Swiftwater Rescue Courses
Want training? Host a course. 
Private groups, companies, and professional agencies.
Get your team together. 
We will travel to you. 



Course Offerings

  • 1-Day:  River Rescue
  • 2-Day:  River Rescue 
  • 2.5-Day:  River Rescue  (night session + 2 days)
  • 3-Day:  River Rescue Technician 
  • Custom Courses:  see description below.




Course Descriptions

River Rescue Technician  (3-days: 24 hrs)

This jam packed course is aimed at Professional Rescuers:  Firefighters, BLM Rangers, Search and Rescue Personnel, Whitewater Guides, Trip leaders, boaters paddling on more challenging whitewater, and anyone desiring opportunities to develop their rescue skills. Themes of this dynamic course revolve around recognition of hazards, critical judgment, and rescue awareness. Emphasis is placed heavily on self-rescue techiniques and approaching rescue scenarios simply and safely.  Apply new and refined skills in mock-rescue scenarios using a minimal amount of gear. These scenarios create an opportunity for participants to practice skills individually and with a team context. Scope and content of the course will vary, based upon participant needs, interests and experience.  Topics covered include extricating pins, using rescue vests, managing strainers, dealing with entrapment, and proficient swimming skills.  This course is delivered by certified instructors and participants will receive a certificate of completion in either Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Whitewater Rescue Technician or  L5: Advanced Swiftwater Rescue: Level 5.

  • Hydrology and utilizing existing water dynamics.
  • Identifying hazards and managing them effectively.
  • Executing shallow water crossings utilizing various techniques.
  • Self-rescue: swimming whitewater and maneuvering to negotiate river hazards and obstacles.
  • Approaching Contact Rescues and Live-Bait Rescue considerations.
  • Rescuing and extricating a patient from the water.
  • Handling small inflatable boats by paddle, oar and on a tether.
  • Understanding rescue team organization, responsibilities of law-enforcement, and on-scene leadership.
  • Utilizing rescue equipment to set up technical rope systems.

Standard:    NFPA 1670 & 1006 Technician Level

 Prerequisites:

    • 18 years of age
    • Adequate health insurance coverage
    • Basic swimming ability and in good physical condition

Required Equipment needed:

    • Full wetsuit or drysuit. 
    • Lightweight water or kayak helmet
    • USCG Type III or V approved lifejacket/ PFD
    • Thick-soled water booties or tennis shoes.  Must be closed-toe.
    • Gloves are optional but helpful in cold water.
    • Students are encouraged to bring their own rescue gear to practice with.

Dates: By request for groups of 6 or more. Contact us for available dates. Arrange your own course and get free tuition!




2-day Operations Level: Swiftwater Rescue Course (16 hrs)

2-day version fits great on a Weekend:  Themes of this dynamic course revolve around recognition of hazards, critical judgment, and rescue awareness. Emphasis is placed heavily on self-rescue techiniques and approaching rescue scenarios simply and safely.  Apply new and refined skills in mock-rescue scenarios using a minimal amount of gear. These scenarios create an opportunity for participants to practice skills individually and with a team context. Scope and content of the course will vary, based upon participant needs, interests and experience.  Topics covered include extricating pins, using rescue vests, managing strainers, dealing with entrapment, and proficient swimming skills.  This course is delivered by certified instructors and participants will receive a certificate of completion in Swiftwater Rescue.

  • Hydrology and utilizing existing water dynamics.
  • Identifying hazards and managing them effectively.
  • Executing shallow water crossings utilizing various techniques.
  • Self-rescue: swimming whitewater and maneuvering to negotiate river hazards and obstacles.
  • Approaching Contact Rescues and Live-Bait Rescue considerations.
  • Rescuing and extricating a patient from the water.
  • Handling small inflatable boats by paddle, oar and on a tether.
  • Understanding rescue team organization, responsibilities of law-enforcement, and on-scene leadership.
  • Utilizing rescue equipment to set up technical rope systems.

 Prerequisites:

    • 18 years of age
    • Adequate health insurance coverage
    • Basic swimming ability and in good physical condition

Required Equipment needed:

    • Full wetsuit or drysuit. 
    • Lightweight water or kayak helmet
    • USCG Type III or V approved lifejacket/ PFD
    • Thick-soled water booties or tennis shoes.  Must be closed-toe.
    • Gloves are optional but helpful in cold water.
    • Students are encouraged to bring their own rescue gear to practice with.

Dates: By request for groups of 6 or more. Contact us for available dates. Arrange your own course and get free tuition!








1-Day Awareness Level: Swiftwater Rescue   (8 hrs)

This intense one-day rescue course is designed to address swiftwater rescue theory and fundamental rescue considerations. Topics include rescue philosophy, self-rescue considerations, rope techniques, shallow water crossings and using rescue jackets. Participants are encouraged to bring their own rescue gear for greater familiarity but are also welcome to use our equipment as well.

Prerequisites:

    • 18 years of age
    • Adequate health insurance coverage
    • Basic swimming ability and in good physical condition

Required Equipment needed:

    • Full wetsuit or drysuit. 
    • Lightweight water or kayak helmet
    • USCG Type III or V approved lifejacket/ PFD
    • Thick-soled water booties or tennis shoes.  Must be closed-toe.
    • Gloves are optional but helpful in cold water.
    • Students are encouraged to bring their own rescue gear to practice with.

Dates: By request for groups of 5 or more. Contact us for available dates.








Customized Combination Courses

Design Your Own Course
WRI can take elements of our curriculum and create a custom course to fit your unique needs. We determine what you need and provide a format specially designed just for your group.  For example, combining First Aid skills with River Rescue is becoming an increasingly popular customized option.  This can be effectively achieved in 3 to 5 days. Course dates and group size may affect the possibility of designing a course in a specific location or around a specific skill.   If you know your course dates and/or desired group size, contact our program director to discuss options.





River Rescue & Wilderness First Aid Combo  

This course combines 2-days of Wilderness First Aid with 3-days of Swiftwater Rescue.  After participants refine the Patient Assessment System the swiftwater rescue curriuclum will begin.  Scenarios on the river will integrate medical patients allowing for a dynamic blend of two exciting disciplines.