped simulations. Expect five or six emergency rescue simulations with made-up victims and stage blood that will be video taped for enhanced learning. Evenings are reserved for case studies, clinical rotations, and assignments.

Course Sponsors and Instructors

Wilderness Medical Associates courses are offered by a variety of sponsors in the US and abroad. Sponsors may set rules regarding parking, dogs, the use of alcohol, and other site-specific issues. The course sponsor sets the tuition and provides the classroom and any housing or meals that may be included. All courses are taught by WMA™ instructors who have been through our rigorous selection and training process and adhere to our course standards and curriculum.

Hospital Rotations

Students will participate in at least ten hours of Emergency Room observation. Ambulance rotations may also be required. Proper dress consisting of dark slacks (no jeans), white shirt with collar, and hard-soled, closed toe shoes are required for these rotations.


Wilderness medicine texts and materials are provided by Wilderness Medical Associates at no additional cost. This includes handouts, a book of lecture handouts, our case study workbook, SOAP notes, our textbook Wilderness and Rescue Medicine, and The Wilderness Medical Associates Field Guide. Separate purchase of the EMT textbook may be required by the sponsor.


Successful completion of the course is based on 100% attendance, course participation, performance during rotations, and satisfactory performance on both written and practical final exams. Passing is based on the cumulative average on the: practical and written exams; satisfactory performance in all experiential activities. Not everyone passes.

WEMS Certification

All students who successfully complete this course will receive a WEMS certification from Wilderness Medical Associates. This certification remains valid for three years. For information on renewing the wilderness portion of the WEMS certification, please refer to the ‘Recertification Answer Sheet’ from Wilderness Medical Associates.

State Certification and Licensure

Upon successful course completion of the course, students will take the written and practical exams for the state where the course is held. Wilderness Medical Associates will cover all fees associated with these exams. For courses held in Maine, of those students who pass the exams, only those affiliated with a Maine rescue service will be licensed in Maine. The license remains valid for three years. Please call the Maine Office of EMS in Augusta (207-287-3953) with questions related to recertification of your Maine EMT license. For courses held in other states, check with the sponsoring organization for information on state licensing.

Other State Certification and Licensure

Students wishing to be certified and/or licensed in a state other than where the course is held must contact their state EMS office to apply for reciprocity. Requirements vary from state to state so Wilderness Medical Associates cannot guarantee that successful completion of this course will lead to certification within a particular state. However, for Maine courses, successful completion of the Maine State exams, which also happen to be the National Registry exams, will increase the odds that reciprocity will be granted in another state. The length of certification and recertification requirements varies from state to state.

National Registry Certification

The State of Maine has adopted the National Registry exam as their state exam. However, the National Registry requires an additional fee if you want them to score it and receive the National Registry certification. Successful completion of this exam will lead to provisional registration at the EMT-Basic level. Six month’s experience in the field of emergency medicine within two years is required for full certification at this level. Certification remains valid for approximately two years. Please call the National Registry (614-888-4484) with questions related to recertification.

Other Certification

Students will be certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) at the Basic Life Support (BLS) level. Certifications remain valid for three years. There are many different levels of CPR. EMT’s must maintain a BLS-CPR.

Course Content

This course meets all requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) curriculum, the State of Maine EMT-Basic curriculum (for courses held in Maine, courses held in other states meet that state’s curriculum), and the Wilderness Medical Associates WEMS Upgrade curriculum. Topics include patient assessment, body systems, equipment improvisation, trauma, oxygen administration, automatic defibrillation, environmental medicine, toxins, backcountry medicine, wilderness protocols, and wilderness rescue. To discuss course specifics, please contact us.


Students must be at least eighteen years old to participate in this course. They must provide documentation or record of immunizations against Measles, Mumps, Rubella (known as MMR), Hep B, Tetanus, and a TB Skin Test.