Mountain biking is a sport of inherent risks and injuries can happen away from municipal emergency medical services. Our license program meets industry standards for first aid training to ensure NICA student-athletes (and fellow volunteers) receive appropriate care and response when emergencies occur. The CPR requirement is straightforward. It is the same training and requirement for Level 2 and 3 coaches regardless of the areas your NICA team practices.
Geography of your practice areas is the primary factor used in choosing which First Aid course is appropriate for you and other coaches on your team. They key definition to reference is "time to definitive care." Time to definitive care means approximately long it would take for Emergency Medical Services to reach, evacuate and deliver a critically injured patient to a hospital. NICA defines practice areas that are within 1-hour of definitive care as “front country or urban,” and areas that are beyond 1-hour of definitive care as “wilderness.”
Level 1 Appropriate Courses: Level 1 has been assessed as not needing first aid training as they are either leading practices in a city park with rapid EMS response OR are assisting level 2 or level 3 coaches if going on any trails.
Level 2 Appropriate Courses: Basic First Aid (4+ hours) OR NICA Approved First Aid (8 hours) coaches practicing within one hour of definitive care and Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) for any coaches practicing further than 1 hour from definitive care.
Level 3 Appropriate Courses: NICA Approved First Aid (8 hours) for coaches practicing within one hour of definitive care and Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) for any coaches practicing further than 1 hour from definitive care.
|First Aid||Must be assisting level 2 or 3
if leaving urban area
| Basic First Aid (~4 hr),NICA Approved First Aid (8 hr)
WFA (16 hr)
|NICA Approved First Aid (8 hr)
WFA (16 hr)
|CPR Certification||Must be assisting level 2 or 3
if leaving urban area
|In-person Class Required||In-person Class Required|
*Due to state-wide geography beyond 1 hr definitive care, Idaho and Colorado level 2 and level 3 coaches are required to have 16-hour WFA Training.
First Aid Courses Recognized by NICA
-Any in-person course or hybrid online and in-person course with at minimum a 3 hour duration focused on first aid skills and scenarios.
NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)*
-Backcountry Lifeline's First Aid for Mountain Bikers™
-SOLO NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
-Bob Foster NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
-Expedition School NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
-Otis Guy Teaching Services NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
- Scott Zelenetz Medi-Bike NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
- Michael Booker EMS Safety (8 hour)
- Cain Creek Outdoors NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
- Ride Safe (8 hour)
- Bike League First Aid by Emergency Training Specialists (8 hour)
-Keep ‘Em Safe First Aid (8 hour)
-Kenneth Mayo ECSI (8 hour)
-Front Range CPR NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
-Sierra Rescue International NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
-Adventure Medics NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour)
-Kevin Sullivan, EMTS NICA Approved (8 hour)
-National Ski Patrol Outdoor First Care (OFC)
-Marshall County KY EMS
-88 Tactical Group
Wilderness First Aid (16 hour)*
-Any in-person course or hybrid online and in-person course with a minimum 16 hour duration.
*For hybrid or blended learning course the in-person skills and assessment duration should be no less than:
▪ CPR - 60 minutes in person
▪ Basic First Aid and CPR - 90 minutes in person
▪ NICA Approved First Aid - 8 hour total with 2 hours in person
▪ Wilderness First Aid -16 hour total with 4 hours in person
Self-report certifications (with expiration date) to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone. Be sure to fill in both the CPR and first aid sections.
Finding a Course
When seeking a first aid course recognized by NICA, we first recommend checking your local league's website for league-hosted NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour) or Wilderness First Aid (16 hour) courses.
If you are unable to find a convenient course date, you may find additional courses using our First Aid Provider Directory .
Petitioning for Additional Substitutions
You may substitute a higher level of training not listed on the above "Acceptable Substitution Table" to meet your coach license requirement.
To substitute a training not listed, please use this NICA Coach Requirement- First Aid Substitution Petition Form.
Further details on substitutions-
You might be wondering why the most advanced trainings substitute for the 8 hour NICA Approved First Aid instead of 16 hour Wilderness First Aid. This is based on the clinical focus of these more advanced trainings: doctors, surgeons, nurses and others are trained to work in the medical care facility setting as opposed to a wilderness or pre-hospital setting.
If your more advanced training is not on this list, you may petition to have it added. Please send us your certification card with expiration date and a description of how your training exceeds already recognized trainings. To be approved, your more advanced training would need to:
-Exceed the instruction time of each component of the training you are substituting. Focused instruction time would need to surpass 4+ hours for first
aid, 8+ hours for NICA Approved First Aid and 16+ Hours for Wilderness First Aid.
-Have jurisdiction to give care in the urban and/or wilderness geography of your team's practices.
-Take legal precedence over basic first aid and/or CPR training in the care you give. This would be based on federal and, in some cases, state regulations (This means if you received another training, you would legally have to use your existing higher level of training).
Are you a First Aid Course Provider or Instructor?
To become a NICA Approved First Aid (8 hour) Provider or Instructor, please see this Letter to Perspective NICA Approved First Aid Instructors