Swiftwater Rescue for Fieldwork
Hands-on safety training for working around rivers
Get swiftwater rescue training and certification for your group. Learn through professional instruction specific to conservation officers, scientists, fisheries staff, and those who work in natural resource management around rivers. Gain knowledge, skills, and confidence through hands-on practice.
Our instructors can travel to you or we can host you at one of our training sites. The course will be customized to meet the needs of your organization and the type of fieldwork that you do.
These courses are for groups. As an individual, you can join aor course.
- Swiftwater Safety (Awareness Level) - 1 day
- Swiftwater Rescue (Operations Level) - 2 days
What to expect
- Get hands-on practice with experienced instructors, a great learning environment, and a well-run course
- Increase your knowledge of the river environment to avoid hazards and work with the water, not against it
- Practice techniques such as swimming, wading, and throwing ropes to move around the river, perform self-rescues, and rescue others
- Gain the tools to carry out effective rescues with limited resources when doing field work
- Benefit from customized training for your group—tailored to those who do fieldwork in natural resource conservation, fisheries, and scientific research
Pricing for 2-day Swiftwater Rescue (SWR) course
• Group of 10 to 11: 369 CAD per student
• Group of 12+: 339 CAD per student
What’s included in a group course?
- All instructor travel and lodging expenses if the course is within 500km of where your instructor lives
- 2 full days of professional instruction
- All technical rescue equipment and group safety equipment
- Takeaway materials for each student: Waterproof course manual: Whitewater Rescue Field Guide, locking rescue carabiner & 5m of webbing for your rescue kit, certification card, and practical evaluation record sheet (documentation for liability protection)
Rental equipment available
- Full wetsuit (full length arms and legs, fleece-lined 4mm neoprene) 55 CAD for 2 days
- Summer wetsuit ('farmer john/jane' style) 25 CAD for 2 days
- PFD - Free
- Helmet - Free
- General concepts of whitewater and swifwater rescue
- Personal and group equipment
- River safety and scene management
- River signals and communications
- River features and hydrology
- Related medical topics: drowning and hypothermia
- Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater maneuvers
- Throw ropes
- Contact rescues
- Introduction to quick release rescue harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
- Rescue of panicked subjects
- Shallow water crossings
- Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
- ‘Strainer’ swim
Rescue problems & scenarios
- Foot entrapment
- Kayak, canoe, and raft pins and wraps
- Managing flips and swims
- Rescue simulations—customized for your group's needs
- Elective topics: working with hip waders, paddle boat handling
While these courses have standardized curriculums, we'll work with you to customize the training and delivery according to your group's needs. Instructors choose training sites and design practice drills that are relevant to your group's type of work and available resources.
See ourfor more on information on customizing courses and
Certification is valid for three years from the date of issue. Candidates are recertified by re-taking the 2-day course. An option for organizations seeking more frequent refreshers is an annual 1-day recertification.Close
Contact a group training coordinator
"My expectation that we would learn to become more comfortable working with whitewater was met very well. Instructors are excellent. Very enthusiastic & confidence building."
- Tana McDaniel
Environment Canada - Ontario - Scientist & Field Researcher
Whitewater Rescue (WWR) course, 2014
"The instructors were very competent and aware of each individuals' needs. The progression was excellent, providing just the right mix of theory and practice time. Thank you again for the great course."
- Marc Talbot
Coast Guard, Quebec
Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT) course, 2011