From technical rescue instructors to medical instructors to standby rescue technicians, our team is made up of people who have a long history of using their skills in real-life situations. We confront and learn from challenging environments together.
Our Team Members
We hire people who have a long history of using their skills in real life situations. As a result, our team members are subject matter experts before they even start working for us.
They are highly conversant with the application of the latest developments in the theory and practice of technical rescue and wilderness medicine. In addition, we seek out team members that are already equipped with the mindset required to really connect with clients.
Technical Rescue Instructors
Our technical rescue instructors regularly work in high-risk environments including swiftwater or confined spaces and utilize technical technical rope systems with ease.
This means that your training is conducted in a safe environment. It also means they understand how to break complex skills down into simple, logical progressions that are easy to learn and remember.
Raven Medical Instructors
Our wilderness medical instructors are all medical rescue professionals who actively work in remote or unconventional settings. They are also experienced educators, researchers and advocates for healthcare in adverse conditions.
What’s more, our consistency and rigorous instructor training process ensures that we use a logical, systems-based approach to teach complex medical subjects in a way that makes sense.
Standby Rescue Technicians
We apply the same rigorous standards to our standby rescue technicians.
Some of our clients would rather hire us to provide a standby rescue team, than take on the time and expense of training their own personnel to meet safety and rescue requirements for challenging environments – short or long term.
As a result, clients know they are getting subject matter experts who understand safe work procedures and how to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. This is the kind of peace of mind that keeps our clients coming back repeatedly for a range of projects lasting anywhere between a few hours to several months.
Adam began his career in safety and rescue as a kayak, raft and canoe guide; today, Adam works as a full-time firefighter. This combined background makes Adam’s course delivery invaluable. Through years of practice guiding on the river, Adam’s ability to craft effective learning environments for diverse clients ensures that you’ll receive the key messages you need for your workplace. From resource and industry, to guiding or emergency response, you’ll leave your course with the tools you need to do your job… safer!
With a background in cave rescue and rockclimbing instruction, Alle Jan has a passion for rope systems that is obvious when he teaches. He is Deputy Chief with Smithers Fire Rescue, and a member of BC Cave Rescue. He also loves skiing – he is a CSIA ski instructor, and has his CAA Operations Level 1 and spends as much time ski touring during the winter as he can. Alle Jan consistently demonstrates unparalleled client care, and has a reassuring demeanor that you’ll value when you’re hanging at the end of a rope.
Ben started as a kayak and canoe guide in the UK, working primarily with people with different and limited abilities.
He joined the Rescue 3 International team while in Malaysia, working as a Training Manager. After spedning several months there exploring new rivers in the Perak mountain range, he carried on to work and run courses around the world. Of note was his time spent in Nepal, where he worked with local NGO’s and rescue companies to create and deliver a Village Emergency Response Course, aimed at educating remote villages in natural disaster response.
Today, Ben guides for Glacier Rafting on the Kicking Horse River and teaches rescue courses for Raven Rescue. He also works on the Golden Fire Rescue Department, and runs a media company called Peak Adventure Canada (PAC). PAC is currently working with Rescue 3 International to bring new cutting edge forms of media to their educational material.
On the rare days when Ben isn’t working, he loves being in nature with climbing, kayaking, or whatever the mountains have to offer that day.
Chad teaches our full line of confined space courses from Awareness to Technician level. His list of certifications is as long as your arm, and his practical work experience is longer – he has been working with rope for 10+ years as a steel worker at height, climbing instructor, arborist, and is fire and medic trained. Chad is also an accomplished paddle boarder – he’s crossed from Vancouver to Victoria, ran a 500km self-supported river expedition, and is a competitive SUP racer and paddle surfer.
A tireless advocate for mental health and wellness, Chad is the founder of two remarkable non-profits: Keep Calm Paddle On, and Project All In. He is a calm and focussed instructor and ensures that all his clients understand the concepts being taught.
Chris is at home on rivers worldwide having kayaked and rafted in places like the UK, Italy, Norway, Chile, New Zealand, Nepal & Zimbabwe. Longtime owner and guide of Chinook Rafting, a river company that runs trips close to Banff, AB, Chris is now focussing on his work with the Banff Fire Department. In addition, Chris is a rafting examiner for the BC and AB River Outfitters Association, a certified kayaking instructor, and is an emergency medical and advanced wilderness first responder.
