Swiftwater Surface Rescue Operations

Swiftwater Surface Rescue Operation and Technician 1

*      Scene Assessment
*      Accidental Immersion Procedures
*      Operational Rope, Sash and Hose Rescue Techniques

Two and a half day program for swiftwater rescuers

The Lure of Excitement and Adventure Falls Short and Disaster Occurs

The incredible force of unleashed moving water is one of the most awesome factors in our lives. Even those who understand it, view it in awe. Moving water seems to beckon to the human race, come play with me. The brave at heart, yet often naive in skill, are all too quick to respond to her call of promised adventure. White water and flood waters move so fast, with such an incredible force, that even well trained and capable adventurers need to constantly think, move quickly and powerfully, or they too may find that their adventure may not turn out as planned, but rather, may end in disastrous fashion.

When the lure of excitement and adventure falls short and disaster occurs, public safety response teams around the world are forced to act. Trained and untrained public safety teams are suddenly requested, and often even required to lend assistance, to hopefully rescue the misbegotten adventurers, while keeping themselves out of harms way at the same time.

Where do you even begin with moving water rescue? Words like force, power and energy all become part of rescuers’ instant vocabulary. What do these terms mean, how do they relate to the moment in the procedure and planing of the rescue?

Before we can begin teaching a team how to set up and plan for a moving water rescue, they need to understand what moving water is and how it relates to the overall rescue and the victim. Only then, can they begin to understand where our catch points are to be, and how far apart they must be.

Walt Butch Hendrick

President Lifeguard Systems, Inc.

Jumping in and riding the swiftwater is not what swiftwater rescue is all about. Sure that can be a fun thrill, and it is an important contingency skill to learn for accidental immersion, but swiftwater rescue involves operational rope, sash and perhaps hose work and technician low angle rigged platform-based rescue. This course leads students to this latter, complex technician platform-based rescue, swiftwater which is covered in swiftwater level II program.

Day One (typically an evening) – 4 hours classroom

Day Two – 4 hours land site and 4 hours water site

Day Three – 6 hours water site, 2 hours classroom including exam

Maximum number of students: 25

Required Equipment: helmets, Class IV PFDs (preferably whitewater PFDs), wet or drysuit, appropriate gloves.

Is Your Team Fully Ready to Perform a Safe, Rapid Swiftwater Rescue?

Whitewater sports, floods, and accidents are on the rise, putting fire, police and EMS at possibly more risk than any other type of rescue. One mistake can lead to multiple rescuer fatalities in a matter of seconds. Can your team confidently and rapidly:

*      read the water to plan staging locations to avoid missing the victims?
*      plant spotters with throw bags and set up low angle rigging to deploy a vessel?
*      establish victim positive buoyancy and use sash weights?
*      set up contingency operations for rescuers and the original victims?
*      properly handle patients to prevent further injury & increase survival chances

If your location has swiftwater or the potential for flooding this course is a must! You will learn how to perform safe and effective rescues from the time of the call till the patient arrives at the hospital. This is a course you cannot afford to miss!

Thurs/Friday 1800-2200 hrs: Lecture & Land Drills

What does swiftwater really mean? – debrief audiovisuals of actual incidents ?  How to calculate water speed in ft./min. to plan where to stage the operation ? Water Hydrodynamics Awareness, Operation and Technician jobs ? Minimum Necessary Equipment & Personnel

Saturday 0800-1830 hrs: Land drills, Lecture, In-water drills

*      Swiftwater Throw Rope & Tag Line Procedures;  Rapid Knot Tying ;  Establishing Victim Positive Buoyancy ; Victim Entrapment Sash Weight Procedures ;  Swimming Skills;   Low Angle Rigging Basics

Sunday 0800-1700 hrs: Staging and Water drills, Written Examination

*      In-water Swiftwater Self-Rescue Skills – Ferrying, Swimming, Catching Lines;  Rapid Planning & Staging; Rapid Deployment of Positive Buoyancy and Sash Weights for Entrapped Victims ; Low Angle Rigging Vessel Deployment ; Rescue of a Moving Victim ; Patient Handling ; Written Examination

Certification:  Swiftwater Surface Rescue I  students at completion of course will get Wall Certificate and Decal.  Additional photo ID/Certification card from ACUC (whitewater certification),  can be purchased for $25.

Course Costs: $3,300, plus $10 per student for workbook (this fee can be waived if hosts want to print the book themselves) and two hotel rooms for two nights (which are typically donated by hotel) Staff travel expenses may need to be added to the course fee depending on the course location. Ask about optional $25 c-card.

Suggested Retail Cost per student: Host should charge and collect  at least $195 per student. If 14 students are outsiders then the Host brings in $2730 and basically gets 11 of their own members trained for only $570.

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