Whitewater Rescue Technician WRT – 4 days

Rescue Courses in PatagoniaWhitewater 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.


Cost $280 USD

Included:

  • Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification
  • Waterproof fold-out guide
  • Practical Assessment Record Sheet
  • Whitewater Rescue Technician sticker

Not included:

  • Transport to the course location
  • Medical & travel insurance (required)
  • Personal protective gear (helmet, PFD with rescue harness)
  • Appropriate footwear and clothing

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.
  • Ability to swim


  • 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
  • Transportation systems including tensioned diagonal
  • 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

Accommodations and Meals
Different options are available depending on where and when the course is taking place. Inquire with the office for details.

Weather
Paddle Patagonia courses and trips are located in different mountain terrains and at anytime the weather can change often and quickly. In general, the early season may see cooler mornings/evenings with hot days (20+ C°). As we get closer to Jan-Feb, the weather stabilizes into warmer summer-like conditions (25+ C°). The sun in Patagonia can be quite intense and a good sunscreen is advised.

Water
All of the rivers we run courses on are crystal clear and clean. Water temperatures will range from 10-20C°. See packing list for details on what to bring.



Packing List
This is a general list of what to bring for Whitewater Rescue (WWR) and Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) courses. Please refer to your ‘student information package’ for a complete list for your specific course and to see if rental items are available.

For the river:
• A whitewater helmet that fits properly
• Personal floatation device (PFD)
WRT students will need a PFD with ‘quick-release’ rescue harness, it is not mandatory for WWR students.
 The PFD needs to be in good condition and fit properly.
• River shoes
The ideal river shoe has full toe covering and is supportive but also lightweight and draining with a grippy sole. This could be a model made specifically for the river or a lightweight running shoe, trail-running shoe, or sneaker. Neoprene shoes can work if they have enough support and traction but neoprene socks or booties are not adequate.
• Wetsuit or drysuit
A wetsuit or drysuit is necessary for spring and fall courses and always necessary on glacier-fed rivers.
• Base layers, insulation, and socks.
Make sure to have several of layers or socks, pants, and tops made of wool, fleece, polyester, or another synthetic material to wear in addition to your wetsuit or drysuit (or to be worn on their own on sunny days and in warm water).
• Surf shorts
• Rash guard
• Snacks and water bottle or thermos
Keeping yourself fueled and hydrated is one of the keys to staying warm and happy. High-calorie snacks like chocolate bars and cereal bars are great to keep in your pfd.
• Sunscreen, lip protection
• Neoprene gloves (optional)
• Neoprene head warmer (optional)
• Camera (optional)
• Sunglasses or prescription glasses with strap (optional)

For on Land:
• Comfortable clothing
• Comfortable shoes
• Warn hat, gloves, or mitts for early and late season courses
• Sun hat, visor, or baseball cap
• Raingear
• Gear bag or container to store your equipment for transport
• Day pack or drybag to store your belongings during class
• Pens and notepad

Consider the following items (depending on the location and accommodation options for your course).
• Meals and cooking equipment
• Camping equipment or bedding
• Towel
• Personal hygiene products and medications
• Indoor clothing and shoes



What is the daily schedule like on a Boreal River Rescue course?
Typically class starts at 8:30am and goes to 6:30pm. Evenings are reserved for homework assignments and practicing on-land skills with other students. There may also be an evening session that will be scheduled by the instructor on the first day.

Are there any prerequisites?
For all courses students must be 16 years of age to participate. 16 and 17 year olds must have written proof of parental consent.

Whitewater Rescue (WWR) prerequisites:
⁃ No prerequisites
Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) prerequisites:
⁃ Swimming ability
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Bridge (WRT-Bridge) prerequisites:
⁃ Swimming Ability
⁃ Completion of pre-course practical and written assignment
⁃ Current Whitewater Rescue (WWR) certification from Boreal River Rescue or current equivalent certification such as Rescue for River Runners, River Rescue Certification, or Swiftwater Rescue from another approved provider such as American Canoe Association, Rescue Canada, or Rescue 3 International. If you are currently certified through another provider, please contact our office for approval.
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recertification (WRT-Recert) prerequisites:
⁃ Swimming Ability
⁃ Completion of pre-course practical and written assignment
⁃ Current Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification from Boreal River Rescue or current equivalent certification from another approved provider such as Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRT-A), Swiftwater Rescue Technician – Level 1 (SRT-1), or Whitewater Rescue Technician – Level 1 (WRT-1) from the American Canoe Association, Rescue Canada, or Rescue 3 International. If you are currently certified through another provider, please contact our office for approval.

Is attendance mandatory?
Attendance for 100% of class time is mandatory. If you cannot make a session you must get permission from the instructor in advance. Students who miss a section of the course without pre-approval may be asked to leave the course for the sake and safety of the other students.

How are students assessed and evaluated for certification?

Whitewater Rescue (WWR) evaluation criteria:
⁃ Practical assessment is ongoing within a supportive, professional, and fun learning environment.
⁃ To achieve the WWR certification students need to attend all sessions and participate throughout the course
⁃ Demonstrate an understanding of river safety and river rescue skills
Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT, WRT-Bridge, WRT-Recert) evaluation criteria:
⁃ One of the most valuable aspects of Boreal River Rescue – Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification is that it includes a practical evaluation. This proves that an individual holding the certification has demonstrated competency with their river rescue skills and not simply attended a workshop. The assessment takes place on the river in a supportive, fun, and professional environment with the goals of evaluation, review, and continued learning. Students will get multiple chances to demonstrate competency with their skills. To achieve the WRT certification students need to:
⁃ Attend all sessions and participate throughout the course
⁃ Demonstrate an understanding of river safety and river rescue skills
⁃ Pass the practical evaluation on the last day.

How long is certification valid for?

Your certification is valid for three years from the date of issue.

How do I get re-certified in Whitewater Rescue (WWR)?

You should consider upgrading from Whitewater Rescue (WWR) to Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) by taking the two-day Whitewater Rescue Technician – Bridge (WRT-Bridge) course. Or you can re-certify your Whitewater Rescue (WWR) by re-taking the course.

How do I get re-certified as a Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT)?

You can re-certify your Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification by taking the two-day Whitewater Rescue Technician Recertification (WRT-Recert) course within three years of your last certification. You must complete a pre-course written and practical assignment by the start of the course. Please bring your current certification card with you to your course. You can also re-take the four-day course if you would like even more practice.

I have current certification but I’m not sure if the two-day Recert/Bridge option is right for me or if I should take the four-day WRT course?

In order to successfully re-certify or upgrade to your technician-level certification in two-days, it is important that you arrive for your course ready to use your skills and knowledge from your previous training courses and experiences. The two-day option is great if you have been practicing most of your skills regularly and spending time in and around rivers during the three years since your last course. We recommend taking the complete four-day WRT course if you would like more supervised practice time, if you haven’t spent very much time around rivers since your last course, or if you aren’t able to perform the skills outlined in the pre-course assignment.

Can I take the WRT-Bridge or WRT-Recert course if my current certification is through another provider and not Boreal River Rescue?
Yes. Please contact the office for approval.