First Aid & CPR


This course is designed to teach students the basics of care and treatment of injured individuals in a wilderness context. Upon completion, the student earns a Wilderness First Aid and CPR card. To see Cal-ESAR's requirements for qualifying medical courses, please look here.



  • Independent pre-work, 1 month before (scroll for more details)
  • 2 days, face-to-face classroom work

Start time: Saturday, December 7 at 8:30 AM

End time: Sunday, December 8 at 3:00-ish PM

Scroll to the bottom of the page to confirm your attendance and pay for the course.


Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way, Orinda, CA 94563


This course is a hybrid course—there is a online component and a face to face, hands on component. Candidates are expected to complete the online material before showing up at the weekend session. The class breaks out like this:

  • A month before December 8
    • Wilderness First Aid Online
    • CPR Online
  • Day one
    • CPR Hands On
    • Wilderness first aid skills instruction/comprehension test
  • Day two
    • Wilderness first aid scenarios

About the online component

You will not be able to successfully complete this class and receive certification if you do not complete the WFA / CPR online material and test before you get to class. It is strongly suggested that you start this portion of the class immediately after Into Nav class. The online component replaces hours of learning basic knowledge via PowerPoint lecture and devotes face to face time to knowledge review/clarification, advanced topic instruction, questions / answer and hands on scenario work.

Built into each module of the WFA course is a self test/review of the material in the module which addresses the key ideas. At the end of the online course is a comprehensive exam which is drawn randomly from the pool of questions asked in the modules. This exam has a minimum passing score. Failure to pass the final calls for a retake with a different set of questions drawn from the same pool. Second failure generates a new test. Third failure invokes instructor interaction. This test must be passed to qualify for the field work.

Skills emphasized

  • Rescuer safety
  • Universal precautions
  • Scene assessment & management
  • Primary survey
  • CPR
  • Care and treatment of closed and open wounds
  • Fractures & splinting
  • Heat & environmental emergencies
  • Shock
  • Transport of the injured

Confirm attendance

Use this link to confirm attendance. We need to let our training partner (Paratus Institute) who to expect so they can set up online access for you.


Paratus Institute teaches this course, with ESAR staff assisting in the hands-on components. When you confirm your attendance, you are put on a roster with Paratus. To begin this course you need to do the following:

  • Use this link to register with Paratus and pay course fee of $150. Follow these steps to pay:
    • Go to main registration page
    • Select upcoming courses > Cal-ESAR Wilderness First Aid and CPR > create new account > use your Cal-ESAR email is login ID. Create password.
    • System will send you email confirmation.
    • Click link in email to return to page where you select select Cal-ESAR WFA as your course.
    • Select payment option and pay. (credit/debit card or PayPal)
    • You are now enrolled in course and connected to course material.
  • You now have immediate access to the online WFA content
  • Access to CPR/AED content will follow in a couple days.

Gear: First aid kit

A basic First Aid kit is a mandatory piece of gear every individual must carry for deployment on any SAR mission. Here are a couple suggestions.

Standard First Aid kits are good starting points to carry as part of your personal kit. We strongly recommend you add the following items to your kit for SAR:

If you have a first aid kit in your car, consider customizing to handle trauma associated with vehicle accidents. Some suggested additions:


Q: I have a schedule conflict and cannot make the course listed on training calendar, what do I do?

A: You are free to take any qualifying course at your convenience. A description of what courses qualify is described here.

Q: I already have my certification. Is there a recertification option? Can I test out?

A: Contact the Training Director for options

Q: I am a physician/medic/paramedic/EMT/etc. Must I take Wilderness First Aid /CPR?

A: No. If you have equivalent or higher medical certification scan your Certificate as a PDF, name it "Last Name-First Name-First Aid Cert" and send the file to

Q: When must I complete my CPR/1st Aid class?

A: You need your certificates before our February OES swear-in.