Aerie Backcountry Medicine

Course Length - 200 hrs

Aerie offers condensed courses which may be completed in 4 weeks and others which take place during evenings and weekends over the course of several months. Review the schedule for our various WEMT courses on our course calendar.

Certifications/Credits Received (dependent upon successful course completion)

  • EMT - lasts 2 years (dependent upon successful completion of online exam administered by NREMT and additional $98 fee*) *Subject to change
  • WEMT – lasts 2 years
  • National Registry EMT – lasts 2 years (dependent upon successful completion of online exam administered by NREMT)
  • American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR - lasts 2 years
  • State of Montana EMT- lasts 2 years (optional; requires additional $50 fee)
  • University of Montana credits - (optional; additional $155 registration fee; Department of Integrative Physiology and Athletic Training, ECP 331, 3 credits)

Course Description

Aerie's Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (W-EMT) courses are unique in the industry. The differences are due to the experience of our instructors and the focus and realism of our scenarios. Our MD/ Paramedic/ RN/ EMT instructors not only bring years of professional medical experience to their lectures, but they are also leaders in the outdoor and risk management fields, ensuring the information they provide is practical and appropriate so students gain skills and information they truly need. WEMT students participate in days of intense urban and wilderness rescue scenarios. They work on overnight simulated rescues, often with search and rescue teams. In many cases, they learn anatomy and physiology in a human cadaver lab and participate in vehicle extrication practice with professional firefighters. Students spend 12 hours in a hospital emergency department to complete their clinical experience. Aerie provides the highest quality, most comprehensive wilderness EMT training available.

Beyond the industry-standard EMT curriculum, W-EMT classes go into significantly more detail concerning care for patients in remote settings where limited resources challenge even the most trained care providers. Aerie classes prepare students to care for patients in the most challenging environments and conditions, whether urban or backcountry. Our past graduates have gone on to work as EMTs, MDs, RNs, medics, firefighters, guides, field biologists and outdoor leaders. As such, our courses are ideal for outdoor professionals involved in extended backcountry trips and those individuals seeking employment with ambulance services, search and rescue units, and ski patrols.

Aerie W-EMT courses follow the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) curriculum and are approved by the NREMT and the State of Montana Board of Medical Examiners. After successful course completion, students take the National Registry EMT exam. Students must pass the national EMT exam to receive the Aerie W-EMT certificate. This class is offered for 3 optional University of Montana credits (additional fee applies). We offer the W-EMT in both a 4-week intensive class and in a weeknight and weekend class spread out over a semester.

We encourage you to look through our website, read our Director's Message, and call or write our office if you have other questions.