Swiftwater Rescue

Swiftwater Rescue Training (SRT) & Rescue 3 programs began in 1979 and were developed by active professionals – search and rescue, paramedics, scuba instructors, lifeguards, white water outfitters, police and fire fighters, with among them over 100 years of cumulative experience in white water rafting in Colorado.

Combining the most applicable techniques of many rescue disciplines, SRT covers many ways to affect river and flood rescues.  The primary objective, however, remains to assure the safety of the rescuers themselves – since so many injuries and deaths during river rescues have been due to the well-intentioned rescuers.

Instructors teach and participate in many seminars and conferences, and learn from their students as well, keeping the program at the state-of-the-art.  By working in the field of rescue, traveling and seeing new ideas, RESCUE 3 continues to make their courses the most up to date and state of the art curriculum available. Dvorak Expeditions was selected in 2003 as the Colorado Regional Training Center for Rescue 3

Print PDF schedule: Swift water Rescue & Technical Ropes Course Schedule

Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT)  |  Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT)

The National Certification and the standard for river and flood rescue – These are the most widely taught courses of its kind. Originally certified by the United States Lifesaving Association, the SRT course meets the requirements of the NFPA 1670 Standard and is recognized by many other groups. SRT and WRT is not a clinic or a workshop.  It is a comprehensive course of specific behavioral objectives, with practical and written tests prior to certification.  In the current climate of liability and risk SRT and WRT provides a standard that has been achieved by some 90,000 people from numerous organizations throughout the U.S.A. since 1979. The program is also taught regularly in over 13 other countries. The class is mostly field skills with minimum classroom time.  The prerequisites are that the students be in reasonable physical condition and have basic strong swimming abilities and have current medical coverage.

Rescue 3 courses

Rescue 3 courses have been enthusiastically received by state offices of emergency services, state fire marshal’s, America Outdoors, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the New Mexico Outfitters Association, the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada, and many other agencies worldwide. Swift water and Ropecourses are offered by Bill Dvorak Expeditions.  Local agencies, rescuers, guides and interested recreationalists will have opportunities to take the national certification Rescue 3 program at several locations in Colorado and New Mexico. Qualified courses can be re-certified within 3 years. 

SRT & WRT

An intensive 3 day, 30 hour class, the SRT and WRT program includes an in-depth look at such subjects as swift water dynamics and hydrology,  boat-based rescues, technical rescue system, in-white water contact rescues, rescue organization and scene management, technical gear and rope systems, flood rescue problems, low head dam rescues, and much more. WRT is designed specifically for people who DO NOT require (NFPA) Standards.   It covers the same skills as the (SRT), but puts an emphasis on achieving those skills with a minimum of personnel and equipment. NOTE: It is the first of two classes needed for fire personnel wanting to meet the requirements of (NFPA) 1670 Standard for water at the technician level.

River Rescue SRR

This newly developed certification course is approximately 18-20 total hours of training that are taught in the river environment. Short lectures will be followed with immediate application in the water. The class is held over a minimum of two days with case study homework in the evenings

PRO-QUALIFICATION WATER

This program is 20 hours in length, includes all of the above, and covers such subjects as advanced technical rescue, helicopter management and a major mock rescue, usually at night. The class is arduous and fatiguing, and all subjects are taught regardless of  weather.  Participants should be in reasonable physical condition, though strong swimming ability is not required. This course is a pre-requisite for the instructors course.

SRT Advanced

This is the second of the two courses needed by fire personnel to complete the requirements for the NFPA 1670 Standard in water for the technician level.  It integrates techniques learned in SRT1, as well as advanced river/flood situations and high angle rope techniques.  It is taught in either a three-days.  The pre-requisite is either an (SRT 1) or (WRT) class.

SWIFT WATER COURSES: River Rescue 2 Day
Duration: 2 days
Skill Level: Advanced

The River Rescue Certification 2 day course:

Approximately 18-20 total hours of training that are taught in the river enviornment. Short lectures will be follwed with immediate application in the water. The class is held over a minimum of two days with case study homework in the evenings.

