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Home » Classes » CMC Classes and Schools » Backcountry Incident Management School

Backcountry Incident Management School


“Bringing Order to a Chaotic Situation”


Mission:  To provide a realistic hands-on Backcountry Incident Management experience, intended to minimize any unintended consequences of a medical or other backcountry emergency by employing more effective skills and techniques.


  • Students to practice basic skills and techniques with the goal to observe and personally determine what tends to work under adverse conditions… and what tends not to.
  • Students to experience and become more comfortable with the end-to-end incident management process.


For those individuals wanting more experience managing an unexpected backcountry incident, i.e., a more meaningful experience, the Backcountry Incident Management School can provide that hands-on opportunity.  As you learned while taking WFA, there are several important “roles” that are part of most every backcountry challenge.

These roles consist of a First Aid Team, a Get Help Team (aka the Help Team), a Spend-the-Night Team (aka the Bivvy Team), and the Incident Manager.  The Incident Manager (IM) will coordinate the actions and activities of the other three roles.  As a review:


  • The First Aid Team will assess the nature of the victim’s injuries, consult with the IM to confirm the accident site is safe, and if not, coordinate resources to relocate the victim to a safer location.  In addition to performing the primary and secondary physical checks, the First Aid Team will document vitals for the Help Team.


  • The Help team will work with the IM to develop a plan to contact help, whether that is by phone, SPOT, or hiking back to the trailhead.  Using the documented information from the First Aid Team, the Help Team will share with S&R the nature of the incident/injuries and offer advice on the assistance deemed necessary.


  • In the event of a prolonged incident, the Bivvy Team will coordinate with the IM to develop a plan to establish shelters, start a fire, warm water, and (if appropriate) determine the means to locally signal for help.  Whether the stay is several hours or overnight, the Bivvy Team will make efforts to keep the victim and any other group participants warm and dry.


In theory all this this may sound somewhat straightforward, but in practice there are countless nuances that can make the difference between a good outcome or a sequence of choices that can make the problem even more challenging.  “Effectiveness” may be the operative word.

The BIM School is intended to dovetail into the Wilderness First Aid curriculum.  Typically, the WFA course would place 80% emphasis on the diagnosis and application of first aid, and 20% on incident management.  The BIM School will consist of 20% first aid and 80% implementing the incident management activities.



  • Successful completion of a Wilderness First Aid course
  • A current CMC member 18 years or older
  • Priority given to CMC trip leaders and instructors


Tuition:  $20 once enrolled into the course


Dates:  The BIM School sessions are held in the late spring and/or the summer timeframe.  Once determined, specific dates will be published on this webpage, and in the various CMC publications.


Enrollment:  The course is typically limited to eight students per session.  As part of the application process trip leaders and instructors will be given priority.  Those accepted into the course will complete their enrollment through the CMC website using the password provided.

Should the course fill, CMC members can get on the Wait List by going through the standard enrollment process.  No tuition money will be paid until that member is moved to the official Participant List.  Should there be an opening, moving to the Participant List is not automatic but will be done by the course director.  Individuals will be notified by email and will be asked to contact the CMC office to now pay their enrollment tuition.


Equipment:  Once accepted into the course, a list of recommended items will be provided for students to acquire as part of their pre-course “homework.”  The homework will also include watching a few YouTube videos in an effort to refresh and supplement your skills.


Continuing Education:  Periodically the BIM School will host additional standalone clinics to provide more opportunities to practice important backcountry incident management skills.


Additional Information:  Contact Rich McAdams

Click Here for The Backcountry Incident Management & First Aid Resources and Procedures including the updated Incident Management Cards

CMC Tuition Refund Policy:

Denver Group school refund policy is as follows:  Student/participant requests for a refund of tuition/fees must be requested in writing (e.g. email) to the appropriate school or event director.

Cancel or withdraw 31 or more days from the start date of the school:  Full refund will be issued less the $35 per person processing fee.  Or, a full credit can be transferred to the same or another school in the future without incurring the processing fee.

Cancel or withdraw 8 to 30 days from the start date of the school:  Full refund will be issued less 25% of the fee paid but no less than the $35 per person processing fee.  Or, full credit can be deferred until the next same school without incurring the processing fee; however, if the same school in the future is not on the schedule at the time of cancellation, then the deferment is not an option.

Cancel or withdraw 7 days or less from the start date of the school:  No refund or credit will be issued.