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  Backcountry Trail Patrol

  A non-profit organization dedicated to protecting trail users and forest resources through service and backcountry safety education.


About Our Training Programs

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Wilderness and Backcountry Medical Care and Training

(Click HERE for STS Training information)

(Updated October 12, 2018)


Scheduled Wilderness Medical classes:

Please read the following information and links carefully! Answers to almost every question we are commonly asked about the Wilderness First Aid classes can be found on these pages.

The 36-hour Wilderness First Aid classes are designed for anyone who recreates in the outdoors, with or without any prior training. We have had snowshoers and snowmobilers, ATV riders and MTB riders, hikers, skiers, dogsled mushers and 4-wheelers. We've also had doctors, nurses, lawyers, paramedics, preachers and teachers take the classes.  Anyone who wants to know what to do when things go wrong an hour or more from ambulances, doctors and hospitals is welcome and will benefit from the training.

  36-hour Advanced Wilderness First Aid class with Healthcare Provider CPR/AED, CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO LOW REGISTRATION

Watch for more info.

We will no longer be able to offer wilderness medical training at REI stores in the Twin Cities. (Accordingly, we will no longer be offering a discount to REI members.) 

National certification will be awarded through the AAOS -Emergency Care and Safety Institute to those who successfully complete the class and practical sessions, and pass the written examination. We will be using the fifth edition of "Wilderness First Aid" by the Wilderness Medical Society, as our textbook for this class, with 2015 addenda issued by AAOS. The tuition cost includes the textbook, and class materials. 

Directions to the class location will sent sent with your confirmation e-mail. Confirmation will only be sent out after six registrations have been received. 


Volunteer Mountain Bike Patrollers e-mail for discount information.

  *AAOS - American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Emergency Care and Safety Institute.

Course pricing and other information can be found by clicking here.

MN DOT Required Special Transportation Service (STS) Training  

This section has moved to:

Emergicare Medical Training, Inc.

E-mail for more information.

Registration and refund policies:

Please read: Individual enrollment in all Backcountry Trail Patrol Association/Emergicare Medical Training, Inc. (Emergicare) courses is limited. To reserve a space in an Emergicare course, please return your application form and the appropriate tuition/deposit in check or money order, payable to Emergicare. Full, non-refundable and non-transferable tuition is due 14 days prior to the course. However, in the event of a student being unable to attend a course they have registered for, their payment may be applied to another Emergicare course at the same level, upon approval by Emergicare Medical Training. Prior to 14 days before the course date, tuition may be refunded, minus a 15% administrative fee to cover expenses.

If a program is cancelled by Emergicare due to low enrollment, the full deposit/tuition will be refunded.


Our classroom is Minnesota's backcountry!

"Again, I cannot thank you enough for the training class this last weekend.  It was valuable not only to me, but my daughters ... as well. We are all looking forward to the Advanced class coming up in two weeks.  See you then!" Wilderness First Aid Student

"I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for an enjoyable weekend of WFA training - I've learned a lot and laughed a lot ...  So thanks!
Can't wait for the advanced  ...." 
Wilderness First Aid Student

"Thanks for a great class this last weekend--- the practical stuff is the real take home.  I'll tell everyone you're the man to see in the Twin Cities for this type of training!" Wilderness First Aid Student

"I did enjoy the class. You make it challenging but also fun." Wilderness First Aid Student

"Hey great course by the way a lot of real life outdoors scenarios, ... so well done." Wilderness First Responder Refresher Student

"I was just about to write you saying what a great weekend I had. I got a turn carrying out ALL 3 evac victims." Wilderness First Responder graduate

