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College of Forestry and Conservation

Wilderness Risk Management

The Wilderness Institute has been taking students outside for field-based learning since its inception in 1975. Through the years we have held high safety standards, attended numerous Wilderness Risk Management Conferences and developed strict outdoor safety protocols. We also cultivate and maintain a capable staff that is prepared to both prevent and respond to backcountry accidents.

In developing safety protocols, we worked to create documents to guide us in wilderness risk management. As part of the wilderness safety community, we are happy to share these documents with others.

Please contact us if you would like copies of any of the following:

In 1994, WI assisted the Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine in starting up its first courses to help prepare outdoor educators and students for safe backcountry leadership and travel. Today, Aerie offers a complete set of Wilderness Medicine courses including Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Wilderness EMT (WEMT). Aerie courses prepare course participants for safe outdoor travel by teaching injury and illness prevention, patient assessment, improvised care, long-term patient management and the thought processes that are unique when caring for patients in remote settings. WI and Aerie maintain a partnership to offer courses at The University of Montana. Aerie also offers courses elsewhere in western Montana.

Aerie offers WFR and WEMT courses for credit at the University of Montana as HHP 395. The WFR course is 2 credits and the WEMT is 3.

For a quarterly update on Aerie courses and events, please check out the Aerie Newsletter.

For more information about the Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine contact them at:

Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine
PO Box 122
Missoula, MT 59806
(406) 542-9972

Aerie Courses:
Wilderness First Responder
The 72-hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is the standard wilderness medicine class for many outdoor organization's supervisors. The course focuses on injury and illness prevention, patient assessment, long-term injury management, improvised splint and litter construction and environmental emergencies.

Wilderness First Aid
This 16-hour course provides an introduction to wilderness medicine.

This 180-hour course follows the Department of Transportation's National Registry EMT curriculum, but goes into significantly more detail concerning care for patients in remote settings.