Surface Ice Field Safety



This 2-day Surface Ice Field Safety course is designed specifically for personnel who venture onto surfaces ice such as lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, or rivers that are completely frozen over to perform work.

Field personnel performing work on frozen surfaces face unique challenges. Some of the complexities include the need to identify hazards, working in small teams, and limited access to rescue resources.

Participants will develop their ability to determine ice strength, in part by learning about ice formation. Ice testing procedures will be practiced. Hazard identification skills will be sharpened, and personnel will learn to perform self-rescues and rescues of co-workers.  Participants will be familiarized with Raven’s Ice Safety Plan, a document which satisfies provincial requirements for documented pre-planning.

This course also includes an overview of knowledge necessary for responding to incidents on surface ice over moving water, but for those who can expect a high frequency of callouts on large volume rivers with open leads, we suggest adding our Advanced single day to this two-day IRT course.

Surface Ice Field Safety Course Details


2 days


1 day classroom, 1 day on the ice


Minimum 10. Maximum 12.

  • 18+ years of age
  • Basic swimming ability
  • In good physical condition



Repeat the entire course at a 15% discount every three years

Annual Training Maintenance

Click here to read about the options available for annual guided practice

Required Equipment
  • Drysuit, survival suit, or thick (5mm+) wetsuit*
  • Personal Flotation Device (Type III or V)*
  • Water-sport helmet*

*Rental equipment available


Click here for more details on what to expect and how to prepare

Surface Ice Field Safety Course Details


  • Rescue Philosophy
  • Training Standards
  • Risk Management and Rescuer Safety
  • Ice Properties, Formation, Types
  • Ice Hazards
  • Basic Swiftwater Hydrology
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Technical and Team Equipment
  • Management and Preplanning
  • Incident Management and Site Control
  • Medical Considerations
  • Knots, hitches and special rope considerations
  • Anchorage Options and Techniques

On Ice

  • Tensioning Systems and Mechanical Advantage
  • Ice Testing Procedures
  • Walking On Ice
  • Self Rescue Techniques
  • Conditional Rescues
  • Contact (True) Rescues
  • Co-worker Rescues (Single Rescuer Techniques)
  • Rope-assisted Self Rescue/Belay Techniques
  • Rescue Scenario

Takeaways & Documentation

  • Surface Ice Safety & Rescue Field Guide
  • Raven’s Ice Safety Plan
  • Personalized skill sheet signed by the instructor
  • Registration in Rescue 3 International’s database
  • Certificate of completion

We only offer this as a private course

Our private training courses ensure personalized hands-on training through human-based scenarios

Private Courses

Training Maintenance

If you have a group that would like to review their training together, the training maintenance program may be right for you.

Your group pays the instructor’s daily teaching fee and travel costs associated with bringing the instructor to your training location, along with an annual fee to be part of the maintenance program. This is generally a pretty reasonable approach for training departments because:

  • it allows us to deliver the training in small chunks every year, rather than in one big chunk every three years
  • it gives department members more annual hands-on time with their skills
  • new members can integrate into maintenance programs by jumping on an open course from our public schedule

We track your members, and their status on course content completion within a three year cycle, which mirrors a traditional three year recertification cycle.  It’s an excellent value for the cost, and allows you to review your skills in your own backyard.

The training maintenance program replaces the need to recertifiy your training on a traditional three year recertification cycle.

Sorry – there’s no individual audit program available for this course.

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