Certification Rescue 3 International Expires 3 years

Duration: 2 days

From $225 per person | Activity level: HARD

Rescue Course swim
SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSE: Pro Qualification Ropes
PRO-QUALIFICATION: This program is 20 hours in length, includes all of the above, and covers such subjects as: advanced technical rescue, helicopter management and a major mock rescue, usually at night. The class is arduous and fatiguing, and all subjects are taught regardless of weather. Participants should be in “reasonable” physical condition, though strong swimming ability is not required. This course is a pre-requisite for the instructors course.

Duration: 2 days

From $320 per person | Activity level: EXPERT

Rescue Course Saftey
SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSE: SRT Advanced
Duration: 3 days
Skill Level: Intermediate

SRT Advanced (Prerequisite of SRT Unit 1 from Rescue 3)

This is the second of the two courses needed by fire personnel to complete the requirements for the NFPA 1670 Standard in water for the technician level. It integrates techniques learned in SRT 1, as well as advanced river/flood situations and high angle rope techniques. It is taught in either a three-days. The pre-requisite is either an (SRT 1) or (WRT) class.

Location: ARKANSAS RIVER @ NATHROP BUT, SOMETIMES HELD IN FT. COLLINS, ALMONT, OR GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO.

Duration: 3 days

From $425 per person | Activity level: MEDIUM

Rescue Course down river
SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSE - SRT Unit 1
Duration: 3 days
Skill Level: Expert

The Swiftwater Rescue Technician Unit 1 (SRT1) course is approximately 24 to 30 total hours with 8 hours of classroom and 16 to 22 hours in the field. It is suggested that the class be held over 3 days, but it can be adjusted to fit shift and other schedules.

To fully complete all the requirements of the NFPA 1670 Standard for water and rope at the technician level, each student, in addition to the SRT1, must complete the Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA) and have a rope course that meets that standard’s requirements. The rope training can be taught either by Rescue 3 (our Technical Rope Rescue: Technician Level course), by another recognized rope-training course from your state, or by departmental training. To meet the conditions for water technician, the rope requirements must also be met.

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 swift water 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 swift-water rescue team organization and the response of the victim.
11. Be able to utilize climbing and technical rescue gear applicable to swift-water 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.

The class is mostly field skills with minimum classroom time. Prerequisites are the students be in reasonable physical conditions, have basic strong swimming abilities and have current medical coverage.

SRT has been enthusiastically received by state offices of emergency services, state fire marshals, the America Outdoors, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the New Mexico Outfitters Association, the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada, and many others.

Classes are sometimes held in Ft. Collins, Almont, or Glenwood Springs, CO.

Duration: 3 days

From $425 per person | Activity level: EXPERT

In River Rescue Course
SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSE - WHITEWATER WRT
Duration: 3 days
Skill Level: Advanced

RESCUE 3 INTERNATIONAL WHITEWATER RESCUE TECHNICIAN COURSE OBJECTIVES Three-Day Format This course is approximately 24-30 hours total with 8-10 hours of classroom and approximately 16-20 hours in the field. It is suggested that the class be held over 3 days, but it can be adjusted to fit shift and other schedules.
General Objectives

1. To develop a sense of confidence and necessary skills for river professionals in dealing with whitewater rescue 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 whitewater rescue situations.

Behavioral Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will:

1. Have a sound working knowledge of whitewater river dynamics and water-related physiology.

2. Be able to recognize and treat the signs and symptoms of significant medical problems related to water accidents.

3. Have a working knowledge of all equipment used including: climbing gear, lights, boats, signaling devices, specialized gear and vehicles.

4. Be able to function with helicopters as a rescue asset and understand their characteristics, capabilities, and limitations; and be safety conscious while working around helicopters.

