Swiftwater Rescue Technician – SRT1



Multi Day


Ages 18+




Swiftwater Rescue Training

Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT1) training is designed to help prepare you for emergency situations that occur in moving water. It is a 3-day intensive, hands-on course that includes classroom time and on-water scenarios. The class is taught by certified Rescue 3 international instructors.

Students gain knowledge in hydrology and river classifications, size-up, site control, and scene management. Practical skills include self-rescue, swiftwater swimming, and the fundamentals of shore, boat, and in-water rescues. Additionally, students are introduced to the basics of boat handling and the fundamentals of rope rescue including mechanical advantage and anchor systems.

Course Objectives

General Objectives

  1. To develop a sense of confidence and necessary skills for fire and rescue personnel in dealing with swiftwater situations.
  2. To train the student in utilization and adaptation of standard rescue gear in swiftwater situations.
  3. To train the student in usage of innovative rescue equipment in swiftwater situations.

Behavioral Objectives
Upon completion of this course the student will:

  1. Have a sound working knowledge of swiftwater dynamics and water-related physiology.
  2. Be able to recognize and treat the signs and symptoms of specific medical problems related to water accidents.
  3. Have a working knowledge of all equipment used including: safety gear, climbing gear, lights, boats, signaling devices, specialized gear and vehicles.
  4. Be able to utilize helicopters as a rescue asset; understand their characteristics, capabilities, and limitations; including safety considerations while working around helicopters.
  5. Be able to rescue and extricate an accident victim from the water.
  6. Be able to safely swim in swiftwater and maneuver so as to negotiate river hazards and obstacles at various water levels.
  7. Be able to handle small inflatable boats by paddle, oar and on tether.
  8. Have a general knowledge of applicable communications systems.
  9. Have knowledge of law-enforcement responsibilities and on-scene leadership.
  10. Understand swiftwater rescue team organization and the response of the victim.
  11. Be able to utilize climbing and technical rescue gear applicable to swiftwater rescue.
  12. Be able to ford shallow and fast-moving water utilizing various techniques.
  13. Be able to cross deep, slow-moving and fast-moving water utilizing basic climbing gear, small boats, and combinations of the two.


All participants should be confident swimmers and be prepared to participate in indoor and outdoor classroom activities. A willingness to learn and endure arduous circumstances, long hours, and fatigue will all contribute to a student’s success. If a student feels uncomfortable about participating in any activity and simply wishes to observe s/he should advise the instructor of this decision. Rescue 3 recognizes caution as the first sign of a good rescuer.

Observation or participation of all activities, a co-signed skills check-off sheet, and a written test are required to receive the certificate of completion.

Required Equipment

Outdoor Adventure Center will provide all of the technical equipment needed for the course. At the start of the course, participants will receive a Course Manual, Skills Sheet, and whistle. Upon successful completion of required course components, participants will also receive an ID card to verify their training date and level.

Each participant must have/bring the following personal equipment on Day 1 of the class. Items marked with an *asterisk are available for rent or purchase from Outdoor Adventure Center prior to the start of class.

  • Full wetsuit or drysuit
  • Pair of river sneakers or wetsuit booties*
  • Climbing/kayaking helmet (it must be lightweight, drain water easily and cover the back of the head)*
  • U.S. Coast Guard rated Type III or V lifejacket or PFD*
  • River neoprene
  • Gloves*
  • Skull cap*
  • Notepad and pen/pencil
Ages 18+