WEMT NOLS Course, where can I go?

jwimberly

Forum Ride Along
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Hello,
I am signed up to take the Wilderness EMT course with NOLS this summer. I have failed to find much information on how this course and certification holds up when attempting to find preliminary jobs/experience after licensing. I am wondering how competitive I will be for EMT jobs (urban ambulance, rural, fire fighting, anything really...) with this accreditation. Do i need to gain more experience after the one month course to be ready for an EMT job?
Any advice helps!
 

Bishop2047

Forum Crew Member
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I don't know much about the designation, or the course but maybe this will help? Sounds interesting, and I hope that they do not skimp on the actual EMT-B content in favor of the more fun wilderness side of thing.
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
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EMT is an entry level position, akin to working the register at McDonalds. If you can pass the baseline competencies, and attain certification, you have what you need to work as an EMT.

From experience, I’ve found people who’ve taken a WEMT course and then gotten a job on an ambulance to be extremely disenfranchised with the job. Unless your job or volunteer position specifically requires you to function as a WEMT, it’s a waste of money. It’s a fun time for sure... but a waste of money and time that could be better spent on far more practical training.
 

Trauma Cop

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EMT is an entry level position, akin to working the register at McDonalds. If you can pass the baseline competencies, and attain certification, you have what you need to work as an EMT.

From experience, I’ve found people who’ve taken a WEMT course and then gotten a job on an ambulance to be extremely disenfranchised with the job. Unless your job or volunteer position specifically requires you to function as a WEMT, it’s a waste of money. It’s a fun time for sure... but a waste of money and time that could be better spent on far more practical training.
First off, their training is great. I have took wilderness first aid but never the wilderness EMT. To the best of my understanding, it is a wilderness first responder course that gives you the EMT accreditation if you are already a certified EMT. As far as jobs, you'll go just as far with a regular EMT certification. I know this because I live in the Appalachian mountains and I live next to a fairly busy National Park. All they require is their rangers to have an EMT certification or wilderness first responder certification.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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From experience, I’ve found people who’ve taken a WEMT course and then gotten a job on an ambulance to be extremely disenfranchised with the job. Unless your job or volunteer position specifically requires you to function as a WEMT, it’s a waste of money. It’s a fun time for sure... but a waste of money and time that could be better spent on far more practical training.
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First off, their training is great. I have took wilderness first aid but never the wilderness EMT. To the best of my understanding, it is a wilderness first responder course that gives you the EMT accreditation if you are already a certified EMT. As far as jobs, you'll go just as far with a regular EMT certification. I know this because I live in the Appalachian mountains and I live next to a fairly busy National Park. All they require is their rangers to have an EMT certification or wilderness first responder certification.
Their training might be great, and fun, but that doesn't mean it's worthwhile for a newbie. it's $4,125 to $4,200, and you come out with an EMT certification (at least according to https://www.nols.edu/en/coursefinder/courses/wilderness-emt-WEMT/) and a WEMT cert, which doesn't really help you get a job... anywhere.

Now, if you are a park ranger and your job will pay for you to attend it, then I would absolutely go. On their dime, and on their time. If you want to do it for fun, go nuts. Or if you do find a job that wants a WEMT cert to get hired, sure. But I bet they are few and far between.

but @jwimberly says they are looking to do it so they can get a job; I think there are cheaper options out there, that will give you a better return on their investment. If I was a hiring manager, and an applicant tells me they have a WEMT cert, which makes them more qualified than the next guy who only has his or her EMT, than I might explain that my ambulance/fire truck job doesn't require a WEMT cert, nor do you get extra points for having a certification that doesn't apply to the job you are applying for.
 

Summit

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WEMT is fun. It covers improvised care, wilderness evac, extended care, and emphasizes environmental injuries. It should have 48-60 hours of extra class to cover the curriculum beyond EMT. These initial courses are usually taught in a compressed format and in a wilderness setting. Sometimes urban care considerations are deemphasized.

Colorado Mountain College, Desert Mountain Medicine, WMA, SOLO, and NOLS/WMI are all good providers.

Nobody cares about the W except a guiding op, SAR team, and backcountry partner, but never as a requirement.

If you don't do W as your initial cert, you can always go get a WEMT upgrade course later (great way to enough CE hours for a recert).

(My initial class was a WEMT combo compressed course, I've taken WEMT upgrade 3x, and now I also teach in these courses.)
 
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