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Great Lakes Technical Rescue

Course Information

Awareness: Water and Flood Awareness (AWR)

This 8 hour classroom seminar introduces personnel to the problems associated with water & rope rescue as well as the procedures to follow in flash flood, large-scale disaster, and seasonal flooding situations. The course is designed to develop knowledge in the areas of:

  • scene assessment & incident size up (of both existing & potential conditions)
  • resource ordering
  • activation procedures for rescue response
  • site control and scene management
  • hazard recognition & mitigation procedures

In order to accomplish the responsibilities of the awareness level responder, the course also provides students with a conceptual understanding of the principles, applications, and hazards associated with advanced water rescue techniques.

Standard: NFPA 1670 Awareness (Water & Rope) Prerequisites: None Equipment: None Tuition:$65

Basic Water First Responder (BWFR)

This 8-10 hour course is designed for response teams who work around lakes, ponds, or other non-flowing water. The class consists of 4 hours of classroom instruction and 4 hours of in-water practice. During the water portion students learn such things as:

  • basic rescue
  • self-rescue
  • shore-based aquatic rescue using generally accepted "reach &
  • throw" techniques
  • in-water self-rescue and safety techniques and the application of water rescue techniques using commonly available fire service equipment
  • basic water-related medical emergencies, and how to deal with them, including near-drowning, hypothermia, and cervical spine injuries
  • basic boat-based rescue concerns and techniques

Please note: While this class meets the NFPA requirements for the awareness level, it goes well beyond the scope of the awareness level by teaching leaching student's self-rescue and in-water rescue techniques. It is up to the Authority Having Jurisdiction to decide whether or not personnel may perform these skills during water incidents.

Standard: NFPA 1670 Awareness (Water & Rope) Prerequisites: Basic swimming ability Equipment: Water equipment Tuition:$195

Operations: Swiftwater First Responder (OPS)

This two day course is designed to provide students with both a theoretical and practical knowledge of the basics of swiftwater rescue. The class includes one day of classroom instruction and one day of practical field exercise. Students are trained in hazard recognition, equipment use, and basic shore and boat-based rescue techniques, as well as a wide variety of other skills. After completing this course, personnel will also be able to be in the support role for technician level rescuers in higher risk technical water rescues.

Standard: NFPA 1670 Operations (Water) Prerequisites: Basic swimming ability Equipment: Water equipment Tuition:$325 

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician (SRT)

This is our most popular course. The SRT1 course provides rescuers, over a three-day period with the fundamentals of survival in moving water and is recommended for anyone who may be called upon to effect in-water rescues. Students gain knowledge in hydrology and river classifications, size-up, site control and scene management.

Practical skills include self-rescue, swiftwater swimming and the fundamentals

of shore, boat and in-water rescues. Additionally students are introduced to the basics of boat handling and the fundamentals of rope rescue including mechanical advantage and anchor systems.

The SRT1 class also provides the rescuer the foundation to the NFPA Swiftwater Technician level. Swiftwater Technician level is a mandatory training level for inclusion on a Federal Emergency Management Agency Swiftwater/Flood Search and Rescue Team at all Team levels.

In some locations this course is offered as part of Rescue 3's University Program, earning students Higher Education credit. See below for University credit

Standard: NFPA 1670 Operations (Water) Prerequisites: Basic swimming ability Equipment: Water equipment Tuition$435

Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA)

This course integrates techniques learned in SRT1 and TRR:TL, taking the students beyond the emphasis on self-rescue to concentrate on victim rescue. Students are exposed to more complex water rescue situations including a mock night river rescue scenario. The three day course includes 4-6 hours of classroom instruction, followed by two and one-half days of hands-on skill development.

Students are introduced to the role and utilization of various skills in river and flood rescue, including

  • rope systems
  • management of litter & patient raising systems
  • highline systems
  • advanced river search concepts
  • performing rescues at night or in low visibility
  • and basic flood disaster management.

Completion of the SRT-A along with SRT-1 and TRR:TL satisfies the requirement outlined in NFPA 1670 Surface/Swiftwater Technician level. This qualified graduates to operate on a Swift Water/Flood search & Rescue team according to NFPA.

University level courses available at specific locations.

Standard: NFPA 1670 Technician (Water) Prerequisites: SRT! and TRR:TL (or other NFPA rope course) Equipment: Water and rope Tuition:$435

Technical Rope Rescue: Operations Level (TRR:OL)

This 3 day course provides students with the fundamentals of rope rescue in the low-angel environment. Students learn and practice skills preplanning and size-up of rope rescue operations, knots, anchor systems, belay operations, ascending and descending lines, mechanical advantage systems, patient packaging & litter attending. Students learn how to safely navigate low-angle or over-the-bank rescue situations and assist rescuers in high-angle environments.

Standard:NFPA 1670 Operations (Rope) Prerequisites:None Equipment: Rope Tuition:$450

Technical Rope Rescue: Technician Level (TRR:TL)

This course is five full days and is designed to take students from basic over-the-bank rescues to progressively more vertical scenarios. Students learn and practice such skills as preplanning, size-up and scene management, ascending and descending, belaying, mechanical advantage systems, lowering and raising systems, patient packaging and litter attending, tethers, and highlines.

Completion of the TRR:TL class satisfies the requirements in NFPA 1670 and also NFPA 1006 – Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications - Rope Rescue at Levels I and II. In addition, Technician level training is mandatory for inclusion on many Federal Emergency Management Agency Teams at different Team levels. University level courses available at specific locations.

Standard:NFPA 1670 Technician (Rope) Prerequisites:None Equipment: Rope Tuition:$725

University Credit

University of Central Lancashire

Foundation Degree Program in Technical Rescue Instruction

Rescue 3 International is a partner training organization of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Through this partnership a number of the Rescue 3 courses have been embedded into UCLan awards, including a Foundation Degree in Technical Rescue Instruction, allowing students to earn Higher Education Credits's (HE) along with their Rescue 3 certification.

Program Overview

The program is a hybrid of UCLan's online learning delivered in concert with selected field courses instructed through Rescue 3. These courses difffer from traditional Rescue 3 courses in that the University student starts the on-line portion of the course four weeks prior to attending the filed component.

History of the Program

UCLan is in Preston, England, a globally accredited university. The UCLan/Rescue 3 Partnership was originally introduced through our UK affiliate Rescue3 (UK), and the program has been a huge success in Europe over the past five years. Now we are excited to offer the serious professional rescuer in the US the benefits of training in a higher education format with the goal of being awarded a Foundation Degree in Technical Rescue Instruction.

For a list of the Rescus 3 courses that are UCLan accredited follow the following link: