Whitewater Courses

Whitewater Rescue Training

Boreal River Rescue delivers the best rescue training courses for river guides, paddling instructors, whitewater boaters, field workers, and rescue professionals.

Our programs are intensive, hands-on, and well run.  The curriculum is constantly updated to stay relevant and useful.  Courses include a combination of skill practice, rescue simulations, discussions, and practical reviews.

Boreal Rescue instructors have been setting the standard in river rescue training internationally for over a decade.  We have experience performing rescues and teaching whitewater skills in a range of river environments, from instructing paddlers on wilderness river trips, to teaching firefighters in urban flood-canals, to training raft guides on jungle rivers.   Our instructors are highly experienced, professional, and fun.

Register for a Course

Pick the course that’s right for you, then choose a date and location from the list of ‘upcoming courses’ that is found on each course page and follow the registration instructions for your specific program.

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[tab title="Whitewater Rescue - 2 Days"]WHITEWATER RESCUE (WWR) – 2 DAYS

The Whitewater Rescue (WWR) course covers the basics of safety and rescue for those who paddle, work, and travel in rivers. This is a full, thorough, and fun two days of hands-on training.

Increase your understanding of the river environment in order to identify and avoid hazards and work with the water to perform efficient and effective rescues. Use swimming, wading, and throw ropes to move around the river and to rescue yourself and others. Get a basis in knots, anchors, and rope systems for use in equipment recovery and transportation systems. This course provides a foundation of rescue skills and knowledge so that you can work and play safely around whitewater.

Graduates of White Water Rescue (WWR) can upgrade to Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) by taking the two-day WRT-Bridge course within three years of their original certification.

Prerequisites
Students must be 16 years of age to participate in this course. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent..

What’s Included?
• Certification in White Water Rescue (WWR)
• Waterproof fold-out guide

Topics Covered
• General concepts of river rescue
• Personal and group equipment
• River safety and scene management
• River signals and communications
• River features and hydrology
• Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater maneuvers
• Throw ropes
• Contact rescues
• Introduction to quick release rescue harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
• Rescue of panicked subjects
• Shallow water crossings
• Foot entrapment
• Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
• Boat pins and wraps
• ‘Strainers’
• Rescue scenarios[/tab]
[tab title="Whitewater Rescue Tech - 4 Days"]WHITEWATER RESCUE TECHNICIAN (WRT) – 4 DAYS

Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) is the international standard for river guides, whitewater instructors, independent boaters, and rescue technicians. The course takes place over four full days on and around the river.

Increase your understanding of the river environment in order to identify and avoid hazards and work with the water to perform efficient and effective rescues. After learning techniques for swimming, wading, throwing ropes, and rescuing people in relatively easy rapids, you will refine and gain expertise with these skills in a variety of bigger rapids and more complex situations.

The second half of the course involves simulations where you will practice your whitewater rescue skills along with leadership, communication, and problem solving. The final day includes a practical assessment.

Prerequisites
Students must be 16 years of age to participate in this course. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent. Swimming ability is necessary.

What’s Included?
- Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification
- Waterproof fold-out guide
- Practical Assessment Record Sheet
- Whitewater Rescue Technician sticker

Topics Covered
- General concepts in river rescue
- Personal and group equipment
- River safety and scene management
- River signals and communications
- River features and hydrology
- Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater maneuvers
- Throw ropes
- Quick release safety harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
- Rescue of panicked subjects
- Shallow water crossings
- Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
- Advanced anchors and compound mechanical advantage systems
- Boat pins and wraps
- ‘Strainers’
- Advanced foot and body entrapment
- Advanced Rescue scenarios
- Supervised swim in a hole and hole rescue[/tab]

[tab title="WRT – BRIDGE - 2 DAYS"]WHITEWATER RESCUE TECHNICIAN – BRIDGE (WRT-BRIDGE) – 2 DAYS

The Whitewater Rescue Technician-Bridge (WRT-Bridge) course is for those with current Whitewater Rescue (WWR) certification or equivalent who would like to upgrade their skills to the Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) level, the international standard for river guides, whitewater instructors, independent boaters, and rescue technicians.

The WRT-Bridge includes a pre-course practical and written assignment to refresh your skills and knowledge so that when you arrive you are ready to pick up where you left off from your previous training.

Get practice with your existing skills, learn about new techniques, and gain experience as a rescuer in a variety of bigger rapids and more complex situations. The course involves simulations where you will perform rescues and practice leadership, communication, and problem solving. As well, the final day includes a practical evaluation.

Prerequisites
• Current Whitewater Rescue (WWR) certification from Boreal River Rescue or equivalent certification of 16 hours or greater from another approved provider such as Rescue Canada, the American Canoe Association, or Rescue 3 International.
• Students must be 16 years of age to participate in this course. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent.
• Swimming ability is necessary.

What’s Included?
• Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification
• Waterproof fold-out guide
• Practical Assessment Record Sheet
• Whitewater Rescue Technician sticker

Topics Covered
• General concepts in river rescue
• Personal and group equipment
• River safety and scene management
• River signals and communications
• River features and hydrology
• Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater maneuvers
• Throw ropes
• Quick release safety harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
• Rescue of panicked subjects
• Shallow water crossings
• Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
• Advanced anchors and compound mechanical advantage systems
• Boat pins and wraps
• ‘Strainers’
• Advanced foot and body entrapment
• Advanced Rescue scenarios
• Supervised swim in a hole and hole rescue[/tab]

[tab title="WRT RE-CERT – 2 DAYS"]WHITEWATER RESCUE TECHNICIAN RECERTIFICATION (WRT-RECERT) – 2 DAYS

The Whitewater Rescue Technician-Recertification (WRT-Recert) course is for those with a current Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) or equivalent certification. The WRT-Recert includes a pre-course practical and written assignment that will help you refresh your skills and knowledge. This way when you arrive for your course you will be ready to go straight to using and improving your existing skills on the river.

Most of the recertification course is taught through practical drills and simulations. You will also get updated on new ideas and techniques in the field of whitewater rescue. The final day includes a practical assessment.

Prerequisites
• Current Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification from Boreal River Rescue or equivalent certification of 24 hours or greater from another approved provider such as Swiftwater Rescue Technician – Level 1 (SRT-1) from Rescue Canada, the American Canoe Association, or Rescue 3 International.
• Students must be 16 years of age to participate in this course. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent.
• Swimming ability is necessary.

What’s Included?
• Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification
• Waterproof fold-out guide
• Practical Assessment Record Sheet
• Whitewater Rescue Technician sticker

Topics Covered
• General concepts in river rescue
• Personal and group equipment
• River safety and scene management
• River signals and communications
• River features and hydrology
• Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater maneuvers
• Throw ropes
• Quick release safety harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
• Rescue of panicked subjects
• Shallow water crossings
• Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
• Advanced anchors and compound mechanical advantage systems
• Boat pins and wraps
• ‘Strainers’
• Advanced foot and body entrapment
• Advanced Rescue scenarios
• Supervised swim in a hole and hole rescue[/tab]
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