The hybrid 45-hour Wilderness EMS Upgrade course is designed to prepare licensed prehospital care professionals (EMT and Paramedic) and healthcare professionals (RN, PA, MD, DO, and DNP) to prevent environmental illnesses, proactively manage pre-existing conditions in the field, and challenge participants to think outside of the comfort of an ambulance and/or clinic. This course is an ideal professional upgrade for SAR members, rural ambulance or hospital personnel, ski patrol, EMT certified guides, wildland fire personel, endurance race and expedition medical providers, military, and other field-based staff. 

Our hybrid wilderness EMS Upgrade (WEMS) course format consists of a 8 hours of self-paced, online instructional component, followed by a 37-hour in-person, practical component which takes place over four consecutive days.

The online section is hosted on CANVAS®, a cloud-based classroom and powerful learning management system that allows individual students to work at a their own pace. An instructor team assigned to each course supports participants with navigation of the online material and facilitates interactive elements and skill-based learning. The online material consists of reading assignments, case studies, videos, photos, animations, quizzes, and discussions, culminating in a comprehensive midterm exam. The online section is available to course participants approximately 1 month before the practical section is to begin.

The hybrid format works best for self-motivated individuals with good time management skills that have access to a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop and high-speed internet. This instructional format provides the opportunity for course participants to learn at their own speed, in their own space, at their own schedule.

Participants then apply knowledge and skills learned from their online WEMS training to the 4-day in-person section, which takes place mainly outdoors . This practical section consists of drills, skill stations, scenarios, and discussions with the same instructor team that supports the online section.

Hours: 45 (8 hrs online and 37 hours in-person over 4 consecutive days

Length: 4 days 

Training: WAT, WFR, and WEMS certifications; upgrades EMT to WEMT

Prerequisite: Current CPR, State EMT or NREMT, or healthcare professional license

Credits: Three college credits are available through our partnership with Colorado University – Denver.

CEU: DMM is a Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Education Group provider. Continuing education hours are available. Reach out to learn more.


  • Urban Vs Wilderness Medicine
  • Wilderness Medicine Guidelines
  • Wilderness Recreation Law & Liability
  • Wilderness Risk Management
  • Patient Assessment
  • Basic Life Support
  • Complex Airway Management
  • Supraglottic Airways
  • Micromedics
  • Multisystems Trauma
  • IV Therapy In The Backcountry
  • Dislocations
  • Spine Injury Management
  • Vacuum Spine Board
  • Complex Backcountry Medical Problems
  • Backcountry Medication Management
  • Wilderness Anaphylaxis Training
  • Genitourinary Issues
  • Mental Health Illnesses
  • Complex Environmental Medicine
  • Avalanche Burial Resuscitation
  • Professional Incident Documentation
  • Backcountry Communication Devices
  • Professionally Calling A Rescue
  • Basic vs Expedition First Aid Kits
  • Improvised Litters & Carries
  • Incident Management
  • Leadership & Critical Thinking During An Incident
  • Psychological First Aid

2024-04-18 08:00:00Apr 18 - Apr 21, 2024

WEMS Upgrade Leadville, CODesert Mountain Medicine HeadquartersHybrid

2024-07-11 20:00:00Jul 11 - Jul 14, 2024

WEMS Upgrade Leadville, CODesert Mountain Medicine HeadquartersHybrid

2024-10-24 08:00:00Oct 24 - Oct 27, 2024

WEMS Upgrade Leadville, CODesert Mountain Medicine HeadquartersHybrid