Wilderness Medicine Educators Collaborative, formerly the writing group

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Scope of Practice (SOP)

Minimum Guidelines and Scope of Practice for Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Article Type: Group Consensus Position Paper

Keywords: Wilderness First Responder, Scope of Practice

Download PDF: WFR SOP Document: Version 1 - Jan 25, 2016

Download PDF ( Spanish / Español ): WFR SOP 2015 Spanish / Español


Corresponding Author:

Tod Schimelpfenig: Curriculum Director, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute
BA Biology, FAWM
Wilderness Medicine and EMS Educator since 1978,  
EMS background: Practicing EMT since 1975, Currently EMT I.
NOLS Field Instructor since 1973 (200+ field weeks); multiple experiences coordinating remote wilderness evacuations USA & international locations.
Active SAR since 1980 -  numerous SAR missions.

Tod's website is:

Carl photoCarl Weil: Director Wilderness Medicine Outfitters, Master Fellow Academy Wilderness Medicine started wilderness medicine school 1967 teaching class at Colorado State University. Veteran USMC.
Colorado Mesa University 1964 AA, Colorado state University 1967 BS, graduate work UNC, Master Fellow - Academy Wilderness Medicine 2012
First trained as EMT in 1971, worked on 7 Colorado ambulance companies, founding one, Colorado full EMS Instructor Coordinator, Colorado State EMS Education Group Director, NREMT Education Group Director, served on Colorado State EMS committees. Founder and past president Regional EMS council, Evergreen CO. SAR 1959, Calif. SAR Civil Defence1960-62, many USA & foreign trips group medic, Open range western Colorado ranch medic, NASAR- member, medical instructor, medical facility, WMS - skill and didactic instructor at conferences, author 5 Wilderness Medicine books..

Carl's website is:

Paul Nicolazzo: Director Wilderness Medicine Training Center, Started WMTC in 1997.
University of Maine, BA. University of Minnesota, graduate work. Worked on technical water & mountain rescue teams and as a climbing, paddling, and ski guide from 1979-2002 with numerous first ski, kayak, and canoe first descents—and a few rock climbing first ascents—to his credit. Paul spent 22 years instructing, training staff, and directing Outward Bound programs throughout the United States, including reviewing OB accident/incident reports. He is the author of numerous articles and books on both wilderness medicine and outdoor program risk management. He taught his first Wilderness Medicine course in 1986.

Paul's website is:

Nadia Kimmel: Executive Director, Desert Mountain Medicine LLC, founder 1998 M.S., RN, WEMT First year teaching wilderness medicine 1994.
Front Range Community College 1994 NREMT – Basic, Colorado State University 1997 B.S. - Natural Resources Management, Northern Arizona University 2000 M.S. Forestry and Recreation Ecology, Regis University 2012 B.S.N. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
EMS work; Larimer & Summit County SAR Teams, EMT-Technician at Copper Mountain Clinic, Summit Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital. EMT Basic and IV Therapy instructor since 2005. AHA instructor since 2000. Currently work as an emergency room nurse at a level 2-trauma center.
Wilderness Medicine Care; Outdoor Educator for Colorado Mountain College’s Outdoor Leadership Program, the Wilderness Education Association and Colorado Outward Bound for 16 years. Own and operate a guiding company in Colorado – Sawatch Guides.

Nadia's website is:

Lee Frizzell: Executive Director/Co-founder of SOLO, WEMT since 1978
Simmons College, 1970, BA American Studies/Secondary Education; licensed educator in public and private schools for 16 years
First taught a Wilderness Medicine course: 1975
First woman member of a fire department and rescue squad in the Mt. Washington Valley NH, 15 years active experience in both front and backcountry medicine; Director, Attitash Mt. First Aid; NH Region V EMS Council, 38 years, current chair.

Lee's website is:

Frank Hubbell: DO, Executive Director/Co-founder, Medical Director, SOLO
First taught a Wilderness Medicine course in1970, Officially started SOLO 1976
University of Arizona, 1970, BS; Northeastern University, 1984, Physician Assistant; University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO
EMS background: Ambulance service and backcountry rescue through college to present.
Numerous backcountry rescues in the White Mountains of NH; two aid trips to Haiti after the earthquake; 15 teaching trips to several countries in Africa; a NH State Medical Director; Member of NH State Coordinating Board; former president of NH AOA; former American Alpine Club's representative to the Mountain Medicine section of ISMM, vice chair; Editor of the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter; chief contributor to the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter from 1984-present; co-authored "Backcountry Medicine" and 1st Edition of "Wilderness First Responder;" chapter contributor to Auerbach's book, presenter at many conferences on topics relating to front and backcountry medicine; author of "Wildcare".

Frank's website is:

David E Johnson: President and Medical Director, WMAI, MD, FACEP
First taught a Wilderness Medicine class 1984, Purchased school in 1997
Dartmouth College 1970, AB; SUNY Buffalo Medical 1975, MD plus 4.5+ years of post graduate residency and fellowship training in the US, Canada and UK
Background in EMS course direction, curriculum and protocol development and regional board member in ME; ASTM curriculum development: basic, paramedic and wilderness; contributor for NAEMSP WEMS SOP development, air medical director
Wilderness care: medical practitioner/crew on a number of land and water-based expeditions; limited SAR response; SAR team and ski area medical director.

David's website is:

David McEvoy: Director, Aerie - Critical Care Paramedic
First year taught a Wilderness Medicine course: 1992, started Aerie 1995
BA, Bates College; MS, Biology, University of Montana
EMS background:  Professional EMT/Medic continuously since 1989; current active critical care paramedic
experience in wilderness care:  SAR member (former), outdoor leader since 1986, organize and participate in health clinics in Central America and India since 2000.

David's website is: