Desert Mountain Medicine (DMM) was founded in 1998 under the premise that wilderness medicine education should not be limited to an indoor classroom. In the last two decades DMM‘s focus has been on designing and delivering innovative wilderness medicine education that is largely field-based and less in a traditional classroom setting.

As the outdoor education industry shifts and evolves by offering shorter field course and trips, so do we. In 2013, DMM felt compelled to design a comprehensive hybrid wilderness first responder curriculum offering a shorter in-person, practical section without compromising the valuable and irreplaceable hand‘s-on and scenario-based contact time needed for students to achieve a prescribed level of mastery.

Today DMM‘s hybrid wilderness first responder (WFR) course format consists of a 30 hour self-paced, online instructional component, followed by a 50-hour in-person, practical component which takes place over five 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 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 for our WFR and WFR recertification courses 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 WFR training to the 50 hour in-person, practical 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.

Course participants are eligible for certification upon successful completion of both online and practical sections. 

Important Information Regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic:

Registration for the Hybrid WFR course includes both the online and practical section.

In the event that an individual is unable to meet in-person, or a practical section is canceled, course participants have the flexibility to transfer to another 5-day practical section as long as it is within 1-year of completing the online component. In addition to our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines we will deliver our course curriculum 100% outdoors (weather permitting) when we meet in person.

AORE members receive 20% of all Desert Mountain Medicine courses using code AORESU2021 at checkout.

For more information please visit us at or feel free to contact us at or 719.486.7260.