Swiftwater Rescue Technician


Swiftwater Rescue Technician – Level 1

Length: 3 days (1 classroom and 2 on river)


This comprehensive swiftwater course puts the emphasis on identifying risks, self rescue and low-risk options for rescuing others. SRT 1 is the “standard-of-care” or recommended training for those who work in or on moving water. It is highly-valued training for anyone who works in this high risk environment including firefighters, resource management personnel and outdoor guides. This course is compliant with the NFPA 1670 Standard for technical swiftwater rescue incidents.


• 18+ years of age (16-17 with parental permission)
• Basic swimming ability
• In good physical condition

Required Equipment
• Drysuit or wetsuit (wetsuit rentals available)
• Personal flotation device (Type III or IV)
• Water-sports helmet
• Neoprene gloves (optional)
• Neoprene footwear with a good walking sole, wading boots, or running shoes
• Layers of wool or fleece clothing for under the drysuit/wetsuit including sweater, pants, gloves, socks

• To develop a sense of confidence and necessary skills for those who work in a swiftwater environment.
• Develop ability to self rescue and rescue others in moving water situations
• Familiarize and train the student in utilization of standard river rescue gear.

SRT 1 Course Outline

Day 1 – Classroom Session

  • Rescue 3’s philosophy
  • Swiftwater dynamics
  • Personal equipment
  • Risk management
  • Drowning and medical conditions related to swiftwater
  • Introduction to ropes, knots and gear
  • Dryland rope work

Day 2 – River Session

  • A review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Basic river signals
  • Throw bagging
  • Shallow water crossings
  • Swimming skills
  • Hazard avoidance
  • Combat swim
  • Rope work

Day 3 – River Session

  • Review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Tension diagonals
  • Technical problem (swiftwater rescue scenario)
  • Written examination
  • Debrief

Take Aways

  • Rescue 3’s Swiftwater Rescue Technician – Level One manual
  • Personalized skill sheet (training record) signed by the instructor (valuable document for risk management)
  • Registration of training record in Rescue 3’s international database
  • Wallet card with personal Rescue 3 registration number and date of certification
  • Certificate of Completion
*information based on Raven Rescue Course Descriptions*