Chris also has a strong background in rope rescue and has worked for the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association. Chris brings a wealth of experience, skill and charisma to the Raven team.
Colin is a professional firefighter in the lower mainland of BC, and has been a SAR team member for 15 years. Colin was a PCP paramedic for over a decade, holds his raft guides license, and recently left the Coast Guard after working as a Rescue Specialist for 10 years. Colin is a consumate professional and goes the extra distance to make sure his clients learn the skills they need in order to do their jobs in the safest manner possible.
A career firefighter with the City of Ottawa since 2004, Corey has a vast background in technical rescue ranging from swiftwater to technical rope. But really, certifications are the easy thing compared to what Corey gets up to when he’s not on the payroll: he’s guided all over the world, placed in the top 10 of the World Rafting Championships on several occasions, was a competitive cyclist for Team Volkswagen, and is an avid downhill, cross country and telemark skier.
He’s a passionate guy who pursues life with enthusiasm – and you’re sure to experience this during your next course with Corey! He is currently working towards becoming a Rope and Tower Rescue instructor for Raven Rescue and Raven Safety.
Craig teaches rescue courses from the awareness to the technician level – from boat handling and confined space to technical rope and tower rescue. He has a strong background in whitewater, being an accomplished paddler and rafter. In addition, Craig is a member of Cowichan Search and Rescue and North Cowichan Fire Department. We’re proud to have Craig as our Rescue Curriculum Director. He also mentors our instructor team as one of our Instructor Trainers. Craig is an organized, intuitive and patient instructor and gets great reviews from his students.
Dan Kirvan runs Raven’s Ontario office, and ensures the smooth delivery of Raven Rescue, Raven Safety and Raven Medical courses in that province. He is a firefighter with the City of Ottawa and has strong river credentials as an international raft guide in Mexico, the US and Australia. In addition, he managed OWL Rafting and Madawaska Kanu Centre for more than 10 years. His combination of technical skill and customer service make him a valuable asset to the Raven team.
On course, Dan is an engaging instructor able to connect with a diverse clientele base from firefighters, industry, resource personnel and outdoor enthusiasts.
Dave was a lifeguard for years before becoming a PCP in 2009, and has been an EMT/Firefighter with the Fort McMurray Fire Department for seven years. When he’s not at work, Dave is skiing and paddling, and loving life with his partner Amanda, and their son and two dogs. The first aid training you’ll get from Dave is rooted in years of recreational and industrial experience – its this blend of experience that makes his delivery of technical skills so easy to understand. Paddler, Firefighter, Lifegaurd, and Skiier – he brings it all to the table to make your learning relevant.
Frank brings both years of river experience and professional rescue to the Raven team.
Frank spent over 10 years in the whitewater industry, during many of which he was guide manager at industry leading whitewater outfitters. Frank has gained valuable experience working in the industrial rescue world and is currently a professional firefighter. Frank’s vast portfolio allows him to gear specific lesson plans to meet the exact needs of the group he is working with. He has experience teaching in both English and French, and his “can do” teaching style benefits all the students he works with.
Frank is currently working towards becoming a Tower Rescue instructor for Raven Rescue and Raven Safety.
Garth has lived in Jasper, Alberta since 1991 where he works SAR for Parks Canada. He has 24 years of SAR experience responding to river and technical mountain rescues. His water and paddling skills go back to the 1980’s, but these days he prefers jetskiis and jetboats. Garth is known to have an “infectious enthusiasm” and is passionate about passing on his knowledge to others.
Jason Wolsky began as a volunteer with the Whitehorse Fire Department in 1996, and moved through the ranks to serve as Deputy Fire Chief. Before becoming a full time firefighter, Jason worked with the Whitehorse international airport fire department. He also holds a certificate in emergency and disaster management through Ryerson University, and holds a commercial pilot’s licence.
When Jason isn’t teaching a rope or tower course for Raven Rescue with his signature upbeat delivery, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and two kids, or taking his professional photography to the next level anywhere he can, from his backyard to safari trips in Africa.
