Swiftwater Rescue Technician



Swiftwater Rescue Technician is a comprehensive course that prepares personnel to enter moving water to perform “go” rescues. It emphasizes identifying risks, self rescue, and the various options for rescuing others, as well as the decision-making process required to choose the most appropriate rescue approach.

This course meets and exceeds NFPA 1006 and 2500 Swiftwater requirements.

Swiftwater Rescue Technician Details


3 days (24 hours)


1 day classroom, 2 days on the river


Minimum 10. Maximum 12.

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


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

*Rental options available

Takeaways & Documentation
  • Rescue 3’s River Rescue field guide
  • Personalized skill sheet signed by the instructor
  • Registration of training record in Rescue 3’s international database
  • Certificate of completion

SRT Course Content


  • Rescue 3’s philosophy of rescue
  • Pre-planning for swiftwater rescues
  • Incident size-up and risk management
  • Incident Management and swiftwater ICS
  • Swiftwater hydrology and hazards
  • Introduction to vehicles in swiftwater
  • Helicopter rescue considerations
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Medical and decontamination considerations
  • Introduction to ropes, knots and gear
  • Drylands rope work including anchor basics and mechanical advantage
  • A review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Basic river signals
  • Swiftwater swimming techniques
  • Self rescue techniques
  • Shore based rescue techniques – throw bagging and reach rescue
  • Shallow water crossing and wading techniques
  • Use of quick release swiftwater harness
  • Strainer entrapment exercise
  • Hazard avoidance
  • Foot and body entrapment techniques
  • True rescue techniques (in water) including tethered and non tethered rescues
  • Horizontal swiftwater rope systems – tension diagonals, tethered boats
  • Scenario based training
  • Boat or board-based techniques including pins flips and rights (if used by agency)


We also offer this as a private course

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

Private Courses

Training Maintenance

This is an option to audit, or participate in a course for which you already hold a current certification – at no charge.

Take a look at our upcoming course schedule online and find a course location and time that works for you. Email or call us to sign up as an audit. Then, show up and take the course. It’s that simple.

Free audits do not extend your certification period in any way, but this is a great way to re-fresh your skills on a regular basis, in a safe, controlled environment with a qualified, insured instructor.

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.

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