Wilderness EMT (WEMT)

Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) is the highest level of civilian certification for backcountry medicine.  The first three weeks are spent in the EMT curriculum, building foundational pre-hospital skills and knowledge.  The last week focuses on implementing these skills in challenging settings and learning wilderness rescue skills as students earn their wilderness upgrade.


Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B): 240 Hours/24 Days
This 24-Day course consists of the Department of Transportation EMT curriculum condensed into an intensive, three-week program. Students learn how to communicate with patients, assess airway, breathing and circulation issues, control incident sites, and perform emergency medical techniques. They also learn how to perform proper single-rescuer care with limited patient access and practice safe transport methods. The course includes hands-on, practical skills scenarios, classroom lectures, and clinical observations at local EMS services and emergency departments. American Safety and Health Institute Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR is included. NAEMT certified Emergency Vehicle Operator Safety (EVOS) driving course is also included. More information about this course is available here.

Following successful completion, students qualify to take the North Carolina State EMT Exams and/or National Registry EMT Exam.

Wilderness Module: 40 Hours

This module focuses on patient access, assessment, care, and evacuation in remote environments.  Students learn how to provide high-quality care with limited resources and without access to an ambulance.  The course builds on the medical training of the EMT-B and expands students’ tool kits.  Wilderness topics include search and rescue, survival skills, and rope rescue.  Students earn their WEMT certification after successful completion of both courses. More information about this course available here.


Following successful completion of both courses, students gain a two-year SOLO WEMT certification and two-year CPR certification. It is up to each individual student to gain their North Carolina State EMT and National Registry EMT certifications.

Lodging: Available through NOC
Meals: Available through NOC’s Restaurants

Recommended For: Those seeking a career in Emergency Medical Services, state or federal agencies, the military or law enforcement, and expedition or wilderness guides.

Upon Successful Completion:

  • 2-year Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician certification
  • Certificate of completion for 240-hour state and nationally-certified Emergency Medical Technician course (qualification for NREMT/NCEMS written test)
  • NREMT psychomotor testing
  • 2-year Basic Life Support certification
  • NAEMT EVOS driver certification

Prerequisites: Due to the intense nature of the course, students must meet the following requirements:

**Update: A full COVID-19 vaccination is required for all students in EMT or WEMT Courses.

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • No felony convictions
  • Childhood vaccinations, Hep B series, and a negative TB test within 6 months of the course start date
  • Ability to negotiate all types of terrain, in all weather conditions

Many factors may exclude individuals from taking this course. For the safety of students, instructors, and patients, all required forms must be completed no later than two weeks before the course start date. Information about these forms is available in the WEMT/EMT Packet and by checking the list using the EMT Mandatory Documentation Checklist. Please contact SOLO Southeast directly with any questions by calling 828-475-7215.

For Financial Aid Resources, click here.

FAQ’s for EMT & WEMT Program, click here.


*Registration for the EMT/WEMT closes three weeks prior to the start of the class. A $400 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking.


Courses Dates

Wilderness EMT - Intensive Jun 15th - Jul 14th, 2024 Bryson City, NC $3,450
Wilderness EMT - Intensive Sep 14th - Oct 13th, 2024 Bryson City, NC $3,450

SOLO Southeast Reviews

"I feel much more prepared for future trips & adventures. Excellent balance of knowledge, humor, and hands-on learning. Very personable, respectful, and helpful!"
— Former SOLO Student

"Humor and honest feedback made this course stay interesting, educational, and overall very effective."
— Former SOLO Student


Course Outline


Course Topics

Introduction to Emergency Care & Training
Medical Legal Issues
Patient Assessment System
Airway Obstruction & Respiratory Arrest
O2 Therapy
Bleeding & Shock
CPR Considerations for the Remote Environment
Chest Trauma
Common Wilderness Medical Problems
Central Nervous System
Lifting and Moving
Back Board and KED Board
Litter Packaging
Backcountry Spinal Assessment
Head Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries
Wilderness Wound Management
Athletic Injuries
Fracture Management
Traction Splint
Cold Injuries
Hydration Illnesses
Cardiac, Respiratory and Neurological Emergencies
Abdominal Emergencies
Multiple Casualty Incidents
Incident Command System
Leadership, Teamwork & Communication
Medical Decision-making
Disturbances of Behavior
Alcohol & Drug Emergencies

Course Notes:

Training as an EMT will help prepare you for a future career in Emergency Medical Services, the military or law enforcement, and is recommended for expedition and wilderness guides. 