About the Emergicare Medical Training Division

In 1978, Emergicare Ambulance Service was a small, privately owned Emergency Medical Services provider in northeastern Oklahoma. Working with AmCare, (the Central Oklahoma Ambulance Trust) Emergicare developed a strong reputation for providing educational programs for their staff and neighboring EMS agencies, including Intermediate and Advanced Life Support, rescue skills and vehicle extrication and emergency vehicle operations. In 1979, with the development of the Emergency Medical Technician-Wilderness (now called Wilderness EMT) program, some of the Emergicare medics incorporated Wilderness Rescue Associates, and moved to northern New York later that year. Wilderness Rescue, and it's volunteer Wilderness Search and Rescue Team, were also known for providing high-quality training opportunities in high-angle rescue, SAR dog operations and wilderness medical care, and providing first-response medical assistance at outdoor events such as trail runs, canoe races and charity events. Over twenty-five years later, the Wilderness SAR Team (now a division of NAVAC Ambulance Corps) still covers some of these same events each year.

Having moved to Minnesota, in the mid-1990s Emergicare and Wilderness Rescue were merged form Emergicare Medical Rescue, to provide special event coverage in their new locale, as a mountain bike medical team. Renamed in 2000, Emergicare Medical Training, Inc. was re-incorporated as a non-profit, educational corporation. Emergicare became a division and educational program of the Backcountry Trail Patrol Association in 2001, in support of the Patrol's requirement that all members have at least 16 hours of Wilderness First Aid training, and training classes were, again, opened to all interested parties. Emergicare trainers were certified by the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 1998 to provide state-mandated training to special-needs transportation drivers. In 2006, Emergicare and the Backcountry Trail Patrol became an affiliated training center of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Emergency Care and Safety Institute, which extends national certification to all of our Wilderness First Aid, First Aid, CPR and AED training programs, and assures that our students have the most current, highest quality training materials and programs. Our instructors are veteran EMS and wilderness medical responders, who use the skills they teach, in real life. Our philosophy, from the very beginning in 1978, has been to offer the very best, most up to date training at affordable prices, to allow as many outdoors users as possible to learn these potentially life-saving skills.

Today you will find Emergicare-trained responders on many of the major outdoor "silent sports" events in Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, canoeing the Boundary Waters Wilderness, patrolling trails in the State and National Forests and state parks on bikes and skis, and mushing dog teams through the Arctic. Recently, two of our WFR graduates even traveled to the Base Camp on Mt. Everest, in the Himalayas. 

E-mail for further information.

Course Outlines

Basic Wilderness First Aid


General Concepts (Wilderness vs. Urban/Suburban)

            1. Wilderness Medical Care

            2. Applications

Patient Assessment Systems

     PAS Practice

Bone and Joint Injuries


    Sprains and Strains


Wounds and Soft Tissue injuries

Group Simulations

Heat and Cold


            Frostbite/Frostnip/Immersion foot

            Hyperthermia/Heat Illnesses


   Lightning/Electrical injuries

First Aid Kits


            Lifting, moving and extrications

            Patient carries

Allergies and anaphylaxis

Infection Control

Cardiac problems in the backcountry

Bites and stings

    Animal Attacks

Backcountry Medicine


            Packaging and transportation

            Improvised transport

Medical/Legal Issues

Case study review

Elective Topics (2 Selected by class vote)

    Search and Rescue


    Altitude Illness

Patient Assessment Drills


Final Written and Practical Exam

AAOS CPR Certification

Emergency medical care training and techniques are constantly being updated. This is particularly true in the area of wilderness care. Supplemental and updated material is provided through classroom presentations and printed handout materials.

Wilderness First Aid Textbooks

Emergicare uses the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons/Wilderness Medical Society textbook for Basic and Advanced Wilderness First Aid.

Wilderness First Aid, 5th Edition (c)2018: From the AAOS/ECSI Website: Wilderness First Aid: Emergency Care for Remote Locations provides information on how to handle common injuries and illnesses when medical care is an hour away or more. Designed for those who work or travel in remote locations, this comprehensive guide will teach you what to look for and what to do in the event of an emergency, and direct you to the most appropriate type of care. Completely revised, the Fourth Edition contains updated information on first aid training and complies with 2015 cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) guidelines. 

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