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Wilderness First Responder Training in Phoenix, AZ

Research wilderness first responder training programs available at two schools located within roughly 140 miles of downtown Phoenix. To decide which one is right for you, read an overview of the program options and requirements at the universities.

Wilderness First Responder Programs in the Phoenix Area

Those searching for schools offering wilderness first responder training won't find what they're looking for in the Phoenix city limits. Students will need to travel around two hours from the city's center to find relevant programs. This article highlights the instructional areas covered in training programs at two universities. It includes a table of facts and figures about the profiled schools as well as info on a closer-to-home training option in Phoenix.

  • The University of Arizona, located in Tucson about 114 miles from downtown Phoenix, offers a wilderness first responder training program open to students and non-credit-seeking community members.
  • Situated around 144 miles from central Phoenix, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff also offers a wilderness first responder training program to students and non-students alike. The school has a refresher program available for those who already have certification as well.

Comparison of Schools

Take a glance at this table to learn more about the featured universities. It contains info that might impact your school choice, including facts on costs and campus setting.

University of Arizona Northern Arizona University
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (fall 2017) 43,751* 31,051*
Campus Setting Large city Small city
Tuition $725 Campus Rec members** $11,059 in-state, $24,841 out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **University of Arizona

University of Arizona

The wilderness first responder training is given through the university's Campus Rec Center. Anyone taking classes at the university is a member of the rec center. The program is open to staff, faculty and students and their guests. Anyone who is not a student may take the program, but must pay an additional 15% on top of the student price. The training is part of the center's outdoor adventure programs. Students are required to sign a statement of personal responsibility and presumed risk.

Wilderness First Responder Training

This is a 96-hour training program that includes instruction in wilderness rescue, improvised splints and litters, environmental medicine patient assessment, physiology and anatomy. The training is given by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)/Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) and complies with all Department of Transportation's requirements for certification. Students also earn CPR certification.

Northern Arizona University

At Northern Arizona University, the wilderness first responder training is available through Campus Recreation Services. Programs are open to community members, staff, faculty and students.

Wilderness First Responder Training

In this 80-hour program, students learn how to give an individual help in the event of a trauma or medical emergency in the backcountry. Topics covered include stabilizing, treating and evacuating the patient. The training includes a 1-day field trip so students can get hands-on practice. Individuals who complete the training receive wilderness first responder certification (good for three years) and CPR certification (good for two years).

Other Training Options

Students can enroll in a wilderness first aid course offered by NOLS/WMI in Phoenix (Paradise Valley), Arizona. NOLS also runs wilderness first responder training in Flagstaff and Grand Canyon, Arizona.


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