First Aid Courses

Bridge (WAFA to WFR) English Course

  • For current WAFA holders who want to upgrade to the WFR certification
  • For current WFR holders who need recertification

Course Description

Enhance your Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) skills to transition to the scope of practice and competency of a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). This course must be taken within three years of WAFA certification to qualify.

A pre-course review is required to ensure you have the foundational knowledge to successfully bridge from a WAFA to a WFR in 4 days. This course may also serve as a recertification opportunity for eligible WFRs and WMA WEMS Upgrade graduates. The course is taught by Wilderness Medical Associates Japan instructors.

Organizer: Wilderness Medical Associates Japan (WMAJ)

Course Location: Hokkaido Backcountry Club office, Niseko (map)

Price: 72,600 yen per person (66,000 yen + 10% tax)


  • Dates: November 30, 2024 (Saturday) – December 3, 2024 (Tuesday)
  • Course Start: 9:30 AM
  • Expected End: 6:00 PM

Daily Schedule:

  • Nov 30: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM + Homework = 8.5 hours
  • Dec 1: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM + Homework = 9.5 hours
  • Dec 2: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM + Homework = 9.5 hours
  • Dec 3: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM = 9.5 hours

Course Requirements

Students bridging to a WFR must hold a current (non-expired) Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification.

Students will have access to the pre-course assignments 2-4 weeks before the course. The study guide should be completed in preparation for the course, as it is designed to familiarize students with essential points in the curriculum. Instructors will collect it at the beginning of the course, but it will not be included in the final grade.


Eligible WAFA to WFR Bridge students are current graduates (not expired or within a grace period) from:

  • A WAFA course with a minimum of 36 hours of overall instruction.
  • For recertification, a WFR course with a minimum of 70 hours of overall instruction, including a minimum of 45 hours of in-person instruction is required.
  • Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) certification holders are eligible to recertify in WMA recertification courses. Upon successful completion, students will receive a WFR certification.

Course Evaluation

This course is pass/fail. 100% attendance is mandatory. Evaluation is based on practical patient simulations, hands-on activities, and a written test.


Certifications are valid for three years. Graduates of this course may re-certify by taking a Wilderness First Responder Recertification course or by retaking this Bridge (WAFA to WFR) course.

Course Topics

  • General principles of wilderness and rescue medicine, focusing on identifying medical emergencies, critical thinking, and risk management.
  • Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR and AED use, basic life support skills, patient assessment system, patient reporting, and calling for help.
  • Treatment of injuries from traumatic mechanisms and musculoskeletal problems such as overuse syndromes and dislocations.
  • Environmental medicine including illness and injuries related to altitude, temperature, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
  • Backcountry medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
  • Non-technical lifting, moving, and extrication of patients with an emphasis on spinal motion restriction when applicable.
  • Practical skills including bleeding control, wound management, bandaging, splinting, spine-stable patient packaging, hypothermia management, and medical kit preparation.
  • WMA International wilderness protocols including treatment of anaphylaxis, wound management, CPR in a remote setting, spine injury assessment, reduction of simple dislocations, and treatment for severe asthma.

Required Items For Lectures and Practical Sessions:

  • Indoor shoes
  • Daypack (sufficient to carry personal items during outdoor practical sessions)
  • Warm clothing, rain gear, change of clothes, towels, etc. (bring extra)
    • Note: You will be acting as a patient for rescue practice, so be prepared for clothes to get dirty, wet, or torn.
  • Watch (with a second hand or digital watch capable of measuring seconds)
  • Headlamp
  • Lunch, drinks, portable food, etc.
  • Study materials, writing utensils, and a notebook for taking notes
  • Any other items you deem necessary for outdoor activities (if you are a guide, we recommend bringing your standard guide equipment).