Swiftwater Technician Course

June 15-18, 2024 (FULL 4-DAY CLASS)

Join us for this immersive experience in the beautiful north woods of Wisconsin!





Awareness/Operations Level Rescue – First Two Days

The first two days of the June course fulfills operations level requirements for swift water rescue.  Our main focus will be on shore-based and tethered boat rescues.  Students will familiarize themselves with the river and learn self-rescue techniques and defensive swimming.


Day OneThe day is spent in the classroom covering:

  • Essential knots and rigging, including basic highlines
  • How to read the river and assess hazards
  • Patient handling techniques
  • Water Rescue Incident Management
  • Throw bag techniques including vectoring lines
  • Up-stream spotters and down-stream safety back-ups
  • Use of floating hose lines
  • Whistle commands and hand signals for communications

Day TwoThe day is spent on the river for hands-on training:

  • Defensive and offensive survival swimming techniques
  • Wading drills & Low Water Crossing
  • Throw bag rescues
  • Utilizing the power of the current
  • Methods to avoid and confront “strainers”. (The number one killer of victims and rescuers who end up being swept down-stream)
  • Tethered boat rescues
  • Highline boat rescues & rigging systems

Our 16 hour class is NFPA compliant.
Lunch is provided on-site each day.
Lodging is available in either Iron Mountain, MI. or Norway MI.




Technician Level Swiftwater Rescue – Second Two Days

This physically demanding two-day class builds on the skills learned in the operations level class.

Completion of a 1000′ endurance swim is required. (Swim will be completed on the evening before class, unless previously arranged with Pioneer Rescue)

  • Each morning starts with offensive and defensive swims
  • Throw bag drills
  • Diagonal high-lines
  • Ropes rigging
  • Snow fence drills, for single and multiple victims
  • Tethered rescue swimmer “GO” rescues
  • Zip-line patient transfers

A practical skills test completes the 16 hour class at the end of the second day.

Students are required to supply their own PPE. (see below for a gear list)

Pre-requisite: NFPA Operations level certification

Lunch is provided on-site each day.
Lodging is available in either Iron Mountain, MI. or Norway MI.



Each student is required to bring along the following list of PPE

  • Technical Rescue style helmet. No bunker helmets allowed.
  • Vest-style Personal Flotation Device with crotch straps.  We recommend a swift water vest with chest panel and pockets
  • Shoes or boots with soles and ankle protection
  • Whistle
  • Throw bag with floating water rescue rope. 50′-70′
  • Wet suit or dry suit
  • Trauma shears or swift water knife (optional)



Cost Per Student (for all four days): $800.00


All required equipment is available for purchase prior to the class.