Jim lives, works and plays in Squamish, BC. A veteran Paramedic, Jim has worked in some of the most challenging areas of the province. Currently a Flight Paramedic/Rescue Specialist specializing in air evacuation and the provision of advanced prehospital care & rescue of workers in remote, austere locations.
Jim is an experienced technician as a rescue watercraft operator, as well as a rope/tower & confined space rescue technician.
We’re proud to offer Jim’s Critical Incident Stress Debriefing training to our Raven Rescue instructor team, and Raven Safety technician team. The mental and spiritual well-being of each individual within the Raven family makes us who we are as an organization.
Jim spends his free time as a raft guide, white-water SUP & kayaker and metal fabricating.
Before joining the Raven team, Jordan dedicated many years as a volunteer to Search & Rescue as a swiftwater, HETS, rope rescue, and ice rescue team member. He was also a volunteer firefighter for four years in Squamish.
Jordan is a very sociable person with a knack for taking charge in challenging environments. He takes pride in everything that he does, and will pass lessons and skills on with pleasure and probably a story or two! Jordan moved to Kamloops in 2012 with his son and amazing wife.
Karsten has a long history of working and playing in the far corners of the world’s oceans. His background is in small team deployments that include field intelligence operations, hostage rescues, and disaster response in remote and hostile maritime environments. Whether it’s medical, conduct after capture/hostile environment, or swiftwater training, Karsten has a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge. Karsten now lives in Vernon BC, and although he continues to consult on international investigations relating to homicide and wildlife crimes, he spends much of his time as a Search Dog handler working in the explosives, avalanche, and water human remains detection (HRD) disciplines. If it’s happening on his swiftwater SUP, touring skis, or the training range, Karsten’s trusted K-9 partner, Delphin, is not far behind!
Karsten consults in Snow Safety at various ski resorts and will also spend this winter at Keefer Lake Lodge learning to become a ski guide. He is also enrolled in the Remote Paramedic Practise Diploma/BsC programme with the College of Remote and Offshore Medicine Foundation.
With a background in guiding expedition canoe trips for Black Feather in Canada’s Territories for over a decade, Kira is currently a resident physician in BC pursuing a career in emergency medicine.
Kira is working towards her Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine, and brings a deep level of knowledge and passion to Raven Medical’s team. When she’s not working, you can find her outside climbing, skiing, and whitewater paddling.
Kirstin is a certified kayak and swiftwater instructor. She’s been working within the whitewater industry for nearly two decades, where she has continued to gain a variety of experience in both the outdoor and rescue industries. She has worked throughout Canada and internationally, including guiding whitewater trips in USA, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. While many of her years were spent between seasons as the River Operations Manager for OWL Rafting in Foresters Falls, ON, and a ski patroller at Sun Peaks in BC, Kirstin has recently shaken it up a bit by becoming a mom!
Today, Kirstin brings her experience, high energy, and enthusiasm to her swiftwater, boat operator and Raven Medical courses. She consistently delivers professional courses in a comfortable environment.
Kit is a Captain with North Vancouver District Fire and Rescue and is in charge of their #1 Rescue Station. Kit teaches swiftwater rescue, rope rescue, confined space, tower crane and trench rescue. He is also our only Instructor to have demonstrated a full headstand in an inflatable kayak – while descending Class III whitewater! In the past, Kit has also volunteered with the Lions Bay Search and Rescue and is now keeping very busy with two young boys.
Born in Mexico City, Lalo has been working in the outdoor industry for 19 years as a raft guide and kayak guide in Spain, Switzerland, Austria, United States, Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Lalo came to Canada in 2009 to work as a guide at Esprit on the Ottawa river, which is also when he began teaching swiftwater courses.
Lalo lives in Ottawa, and is passionate about kayaking, especially creeking. When he’s not in his kayak, you’ll find him mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, skate boarding… and never sitting down. “I feel privileged to have discovered, and to still be part of the outdoor industry that brings much happiness to my life,” says Lalo. “I’m always happy to share my knowledge and help beginner paddlers improve their skills!”
