Whitewater Rescue Technician – Bridge
Level III - 2 days

Upgrade your whitewater skills and certification

Build on your previous training to advance your skills. Get two full days of hands-on practice and challenging simulations. Gain experience and confidence performing effective rescues with limited resources when river running.

This course is for those with current Whitewater Rescue (WWR) Level II, Swiftwater Rescue, or equivalent certification who would like to upgrade to Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) Level III.

You'll do a pre-course prep assignment to help you refresh your skills and knowledge.


  • You need current Whitewater Rescue (WWR) Level II certification from Boreal River Rescue or equivalent* certification from another approved provider
  • 16 years and up. 16 & 17 year olds need written parental consent.
  • Swimming ability is necessary
  • Complete the pre-course prep

* See the course equivalence chart below

Take away materials

  • Waterproof course manual: Whitewater Rescue Field Guide
  • Locking rescue carabiner & 5m of 1" tubular webbing for your rescue kit
  • Certification card, practical evaluation record sheet, Whitewater Rescue Technician sticker

What to expect

  • Gain experience and confidence through 2 full days of drills and challenging simulations 
  • Get tons of hands-on practice with professional instructors, a great learning environment, and a well-run course
  • Review and refresh your existing skills and add more techniques to your rescue 'toolbox'
  • Increase your proficiency carrying out effective rescues with limited resources when river running


  • General concepts of whitewater and swiftwater rescue
  • Personal and group equipment
  • River safety and scene management
  • River signals and communications
  • River features and hydrology
  • Related medical topics: drowning and hypothermia

Basic skills

  • Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater maneuvers
  • Throw ropes
  • Contact rescues
  • Quick release safety harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
  • Rescue of panicked subjects
  • Shallow water crossing techniques
  • Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
  • ‘Strainer' swim​ - This is not done in the WRT-Recert or Bridge course. It is expected that you have done this awareness-building activity in your introductory whitewater or swiftwater rescue course

​Advanced skills

  • Transportation systems 
  • Advanced anchors and compound mechanical advantage systems
  • Supervised swim in a hole and hole rescue
  • Advanced swimming, throwing, and 'live-bait' rescues

Rescue problems & scenarios

  • Advanced foot and body entrapment
  • Canoe, kayak, and raft pins and wraps
  • Team rescue drills and extended simulations

This is a general list of what to bring for a WRT-Bridge course. Please refer to your ‘student information package’ (emailed to you once you register) for a complete list specific to your course.

Equipment rental is available.

For the river:

  • Whitewater helmet
  • Whitewater rescue PFD (personal flotation device) with quick-release harness
    Needs to be in good condition and fit properly. 
  • River shoes - closed toe
    River shoes with full toe coverage that are supportive but also lightweight and draining with a grippy sole. This could be a model made specifically for the river or a lightweight running shoe, trail-running shoe, or sneaker. Neoprene shoes can work if they have enough support and traction but neoprene socks or booties are not adequate.
  • Wetsuit or drysuit
    A wetsuit or drysuit is necessary for courses before mid-June or past mid-September in eastern or central North America and always necessary on glacier-fed rivers.
  • Base layers, insulation, and socks
    Make sure to have several layers of socks, pants, and tops made of wool, fleece, polyester, or another synthetic material to wear in addition to your wetsuit or drysuit (or to be worn on their own on sunny days and in warm water).
  • Surf shorts
  • Rash guard
  • Snacks, lunch, and water bottle or thermos
    Keeping yourself fuelled with calories is one of the keys to staying warm and happy. We usually don't stop for a long lunch break but instead, take several shorter eating breaks throughout the day so it is good to bring lots of food and things that don't require much preparation on the side of the river. Also make sure to have some high calorie snacks that you can keep in your PFD pocket.
  • Sunscreen, lip protection, bug repellent
  • Neoprene gloves (optional)
  • Neoprene head warmer (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Sunglasses or prescription glasses with strap (optional)

For on land:

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Tuque (warm hat), gloves, or mitts for early and late season courses
  • Sun hat, visor, or baseball cap
  • Raingear
  • Gear bag or container to store your equipment for transport
  • Day pack or drybag to store your belongings during class
  • Pens and notepad

Consider the following items but refer to the ‘student information package’ for your course to see the accommodation options available and a more specific list:

  • Meals and cooking equipment
  • Camping equipment or bedding
  • Towel
  • Personal hygiene products and medications
  • Indoor clothing and shoes

Boreal River Rescue course: Whitewater Rescue (WWR) Level II

Equivalent courses 

  • River Safety and Rescue
  • Swiftwater Rescue Operations - Rescue 3 International
  • Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Operations - Rescue Canada
  • Rescue for River Runners 1 - (r3rec)


Boreal River Rescue course:  Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) Level III 

Equivalent courses

  • Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT) - Rescue 3 International
  • Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technician Standard - Rescue Canada
  • Level 5 Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Tech - American Canoe Association
  • Rescue for River Runners Professional (r3pro) 

If you have a group of 4 or more for one course, get 10% off the tuition. Each person can register individually. When the first student books, please let us know about the group along with everybody's name and we will apply the discount.