5. Be able to rescue and extricate an accident victim from the water.

6. Be able to safely swim 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 by tether.

8. Have a working knowledge of applicable communications systems.

9. Have knowledge of 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.

Classes are sometimes held in other locations each season: Ft. Collins, Almont, or Glenwood Springs, CO

Duration: 3 days

From $345 per person | Activity level: HARD

Rescue Course close up
SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSE: Whitewater WRT Advanced
This is the second of the two courses needed by fire personnel to complete the requirements for the NFPA 1670 Standard in water for the technician level. It integrates techniques learned in SRT 1, as well as advanced river/flood situations and high angle rope techniques. It is taught in either a three-days. The pre-requisite is either an (SRT 1) or (WRT) class.

Duration: 3 days

From $425 per person | Activity level: HARD

Rescue Course above river
SWIFT WATER RESCUE COURSE: Pro Qualification Water
PRO-QUALIFICATION: This program is 20 hours in length, includes all of the above, and covers such subjects as: advanced technical rescue, helicopter management and a major mock rescue, usually at night. The class is arduous and fatiguing, and all subjects are taught regardless of weather. Participants should be in “reasonable” physical condition, though strong swimming ability is not required. This course is a pre-requisite for the instructors course.

Duration: 2 days

From $400 per person | Activity level: EXPERT

Rescue Course rope
Swiftwater Rescue Courses: Instructors Water & Rope 5 Day
3 days . Arkansas River . Instruction

The Swiftwater Rescue Technician Unit 1 (SRT1) course is approximately 24 to 30 total hours with 8 hours of classroom and 16 to 22 hours in the field. It is suggested that the class be held over 3 days, but it can be adjusted to fit shift and other schedules.

To fully complete all the requirements of the NFPA 1670 Standard for water and rope at the technician level, each student, in addition to the SRT1, must complete the Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA) and have a rope course that meets that standard’s requirements. The rope training can be taught either by Rescue 3 (our Technical Rope Rescue: Technician Level course), by another recognized rope-training course from your state, or by departmental training. To meet the conditions for water technician, the rope requirements must also be met.

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 swift water 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 swift-water rescue team organization and the response of the victim.
11. Be able to utilize climbing and technical rescue gear applicable to swift-water 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.

The class is mostly field skills with minimum classroom time. Prerequisites are the students be in reasonable physical conditions, have basic strong swimming abilities and have current medical coverage.

SRT has been enthusiastically received by state offices of emergency services, state fire marshals, the America Outdoors, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the New Mexico Outfitters Association, the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada, and many others.

Classes are sometimes held in Ft. Collins, Almont, or Glenwood Springs, CO.

Duration: 3 days

From $730 per person | Activity level: EXPERT

Rescue Course rope

Print PDF schedule: Swift water Rescue & Technical Ropes Course Schedule

DVK offers intensive 1 to 5 day rescue skill building courses in Swiftwater Rescue (SRT) and Whitewater Rescue (WRT), River Rescue (SRR) Technical Rope Rescue (TRR) which include in depth training in a variety of subjects including:

  • Swiftwater dynamics hydrology
  • Boat-based rescue
  • Technical rescue systems
  • In-water contact rescues
  • Rescue organization
  • Scene management
  • Technical gear
  • Rope systems
  • Flood rescue problems
  • Low-head dam rescues

Basic equipment required for each course may includes a full wet suit or dry suit, Type III or V personal flotation device, light climbing or kayaking helmet and personal safety items you presently use.

These Nationally certified ‘Rescue 3’ courses are the standard for river and flood rescue. They stress skill building in the field (water) with minimum classroom time. Students should be in reasonable physical condition, though strong swimming ability is not required. Certification: “Rescue 3 Inc.”. Note: If desired, you can complete next level courses simultaneous when possible. Programs also meet requirements of the NFPA 1670 standards. Find out more about our Ice Rescue Technician Courses and Technical Rope Rescue Courses.

North America: 800 824-3795 or Worldwide: 719 539-6851