Swiftwater, Flood, Surface Water and River Rescue Courses

Whether it is the Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1,  Sierra Rescue International River Rescue Certification, an American Canoe Association (ACA) Swiftwater course, or a River and Stream Safety course, we have the class for you!  Sierra Rescue is the ideal choice for your swiftwater, flood and river rescue training needs. With over 40 years of experience, our classes are customized for your environment. We teach hands on progressive rescue techniques that have been proven to work in the field. All of our curriculums meet NFPA standards. Our Swiftwater, Flood and Surface Water Rescue courses are written to meet the needs of Fire Fighters and SAR personnel. Our RRC Gov series of classes for Fisheries folks receive rave reviews. We cater to Fire Departments, Search and Rescue Swiftwater Teams, USAF PJ’s, the US Coast Guard and other branches of the military, Sheriff Departments, River Guides, private boaters and many other agencies. Our series of river rescue certification courses (RRC)  are specifically designed for swiftwater professionals and private boaters; and meet the highest International Standards. Our River Rescue certification courses are endorsed by the International Rafting Federation (IRF)  and are recognized all around the world meeting standards set by the New Zealand Maritime and the British Canoe Union, among others. We also support and encourage membership in the American Canoe Association (ACA) and American Whitewater (AW).

START HERE: WHO ARE YOU?

Fire/SAR

Military (all branches)

River Guide

Recreational Boater

Biologist/Hydrologist/Environmental Consultant

 

NFPA, FEMA and CAL FIRE SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSES

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This water rescue class is the first of two classes designed to train personnel to meet the requirements for the NFPA 1006 and 1670 Technician Level for Swiftwater Rescue. It is a dynamic, in the water, active training that emphasizes gaining a true understanding of swiftwater safety and rescue in swiftwater environments. It covers Surface Water, Flood and Swiftwater Rescue techniques, and provides the appropriate requisite knowledge and skills up to the Operations Level.  This course complies with Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition) , as well as NFPA 1670 Chapter 17, Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents.  A task book is provided as part of the training with thorough documentation of training and performance objectives, as well as documentation for tasks that FEMA requires for the Water Specialist level. .

Sierra Rescue also offers California State Fire Marshal and Rescue 3 International certifications. To learn more about the difference, click here.

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech Advanced

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This water rescue course is the second class in a series of two, designed to train personnel to meet the requirements of the NFPA 1006 Technician Level for Swiftwater Rescue.  The Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician 1 is a prerequisite.  This course takes the student who has completed Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1 to the next level including more complicated scenarios, more time in a boat, the addition of technical rope high-lines and evacuation and a night drill. This course complies with Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition) and NFPA 1670 “Chapter 17” of Operations and Training for the Technical Search and Rescue Incident.  A task book is provided as part of the training with thorough documentation of training and performance objectives, as well as FEMA compliant documentation for tasks that must be completed in a training environment and observed by an instructor.

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1/Advanced Combo

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This is the Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1 and Advanced combined. This course complies with Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition).   It is an intense 6-day training that will challenge students to work through training and performance requirements necessary for the Swiftwater Rescue Technician Level, while also covering the Awareness and Operations Levels.  A task book is provided as part of the training with extensive documentation of the training and performance objectives, as well as FEMA compliant documentation for tasks that must be completed in a training environment and observed by an instructor.

Surface Water Rescue Swimmer

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This class is aimed for students rescuing in a surface water and/or inland open water environment such as lakes or ponds of various sizes, as well as flatwater rivers and park waterfronts. The Surface Water Rescue Swimmer course will help rescuers improve their swimming technique, practice victim management and rescue. A strong emphasis is also placed on dealing with victims in the open water and searching for victims in an open water/surface water environment.

Swiftwater and Flood First Responder

Click here for dates & locations or full course description.  This course includes Awareness and some Operations Level training for Surface Water, Floodwater and Swiftwater Rescue. This 16 hour course includes Awareness Level training, as well as self-rescue and other components of rescue designed to support Technician Level personnel. This course complies with Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition).

