A student holds onto a patient in the river during a rescue simulation on a river rescue training cours.
An instructor teaches students how to set up a mechanical advantage system on a river rescue course.
An instructor simulates a foot entrapment in a creek while students attempt to stabilize him with ropes on a swiftwater river rescue course.

3-Day WRT Certification



3 Days April - Sept
  • all ages icon

    Requirements: No rescue experience required; must be a competent swimmer

  • beginner rapid class icon

    Certification: WRT certification through Rescue3 International

3-Day River Rescue Training for Agency Personnel

Who the class is ideal for: DWR, Fish and Game personnel, environmental consultants, fisheries biologists, and other professionals who work around streams and rivers will find this course perfect for their needs. Fire and SAR personnel should take the NFPA-compliant Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT-1). Professional river guides and kayak instructors should consider the River Rescue Pro (RRC-Pro). Private rafters and kayakers should take the 2-day River Rescue Course (RRC).

This fast-paced course emphasizes on-river scenarios to help students develop the ability to choose appropriate actions when a river rescue becomes necessary. Taught by paddlers who spend a good portion of their lives on whitewater in a professional capacity, this course will focus on quick, efficient, low-tech techniques for rescue that utilize the basic gear that you are likely to carry with you on the river in your boat.

Typical topics for the course include:

  • Rescue gear and preparation
  • Rescue organization
  • Practice with rescue ropes
  • Whitewater swimming
  • Strong swimmer rescues
  • Shallow water diving and wading
  • Victim stabilization
  • Boat retrieval
  • Ropes systems
  • Mechanical advantage systems
  • Strainer management

What Makes the WRT Different

River rescue skills for people working around rivers: The Whitewater Rescue Technician class is designed primarily for folks who spend time around rivers as part of their jobs (environmental consultants, fisheries personnel, etc.) but are not SAR professionals. Time is spent discussing topics that are pertinent in a professional capacity, such as liability concerns, pre-rescue incident organization, and industry standards.

A mixture of classroom and practical river scenarios: The WRT mixes classroom and river time to present the most well-rounded training possible. We’ll spend about half of the course in the classroom discussing the fundamentals of river rescue, especially pertaining to people working around the river, and half of the course out on the river practicing rescue skills.

Dates & Pricing

2024 WRT Dates:

  • April 24-26
  • May 29-31

2024 WRT Cost: $405 for certification by Rescue 3. Lunch is not included, but feel free to bring your own. The Wet Planet Café has an assortment of delicious hot and cold sandwiches and other tasty offerings available for purchase.

Requirements: good physical condition and the ability to swim

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Three students on a river rescue WRT course practice shallow water wading by physically supporting each other in the current.

“Recently took the swift water rescue course here. very well done! Johnathan Blum did an excellent class teaching the material.”

- Matt M. from Beaverton, OR
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