Course Curriculum:

EMT Curriculum

Module 1: Preparatory

  • Introduction to EMS Systems
  • The Well Being of the EMT
  • Medical, Legal, and Ethical Issues
  • The Human Body
  • Baseline Vital Signs and SAMPLE History
  • Lifting and Moving Patients

Module 2: Airway

  • Airway Management
  • Practical Skills Lab: Airway
  • CPR for the Professional Rescuer

Module 3: Patient Assessment

  • Scene Size-Up
  • The Initial Assessment
  • Focused History and Physical Exam - Trauma Patients
  • Focused History and Physical Exam - Medical Patients
  • Detailed Physical Exam
  • On-Going Assessment
  • Communications
  • Documentation
  • Practical Skills Lab: Patient Assessment

Module 4: Medical/Behavioral Emergencies & Obstetrics/Gynecology

  • General Pharmacology
  • Respiratory Emergencies
  • Cardiovascular Emergencies
  • Diabetes/Altered Mental Status
  • Allergies
  • Poisoning/Overdose
  • Environmental Emergencies
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Practical Skills Lab: Medica/Behavioral and OBGYN

Module 5: Trauma

  • Bleeding & Shock
  • Soft Tissue Injujries
  • Musculoskeletal Care
  • Injuries to the Head and Spine
  • Practical Skills Lab: Trauma

Module 6: Infants & Children

  • Infants & Children
  • Practical Skills Lab: Infants and Children

Module 7: Operations

  • Advanced Airway
  • Practical Skills Lab: Advanced Airway

Wilderness Module

Wilderness Specific Protocals

  • Hx of Wilderness Medicine
  • Wilderness vs. Urban Care
  • Wilderness Legal Issues
  • Anatomy of a Crisis
  • Remote CPR Protocols
  • Spine Management (Clearing the Spine)

Patient Assessment

  • PAS Overview
  • Primary Survey (ABCDE)
  • Moving Pts. (Log Rolls & BEAM)
  • Secondary Survey (Vitals, PE, AMPLE HX)
  • Documentation (SOAP)

Managing Injuries in the Backcountry

  • Head Injury Management - Highlights of TX and monitoring
  • Cardiothoracic Trauma Management - TX and monitoring
  • Musculoskeletal Injury Management
    • Sprains & Strains Assessment & TX
    • Complicated Fractures Assessment and TX
    • Improvised Splinting
    • Improvised Traction Splits
    • Dislocation Reduction

Managing Soft Tissue Injuries in the Backcountry

  • Bleeding and Infection Management
  • Long Term Wound Care
  • Special Considerations
  • Impaled Objects
  • Blisters
  • Eye Injuries
  • Teeth
  • Wilderness Burn Management

Environmental Emergencies

  • Cold Illness (Hypothermia, Frostbite, Immersion Foot)
  • Heat Illness (Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps, Heat Stroke)
  • Exertional Hyponatremia
  • Drowning and Near Drowning
  • Altitude
  • Lightning
  • Anaphylaxis - Highlights of TX and Monitoring
  • North American Bites and Stings

Backcountry Rescues

  • Packaging Practice
  • Incident Command System
  • Long Term Patient Care Considerations
  • Improvised Litters
  • Litter Handling

Backcountry Survival Skills

  • Water Disinfection
  • Emergency Bivouac
  • Shelter-Building

Group Management in the Backcountry

  • International Travel and Safety
  • Common Expedition Problems
  • Expedition Medications and Medical Kits
  • Death in the Backcountry

Clinical Rotations & Assessments



Course In Action Photos


Packing List


You should plan to have clothing appropriate to the season in which you will be taking the class, as you will spend a significant amount of time outside. The following list is to SUPPLEMENT the clothing you will be wearing. If you have trouble locating some of these items please call us as we have a limited amount for loan.

Recommended Gear List

EMT Intensive course:
• Textbook (provided by SOLO SE)
• Approved clothing for clinicals (see above)
• Waterproof Jacket
• Wristwatch with seconds displayed (cell phone is not sufficient)
• Pens and any other office supplies necessary for studying (notebooks, highlighters, sticky- notes, etc.)
• Clothing appropriate to the weather for hands-on scenarios

Wilderness EMT (as above and…):
• Backpack for carrying gear (medium to large)
• Rain gear (tops and bottoms)
• Layers of clothing (for splinting exercises and to keep yourself warm during scenarios)
• Warm hat or sun hat (depending on season)
• Water bottles (at least 1 quart/liter)
• Head lamp or flashlight
• Footwear appropriate to the terrain (closed toes, no flip flops)
• Insect repellent (seasonal)
• Sunscreen (seasonal)
• Clothing that could be worn on a rafting trip (seasonal)

Additional items (not required):
• Old sleeping bag or blanket
• Footwear you don't mind getting wet
• Knife
• Plastic tarp or groundsheet (min 6’x 6’)
• Sleeping pad (ensolite or thermarest)
• Personal first aid kit (Band-Aids etc.)
• Some of our scenarios may be water based; if you have your own wetsuit, PFD, water shoes, splash gear etc. please feel free to bring them, although we will supply all necessary gear free of charge

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