NFPA 1006 Technician Level: Rope and Water

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This is the ideal combination for folks who need not only Swiftwater Rescue training, but also Technical Rope Rescue Training.  Training objectives for NFPA 1006 Chapter 5 “Technical Rope Rescue” are combined with  Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition). Includes NFPA required training for Swiftwater, Flood Rescue, River Rescue and Technical Rope Rescue in the Low, Steep and Vertical Angle environments.  We run these classes back to back so they can be done in a consecutive training period.  Hands on, full days lead to full immersion in the Swiftwater Rescue and Technical Rope Rescue environments. A through task book is included as part of the training with extensive documentation of the training and performance objectives,, as well as FEMA compliant documentation for tasks that must be completed in a training environment and observed by an instructor.

California State Fire Marshal: River and Flood Water Rescue and Rescue 3 International Courses

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. These water rescue courses are accredited by the California State Fire Marshal’ Office for the Fire Service Training and Education Program (FSTEP) or Rescue 3 International.    After completion of this course, participants will receive their CSFM River and Flood Water Rescue FSTEP certificate. This course meets the requirements of NFPA 1670 Standard for Operations level Technical Rescue Incidents in the area of water. For more information about the difference between the different types of certifications, click here. Sierra Rescue also offers California State Fire Marshal Boat Operations and Low Angle Rope Rescue Operations courses.

Swift Water Rescue Courses for Guides, Kayakers and Private Boaters

River Rescue Certification

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. A DYNAMIC river rescue course specifically written and designed for river guides, private boaters, kayakers, pack rafters and other river users.  Basic river skills are a prerequisite.  Emphasis is on identifying hazards and on RESCUE itself; both of self and others.  Thinking through rescues is also emphasized.  This is the class you want as a boater to stay safe and know what to do if something goes wrong. Although this course meets agency Swiftwater Rescue certification requirements for river guides and kayakers; its pace allows for thorough integration of knowledge and practice of the skills that matter.   This course should be a prerequisite to anyone boating on any river anywhere!  The course addresses the river rescue needs of rafters, cat boaters, kayakers, pack rafters, canoeists, riverboarders and SUP paddlers. Upon request this can also be an American Canoe Association ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue course.

River Rescue Certification: Professional

Click here for dates & locations or full course description.  This course starts where the RRC leaves off and is an internationally recognized advanced swiftwater rescue level certification.  The skills developed in the RRC are a prerequisite for this course.  It is a fast paced, scenario based course designed to develop the ability to choose good actions when a river rescue is necessary. The focus extends into more intensive scene management. This energetic, and physical curriculum will be challenging and focused on quick reaction time with a thorough understanding of options and resources.  The skills testing component will emphasize knowing your own limits, skill level, knowledge of basic rope skills and the ability to execute a rescue as part of a team.  The challenges of responding at night are highlighted in the night op. The task book at the end lays out easy ways to keep your certification current with continuing education and testing day options.  This intensive and comprehensive course takes professional certification for the professional boater to a whole new level.

Prerequisites:  RRC or equivalent within the past three years.  The skills taught in the RRC are  required; such as swimming, wading, throw bagging, stabilization lines, basic knots, basic MA, risk assessment and basic scene management skills. The course begins with a scenario.

River Rescue Certification: Elite

RRC-ELITE is for folks who have had the RRC, the RRC PRO, have the RRC PRO skill set, and are now ready to do some big scenarios that involve technical evacuations, emergency management and communication. It involves complicated scenarios and challenging circumstances. ( Level 3)   For more info, inquire to Julie at julie@sierrarescue.com

River Rescue Certification: Kayak Specific

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This RRC Course is specially designed for whitewater kayakers.  The class will feature some of the latest in kayaker safety, proper gear usage, towing swimmers and boats, rescuing gear and many of the challenges faced by whitewater kayakers today.  Students taking this course must meet the following general requirements:

