November 4, 2013

The National Outdoor Leadership School’s Wilderness Medicine Institute is bringing their Wilderness First Responder Training Course back to the University of Kentucky Jan. 4-12. The course was offered at UK two years ago.

Sponsored by UK Natural Resources and Environmental Science undergraduate degree program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the course will be held at McConnell Springs Nature Park in Lexington.

A wilderness first responder training course is essential for anyone pursuing a professional career in the outdoors. Wilderness medical certification is required for a wide variety of jobs and internships, including a position on a restoration crew, resident wilderness educator, internships in preservation and clean water, flats ecology, lionfish research and education and in schools for field studies.

“A lot of our students want to work outside in the environment, which can include spending extended periods of time in remote locations,” said Geri Philpott, academic coordinator for Natural Resources and Environmental Science. “The wilderness first responder certification gives students a leg up in the job market and prepares them for medical emergencies in the field.”

The nine-day course is not just open to UK students, however. Participants came from as far away as Washington state the last time NRES sponsored the class. The course includes a comprehensive wilderness medicine curriculum that focuses on extended care and unique wilderness therapies. Participants can expect to increase their medical knowledge, skills and confidence and will complete the course with the ability to make tough medical decisions in remote places.

“This is really the industry standard for outdoors educators, people who guide or lead trips in the outdoors education field or outdoors recreation,” said Rob Barham, a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor. “What we teach here is common sense first aid and accepted pre-hospital care kinds of things. We’re just adjusting it to be a little bit more long-term patient care and prevention than might be focused on in an urban first aid course.”

Those who pass the written and practical exam at the conclusion of the course will receive a Wilderness Medicine Institute’s Wilderness First Responder certification, good for two years, as well as a WMI Adult and Child CPR certification. Emergency medical technicians will earn a Wilderness EMT certification.

For more information or to register, go to or contact Geri Philpott at 859-257-2337 or The fee for the course is $560 for UK students, faculty and staff and $610 for a non-UK participant. To ensure a place, registration is due by Nov. 29.


Geri Philpott, 859-257-2337

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