Ask these questions of any school you plan to take classes from.
This will help you determine if your course can be recertified by anyone else.
If you take a class from those scoring low you may not be able to recertify anywhere else.
WMO is a founding member of Professional Outdoor Medical Educators
You can recertify your WMO WFR almost anywhere!
Wilderness Medicine Outfitters director, Carl Weil (a 3rd generation guide), had two nontraditional desires upon graduating college. One was to teach what now is referred to as wilderness medicine. He succeeded at both and started teaching advanced first aid /back country care to ski patrollers in 1967 at Colorado State University. Mr. Weil in 2006 became the first non-physician to earn the degree of "Fellow" from the Academy of Wilderness Medicine which is the educational arm of the 3,000 member Wilderness Medical Society. In 2012 he was the first to complete the three plus year work earning the degree of Master Fellow degree by the WMS
As of 2012 all WMO WFR/WEMT classes uniquely have at least 1 Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine teaching the class as of 2014 may NO OTHER SCHOOL MATCHES THAT
The following list will help you determine how strong the school is that you ask these questions about.
We believe WMO to be the best in Wilderness Medicine training.
WMO focuses on positive personal attention and offers state, national and professional certifications
and has been teaching wilderness medicine since 1967.
Quality Determination Questions
Understanding the ranking process
GREAT = "YES" to 26 of 30
Good = "YES" to 23 of 30
Average = "YES to 20 of 30
Unable to recommend = "YES" to less than 20 of 30
- Is training recognized in writing by at least 3 state or national sources?
- Do instructors have a state ems instructor designation?
- Is the school at least three years old?
- Are classes state approved in at least their "home" state?
- Are instructors at least trained to EMT level?
- Do all the instructors have a credible outdoor background?
- Does the director have a strong medical background which includes membership, with some active involvement beyond dues paying, in at least 3 medical organizations. Is he full time in the school?
- Is there a Doctor who acknowledges medical review?
- Is training recognized in writing by at least three national groups?
- Has the director been a member of WMS for at least 3 years?
- Are there at least 3 lead instructors, each who has at least 3 medical instructor designations from groups other than their own? If there is only one instructor, is there a written "teaching assistance" agreement with two other instructors?
- Will at least 3 other national schools recertify this school's students?
- Are there an average of at least 3 classes held per quarter?
- Does the school offer recertification courses and have a published list of schools whose courses they will in turn, recertify?
- Are ALS skills and course offered and monitored by a Doctor?
- Have senior instructors served an apprenticeship in this, or another wilderness medicine school, under someone other than themselves?
- Do all instructors have company manuals?
- Are student manuals or packets used in all courses?
- Does the school have general liability insurance?
- Is there a designation between entry level and experienced instructors?
- Is the school a legal entity?
- Is the school affiliated with a college or hospital during the previous 12 months?
- Is a detailed manual available for purchase, for clarification, by the students?
- Does at least the director carry professional liability insurance?
- Is their WFR or WEMT module at least 64 or 54 hours, respectively?
- Does the school have a published book on wilderness medicine or rescue?
- Is the instructor / student ratio 1 to 13 or less with a max size of 26?
- Do all upper level instructors have at least one year patient care experience, preferably wilderness?
- Do lead instructors have at least 5 hours biannual wilderness medicine training?
- Do all instructors have a least 5 hours biannual instructional skills training?
Wilderness Medicine School and Course Standards
Notes of Explanation from Carl Weil, Director
This standard was created to help outdoor educators select courses and schools. It was written to be a part of a book for the largest university physical activity based (including outdoor education) association, NAHPERD. The book includes numerous outdoor activity information including treatment of, and the training for, outdoor medical needs.
The various points are intended to give a feel for the longevity of the school, the experience of the instructors, the recognition in the standard medical community, the recognition in the outdoor community of the credential, the professionalism of the staff, the quality of both instructors and curriculum, and the objective of the school. When the word school is used, it means, from the Webster's dictionary, a "place or means of learning". When the pronoun "he" is used it means "any person". The term "national school" means an organization of more than local orientation which may be exemplified by teaching out of their home state. The school I run, Wilderness Medicine Outfitters, ranks as a "gold", as do a few others, with yes answers to 27 out of the 30 questions on this standard. This standard was written to incorporate the best qualities of the objectively "best schools" in this country.
The term "wilderness medicine" is meant to be 'improvisational medical care where emergency medical services, i.e. ambulance to your door is not available and long term transports are required'. The term "long term transport" is often accepted to have a threshold from 1 to 4 hours. This standard is believed to be the first in the industry. It is not intended to be the last. If you, the reader, have questions or suggestions do not hesitate to call me. I suggest you call when you can more easily get me which is early mornings. You may also write and, please, enclose a S.A.S.E.
In the summer of 1996 this standard was reviewed and found to be of use by the WEA.