Swiftwater Rescue – Rescue 3 Training


Swiftwater Rescue Training (SRT) & Rescue 3 programs began in 1979 and were developed by active professionals – search and rescue, paramedics, scuba instructors, lifeguards, white water outfitters, police and fire fighters, with among them over 100 years of cumulative experience in white water rafting in Colorado.

Combining the most applicable techniques of many rescue disciplines, SRT covers many ways to affect river and flood rescues.  The primary objective, however, remains to assure the safety of the rescuers themselves – since so many injuries and deaths during river rescues have been due to the well-intentioned rescuers.

Instructors teach and participate in many seminars and conferences, and learn from their students as well, keeping the program at the state-of-the-art.  By working in the field of rescue, traveling and seeing new ideas, RESCUE 3 continues to make their courses the most up to date and state of the art curriculum available. Dvorak Expeditions was selected in 2003 as the Colorado Regional Training Center for Rescue 3

Print PDF schedule:  Swift water Rescue & Technical Ropes Course Schedule

Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT)  |  Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT)

The National Certification and the standard for river and flood rescue – These are the most widely taught courses of its kind. Originally certified by the United States Lifesaving Association, the SRT course meets the requirements of the NFPA 1670 Standard and is recognized by many other groups. SRT and WRT is not a clinic or a workshop.  It is a comprehensive course of specific behavioral objectives, with practical and written tests prior to certification.  In the current climate of liability and risk SRT and WRT provides a standard that has been achieved by some 90,000 people from numerous organizations throughout the U.S.A. since 1979. The program is also taught regularly in over 13 other countries. The class is mostly field skills with minimum classroom time.  The prerequisites are that the students be in reasonable physical condition and have basic strong swimming abilities and have current medical coverage.

Rescue 3 courses

Rescue 3 courses have been enthusiastically received by state offices of emergency services, state fire marshal’s, America Outdoors, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the New Mexico Outfitters Association, the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada, and many other agencies worldwide. Swift water and Rope courses are offered by Bill Dvorak Expeditions.  Local agencies, rescuers, guides and interested recreationalists will have opportunities to take the national certification Rescue 3 program at several locations in Colorado and New Mexico.  Qualified courses can be re-certified within 3 years. 


An intensive 3 day, 30 hour class, the SRT and WRT program includes an in-depth look at such subjects as swift water dynamics and hydrology,  boat-based rescues, technical rescue system, in-white water contact rescues, rescue organization and scene management, technical gear and rope systems, flood rescue problems, low head dam rescues, and much more. WRT is designed specifically for people who DO NOT require (NFPA) Standards.   It covers the same skills as the (SRT), but puts an emphasis on achieving those skills with a minimum of personnel and equipment. NOTE: It is the first of two classes needed for fire personnel wanting to meet the requirements of (NFPA) 1670 Standard for water at the technician level.

River Rescue SRR

This newly developed certification course is approximately 18-20 total hours of training that are taught in the river environment. Short lectures will be followed with immediate application in the water. The class is held over a minimum of two days with case study homework in the evenings


This program is 20 hours in length, includes all of the above, and covers such subjects as advanced technical rescue, helicopter management and a major mock rescue, usually at night. The class is arduous and fatiguing, and all subjects are taught regardless of  weather.  Participants should be in reasonable physical condition, though strong swimming ability is not required. This course is a pre-requisite for the instructors course.

SRT Advanced

This is the second of the two courses needed by fire personnel to complete the requirements for the NFPA 1670 Standard in water for the technician level.  It integrates techniques learned in SRT1, as well as advanced river/flood situations and high angle rope techniques.  It is taught in either a three-days.  The pre-requisite is either an (SRT 1) or (WRT) class.

Rescue 3 Courses - Training in Colorado - Dvorak Expeditions

Click to Book Course COST LENGTH Prerequisites
Swiftwater (SRT)  NFPA $425 3 Day None (Refresh w/cert. card)
Swiftwater (WRT) $370 3 Day None (Refresh w/cert. card)
SRT/WRT- Advanced $425 3 Day SRT Unit 1 or WRT Boating and Safety Knowledge
River Rescue SRR $250 2 Day Experience in boating-water skills and some river safety knowledge
Pro-Qualification Water $320 2 Day SRT | WRT | Advanced SRT-WRT
SRT or WRT & SRT Adv.Courses expire in 3 years.  You are encouraged to re-certify for advanced  techniques and training.  Re-certification of  qualified courses within 3 years expiration- the cost @ half the regular tuition. Proof of previous Rescue 3 course required.  

Print PDF schedule:  Swift water Rescue & Technical Ropes Course Schedule

DVK offers intensive 1 to 5 day rescue skill building courses in Swiftwater Rescue (SRT) and Whitewater Rescue (WRT), River Rescue (SRR) Technical Rope Rescue (TRR) which include in depth training in a variety of subjects including:

  • Swiftwater dynamics hydrology
  • Boat-based rescue
  • Technical rescue systems
  • In-water contact rescues
  • Rescue organization
  • Scene management
  • Technical gear
  • Rope systems
  • Flood rescue problems
  • Low-head dam rescues
    Basic equipment required for each course may includes a full wet suit or dry suit, Type III or V personal flotation device, light climbing or kayaking helmet and personal safety items you presently use.

These Nationally certified ‘Rescue 3’ courses are the standard for river and flood rescue. They stress skill building in the field (water) with minimum classroom time. Students should be in reasonable physical condition, though strong swimming ability is not required. Certification: “Rescue 3 Inc.”. Note: If desired, you can complete next level courses simultaneous when possible. Programs also meet requirements of the NFPA 1670 standards. Find out more about our Ice Rescue Technician Courses and Technical Rope Rescue Courses. 

Call us with your questions or to schedule your course

Nth America: 800 824-3795 or  Worldwide 719 539-6851