Since 1979, Len has worked in diverse pre-hospital related professions. For the past 15 years, he has worked as an Operations Supervisor with Hamilton Paramedic Service. In this position, Len has held various portfolios including paramedic professional development, planning, and special operations. Currently, he certified as an Advanced Care Paramedic and maintains his clinical skills on the road in Hamilton, and through providing medical services to large music and athletic events. Len is a recipient of the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal –Canada’s highest paramedic honour.
Being raised on a hunting/fishing lodge northern Ontario, Len has the Canadian shield etched in his heart. Len has a Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education both specializing in outdoor education. He has worked for Outward Bound Canada, adjudicated youth, and high school outdoor programs. Len remains connected with Outward Bound by sitting on its National Safety Committee for the past 20 years.
Len has been teaching wilderness medical programs since the mid 1980’s. Len has taught course in 10 countries around the world. From “north of 60” and South America, to teaching the first wilderness medical program in China, he enjoys adopting medical training programs to meet the needs of diverse students.
With a BA in Outdoor Eduation and over fifteen years of expedition canoe guiding under her belt, Liz’s outdoor experience enlivens and informs every single one of her Raven Medical courses. Today, Liz is an RN, a Primary Care Parademic, a firefighter, and a fireground survival instructor. Thanks to her broad background, Liz can consistently bring home Raven Medical techniques and strategies, regardless of your field of work.
When she’s not teaching or working, you can find Liz seeking out a good adventure in the wild spaces right in her backyard!
Logan has a devout passion for wilderness and tactical medicine. For over eleven years, he has served in a variety of roles as a medic within the Canadian Armed Forces, from working in base clinics and field hospitals, to operating independently and remotely as a company medic with the light infantry. He has accumulated experience from multiple domestic and international deployments, and has organized numerous Tactical Combat Casualty Care courses. These experiences make him well-versed in practicing medicine in austere locations.
When away from military duties, he loves everything mountain related. From backcountry skiing and climbing to biking and hiking, he enjoys the escape offered by a short drive from Calgary, Alberta. He is an active member of the Wilderness Medical Society and is completing his Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Logan combines a love for austere medicine and a personal patient centric approach, all while aiming to inspire others to perform their best regarding medical treatments and patient care.
With 16 years of professional river guiding in Alaska, New Zealand’s North and South Island, and Western Canada, Marshall Ezelle brings a wealth of experience to his courses.
“Everyone needs help sometimes, and as a long-time guide, I have the ability to recognize when different people need a bit more time on a concept or skill,” says Marshall. “I have lots of patience, and I am always happy to answer questions!” Marshall loves sharing his passion for the outdoors and water sports with new folks, and one of his favourite things is seeing a concept “click” for someone. Marshall has always been intersted in teaching, and in rivers. After years of river guide mentoring and teaching in guide schools and for his SAR team, it made sense to make his passion into a profession.
“I love getting out on the water any chance I can. You can find me kayaking, rafting or tubing the Skookumchuck Creek in South East BC.” Marshall and his wife enjoy exploring the Kootenays, and they camp, hike and ski tour as much as they can. You can find him on Facebook, but Marshall cautions you… “don’t expect a quick reply! I try to spend my time outside, and I’m not too attached to my screen!”
Marshall is a member of the Kimberley Search and Rescue team, and spends lots of time training, practicing, and responding with them as their Swiftwater Team Leader.
Matt Kilback spent six years on the Raven team as our Retail Sales Manager. During that time, he specialized in connecting teams and individuals with the gear they needed to stay safe at work or play. Today, Matt continues to teach for Raven Rescue as a swiftwater and ice rescue instructor, and to work for Raven Safety as a standby safety technician.
Matt is a busy dad of two, and yet he still finds the time to go ski touring, mountain biking, and compete in the Tough Mudder just for kicks.
Meaghan is passionate about helping people safely navigate wild spaces and medical realms.
She is a professional wilderness instructor who leads multi-week hiking and paddling expeditions on Canada’s west coast. Meaghan is a member of B.C. Search and Rescue. When not working or playing outdoors, she advocates for evidence-based mental health care and ethical research with human subjects. Meaghan has worked as a research assistant on multiple clinical trials and conducted extensive research into clinical drug trials. Trained in biomedical sciences, she is pursuing graduate studies; expanding upon her interests in bioethics, trauma-informed practices and wilderness-based therapies.