If you have a group of 6 or more for one course, get 15% off the tuition if you pay all together with one e-mail transfer or cheque. Contact us anytime to register your group.

Professional river guides and camp staff: see pro deals here.



Q. What is the daily schedule like on a Boreal River Rescue course?

A. After registering, you'll receive a 'student information package' with specific meeting times for their course. Typically class starts at 8:30am and goes to 6:30pm. There may also be an evening session that will be scheduled by the instructor on the first day.

Q. Are there any prerequisites?

A. Whitewater Rescue Technician Level III - Bridge (WRT-Bridge) prerequisites. You need to:

  • be 16 years of age to participate. 16 and 17 year olds need written parental consent. 
  • be able to swim effectively to acheive the certification
  • complete the pre-course prep (around 3 or 4 hours)
  • hold current Whitewater Rescue Level II (WWR) certification from Boreal River Rescue or current equivalent certification from another approved provider. Please bring your cert card to show your instructor on the first day.

Q. Is attendance mandatory?

A. Attendance for 100% of class time is mandatory.  If you cannot make a session you must get permission from the instructor in advance.  Students who miss a section of the course without pre-approval may be asked to leave the course for the sake and safety of the other students.

Q. How are students assessed and evaluated for certification?

A. Evaluation criteria:

One of the most valuable aspects of Boreal River Rescue - Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification is that it includes a practical evaluation. This proves that an individual holding the certification has demonstrated competency with their river rescue skills and not simply attended a workshop.

The assessment takes place on the river in a supportive, fun, and professional environment with the goals of evaluation, review, and continued learning. Students will get multiple chances to demonstrate competency with their skills. To achieve the WRT certification students need to:

  • Attend all sessions and participate throughout the course
  • Demonstrate an understanding of river safety and river rescue skills
  • Pass the practical evaluation on the last day.

Q. How long is certification valid for?

A. Your certification is valid for three years from the date of issue.

Q. How do I get recertified as a Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT)?

A. You can recertify your Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification by taking the two-day Whitewater Rescue Technician Recertification (WRT-Recert) course  within three years of your last certification. You can also re-take the four-day course if you would like even more practice.

Q. I have current certification but I'm not sure if the two-day Recert/Bridge option is right for me or if I should take the four-day WRT course?

A. To successfully recertify or upgrade to your technician-level certification in two-days, it is important that you arrive for your course ready to use your skills and knowledge from your previous training courses and experiences. 

The two-day option is great if you have been practicing most of your skills regularly and spending time in and around rivers during the three years since your last course. We recommend taking the complete four-day WRT course if you would like more supervised practice time, if you haven’t spent very much time around rivers since your last course, or if you aren’t able to perform the skills outlined in the pre-course assignment.

Q. Can I take the WRT-Bridge or WRT-Recert course if my current certification is through another provider and not Boreal River Rescue?

A.  Yes.  Please contact our office for approval.

Q. How do I register for a course?

A. Choose a specific date from the list of upcoming courses displayed on each course page. Click “Details/Register” and follow the registration instructions or contact us anytime

Q. What is the cancellation policy?

A. For Boreal River Rescue courses run by our office:

  • For cancellations more than 60 days from course start: full refund minus $35 registration fee.
  • For cancellations less than 60 days but more than 2 weeks from course start: 50% refund.
  • For cancellations less than 2 weeks from course start date: no refund.

For courses run by one of Boreal River Rescue’s training partners:

  • See the cancellation policy included in the 'student information package' for your specific course or contact the ‘course sponsor’ directly.

Get professional instruction and certification at your location or bring your group to us. Our instructors customize the instruction to meet your goals and needs. 

Visit our group training page to find out more.


All the info you need in your back PFD pocket

Available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish.

The Whitewater Rescue Field Guide is a useful tool that's easy to bring along when you’re on the water. The 100% waterproof and tear-proof manual folds up to fit into your PFD pocket. 

Boreal River Field Guide - English.jpeg

Written by our rescue instructors, it provides useful information, diagrams, and reminders on:

  • knots, anchors, & mechanical advantage systems
  • raft, kayak, & canoe pins and wraps
  • throw bags
  • live bait rescue
  • foot entrapment
  • whitewater swimming & swift water entries
  • shallow water crossing techniques
  • drowning & hypothermia
  • communications
  • emergency call
  • equipment checklist
  • rescue scene management

Order your copy

  • Order the Whitewater Rescue Field Guide online at Amazon.ca for 9.99 CAD. Orders are fulfilled by Amazon so it is shipped fast and eligible for free shipping. In the US, order from NRS.
  • If you’d like multiple copies, contact us and we’ll send them out to you.

Upcoming courses

"The course was fun. I learned a lot and gained proficiency with skills that I wasn't very good at. The instructor was great at demonstrating the techniques."

- Yann Troutet, whitewater canoeist

Minganie, Quebec

"The instructor was awesome. Very Knowledgable, experienced, and skilled. He explained skills, demoed them, then gave us challenges to practice. Excellent and engaging teaching style. "

- Andrew Laughton, high school outdoor education teacher and river guide

Gatineau River, Quebec, Canada