  • Class II or better whitewater kayaker with reliable roll
  •  Creek or river running kayak
  • Float bag(s) in kayak recommended
  • River rescue PFD (Type V) with tow tether recommended, but not required

Government Agencies and Environmental Consultants Swiftwater Rescue Courses

River Rescue for Government Agencies

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. The River Rescue Certification for Agencies is designed specifically for Environmental Consultants, Fish and Game personnel, Biologists, Department of Water Resources personnel and other State and Federal employees who work on or around flowing water. Emphasis is on safe and best practices, hazard recognition, prevention and self rescue, proper use of equipment and simple rescue techniques. Safety, risk assessment and hazard mitigation is emphasized. Students will benefit from this intensive, hands-on course and will learn to use techniques and simple equipment to access and perform river rescues. The emphasis is on speedy, low-tech, and improvised rescue techniques that are effective and require minimal equipment.   Boat and inflatable kayak safety and rescue is also addressed when used by the Agency. These courses are usually taught as custom courses for specific Agencies or groups of people.

River Guides, Private Boaters and Kayakers should take the ACA or the River Rescue Certification.

River and Stream Safety Courses

Click here for dates & locations or full course description.These workshops have been created for fisheries employees and hydrologists who work around rivers, creeks and streams. This 1-3 day course is tailored to include anything the group wants/needs to focus on from wader safety and self rescue, to wilderness survival. The main focus of the courses is safety and the prevention of accidents. It is great to do this course along with a  wilderness first aid workshop.

For full course description and more information see FAQ’s

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1

Click here for dates & locations or full course description. This water rescue class is the first of two classes designed to train personnel to meet the requirements for the NFPA 1006 Technician Level for Swiftwater Rescue.  It covers Surface Water, Flood and Swiftwater Rescue techniques, and provides the appropriate requisite knowledge and skills up to the Operations Level.  This course complies with Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition).  A task book is provided as part of the training with thorough documentation of training and performance objectives, as well as FEMA compliant documentation for tasks that must be completed in a training environment and observed by an instructor.

Sierra Rescue also offers California State Fire Marshal and Rescue 3 International certifications. To learn more about the difference click here.

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech Advanced

This water rescue course is the second class in a series of two, designed to train personnel to meet the requirements of the NFPA 1006 Technician Level for Swiftwater Rescue.  The Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician 1 is a prerequisite.  This course takes the student who has completed Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1 beyond the emphasis of self-rescue and further concentrates on rescue in hard to reach areas and more difficult swiftwater situations. This course complies with Chapter 16, “Surface Water Rescue”, Chapter 17 “Swiftwater Rescue” and Chapter 22 “Floodwater Rescue” as described in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)1006 Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (2017 edition).  A task book is provided as part of the training with thorough documentation of training and performance objectives, as well as FEMA compliant documentation for tasks that must be completed in a training environment and observed by an instructor.Click here fordates & locations or full course description.

Combination Courses

As a sponsor putting together a course you can combine any of the courses Sierra Rescue offers, or design a course that is specific to your needs. All you need is a minimum of 8-12 students.

Our most popular Combination Course is a ten/ eleven day Wilderness First Responder mixed with a River Rescue Certification or  or Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Tech 1 course. This combination prepares beginning river guides beyond most industry standards and is a great add on into a guide school.

When time is an issue, a 5 day Wilderness First Aid Workshop and River Rescue Combination Course is a great choice. Sierra Rescue regularly designs these custom classes for government agencies, Universities, and fishery agencies to make the course fit the group.

Designing a class that is perfect for your group is easy, and we love to do it. It makes our work more interesting and ever changing. We train US Marines from the Mountain Warfare Training Center, US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers, US Forest Service field staff, Fish and Game and Fish and Wildlife staff, EMT’s and Firefighters from all over California, Outward Bound Instructors, Grand Canyon River Guides, and many other folks from all walks of life. Get in touch with us today to start planning your custom Combination Course.