Meaghan is a retired national team athlete and the current solo-marathon world record holder in the sport of inline speed skating.
Mitch is the swiss-army knife of guiding. With a background in leading expedition canoe trips for Black Feather and Canadian River Expeditions in Canada’s Territories for nearly a decade, he is also working as a backcountry splitboard guide in the interior of British Columbia for Ice Creek Lodge and Baldface Lodge.
When he’s not guiding, Mitch can be found in the mountains working on his alpine climbing skills and whitewater paddling. He has a BA in Outdoor Education from Augustana University and brings passion and experience to Raven’s team.
After completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Paul relocated to BC to pursue a career in adventure tourism. His experience in the outdoor industry is diverse, ranging from raft guiding to paragliding to Hydro Broncs. Paul is a member of the Pemberton Search and Rescue group, and a Wilderness First Responder.
Rachel comes from a diverse background including firefighting, paramedicine and ski patrol. She has instructed in each of those settings, as well as teaching youth and adults alike to safely enjoy activities such as horseback riding, rock and ice climbing and even sailing.
In her free time, Rachel can be found either climbing up or skiing down the mountains near her current hometown of Whitehorse, sailing the lakes, or spending time training her wild Yukon horse.
After spending many years as a coach in the ski and swim industries, instructing and teaching comes naturally to Reta.
The water is where Reta feels the most at home, and you can find her sending in every medium – whether it’s rafting, kayaking or canoeing, or representing as a Badfish SUP Athlete, Reta loves to push her limits on the water. Her newest endeavour, CANRVRSUP is Western Canada’s leading instructor collective, providing quality instruction in water environments ranging from flatwater to river.
Despite (and, just maybe, becuase of…) being an adrenaline junkie, Reta’s first and foremost focus is safety. Becoming a swiftwater rescue instructor has rounded out her teaching capacities provide a high level of confidence and safety on the water to all who paddle with her.
Rob has been guiding and instructing outdoor skills for over 10 years. He has guided paddling expeditions in the Canadian North, Alberta and Ontario. Rob holds a BA in geography, Bachelor of Physical Health and Education and most recently a Bachelor of Education with a specialty in Outdoor Education. Rob has been a fulltime firefighter with Calgary Fire since 2014, and is an Aquatic Surface Rescue Team Member.
Rob has the most amazing wife and cutest little daughter – they call Canmore home, and they love to mountain bike, ski, hike and paddle. Rob is also the co-founder of Connected in Motion – an organization whose mission is to unite people with type one diabetes who want to live healthy outdoor lifestyles through outdoor experiential learning opportunities.
As Executive Director of Raven Rescue, Ron has accumulated over a decade of delivering rescue, medical, leadership and adventure skills for first response agencies, government, industry and universities.
Most recently, Ron has spearheaded the launch of Raven Medical – a division of our company dedicated to the development and provision of leading wilderness medical training. For 15 years prior to the launch of our new program, Ron served on the Faculty Steering Committee for Wilderness Medical Associates and is currently on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for Rescue 3 International. Ron has authored several of Rescue 3’s standards for technical rescue disciplines, is an NFPA expert and a world expert in the field of technical ice rescue. Ron’s swiftwater credentials are equally impeccable as he comes from years as an expedition paddler and raft guide, has served as Education Chair for Paddle Alberta; and is an examiner for the BC Raft Outfitters Association. Ron is a graduate of Lakehead University’s Outdoor Recreation Program and has also served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Please contact us for a more detailed bio.
Ryan lives, works and recreates with his family in beautiful Clearwater British Columbia. He has worked as a paramedic professionally in urban, rural, and industrial settings in British Columbia and Alberta. Since 2005, he has been an employee of the BC Ambulance Service as a Primary Care Paramedic.
Ryan is a long standing member of Wells Gray SAR as a SAR Manager, Rope Rescue Team Leader, Executive Member and Provincial Rope Rescue Instructor. He is a graduate of both the Adventure Guide Diploma at Thompson Rivers University, as well as the Parks and Recreation Diploma from Lakeland College. Ryan’s outdoor experience includes 5 years as a senior ski patroller at Sun Peaks as well as a river guide in Jasper National Park.
As an approachable and enthusiastic instructor that loves to teach, he is looking forward to meeting you in Raven Medical and Technical Rope Rescue courses!
For the past 16 years, Scott has combined his passion for self propelled adventures in the outdoors as a guide and outdoor educator with work as a marketer, developing websites and online content. He has worked as a raft guide, taught rafting and white water kayaking for seven years, and has paddled recreationally all over Alberta, BC, western USA, Educador and Peru.
During the winter, you can find Scott ski patrolling at Mount Washington and teaching avalanche courses. Scott is also a member of Campbell River and Comox Valley Search and Rescue where he is on the Swiftwater, Rope, Mountain, Avalanche and Hoist team.
Scott had been guiding whitewater trips since 1999, both in Canada and internationally. He currently works year-round in the wilderness of Northern Ontario, paddling in the summer and ice travelling in the winter, for a therapeutic program helping teenagers overcome addictions and mental health concerns.
He is also a ground-based search and rescue volunteer, and trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. His calm demeanour and reassuring smile help students feel comfortable pushing their limits.
Since 1999, Steve has worked in the outdoor industry as a guide, instructor, photographer, avalanche forecaster, and ski patroller. During this time, he has guided on the arctic ice floe, in the most remote fjords of Greenland, and amongst the giant ice of Antarctica. Closer to home, Steve captained of the Islander X, a 40 passenger vessel that sails the waters of Georgian Bay.
Steve is a recognized name in outdoor and rescue instruction, including technical rescue, outdoor leadership, and wilderness medicine. More recently, Steve was the Technical Rescue Captain for a Volunteer Fire service in Ontario and Rescue Team Leader on the Ice Rescue, Rope Rescue, Marine Rescue and Airboat teams.
Presently, Steve is full time as a fire fighter for the City of Ottawa, and an active Instructor for Raven Rescue Safety and Medical in the Rope, Water, Boat, Ice and Medical fields.
By combining his backgrounds in aviation, avalanche hazard forecasting, incident command, adventure leadership, and risk management, Steve brings a unique perspective and insight to courses he teaches. Coupled with an endless sense of fun, Steve is known for professional program delivery, with engaging and informative presentations.
Thyren studied Adventure Tourism at West Coast Adventure College. Thyren has a wealth of outdoor experience, including sailing instructor and whale watching operator in the Southern Gulf Islands – he also owns and operates Aqua Brava kayak instruction. Thyren is a firefighter with the North Cowichan South End Hall, provides expert support for Cowichan SAR with swiftwater incidents, and was previously a crew member of the Royal Canadian Marine SAR.
He has taught technical rescue in Chile, and has headed to Indonesia and the United Sates to teach disaster response safety through the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Thyren is a Wilderness First Responder, and teaches swiftwater and motorized boat.
Tim has an outdoor resume longer than your arm and teaches swiftwater, boat handling and ice rescue. He is an experienced backcountry guide, and leads mountaineering, hiking, canoeing and kayaking expeditions in many remote regions of Canada and around the world. Tim is a search manager for Lakehead Search and Rescue Unit and a Captain for the Lappe Volunteer Fire Department. He is a gifted and natural teacher and always gets huge kudos for showing clients how safety and rescue skills relate to their specific job responsibilities.
Todd is a Captain with Canmore Fire Rescue, and one of Raven Rescue’s premier rope instructors. His expertise will provide you with an in-depth perspective on technical systems. His passion for excellence, and for communicating that excellence, makes Todd’s courses exceptional.
Travis has been professionally teaching and guiding a wide variety of outdoor skills for over 10 years. He has led a number of river expeditions across Northern Canada, he is a certified paddling instructor, avalanche safety instructor, ski/snowboard instructor and instructor for the Canadian Safety Council. He is a Raven Medical instructor, and an instructor trainer for Raven Rescue’s swiftwater, jetboat, and ice programs. Travis is a dynamic and experienced instructor and we are proud to have him as part of our team.
With a background in river rafting and kayaking, Tyler has led trips throughout Western Canada and Internationally. Tyler has years of experience teaching guide school, and is a BCROA licensing examiner. When off the water, Tyler works as a Primary Care Paramedic for BC Ambulance.
We’re proud to have Tyler on the Raven team.