Swiftwater Rescue – What Course Is Right For You?

 In Whitewater Blogged



Whitewater rescue courses in Colorado – Sign Up, Learn, Get Certified

Colorado is a hotspot for whitewater rafting. Dvorak Expeditions is proud to be the state’s first certified outfitter and the leading training and certification provider in the Rocky Mountains. Founder Bill Dvorak leads a crew with over 100 years of combined experience in equipping the nation’s best raft guides.

Raft guide school is engaging and challenging, opening the door to a career that might just take you around the world – but an aspiring guide must learn the ways of safety before hopping on the stern. Dvorak offers necessary certifications for raft guides, from Technical Rope Rescue to Swift Water Rescue and the general whitewater rafting school and raft guide school. Here we’ll break down our offerings, explaining how the course benefits guides and avid river rats and what they can expect to get out of each.


Rescue 3 international Courses

Rescue 3 International, based in Wilton, California, developed the curriculum for our series of high-impact training and certification courses. DVK Technical Rope Rescue course. These are for the raft guide looking to take a serious step in his or her career – we offer seven courses that rank among the top whitewater educational courses in Colorado. These courses are a must for dedicated raft guides looking to advance their knowledge and boost their resume.

The courses begin with classroom time spent absorbing knowledge, but the backbone of Rescue 3 International courses happen in hours spent on the river. Professional, experienced Dvorak river guides cover rescue theories and proven tactics used by top river guides around the world. They then give students the opportunity to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

Students come away able to handle constructing anchors, handle rope protection and belays, and direct a boat of passengers through a critical rescue situation. They are confident in modern rope rescue techniques that can be applied in simple over-the-bank rescues as well as vertical cliff and structural rescue situations. The ample field time in this course allows students to put their skills to the test in rigging, helicopter applications, special problems, and ascending/descending systems.


Courses Offered Through DVK




Guide Training

For who: Guides, Recreational Boaters, and Private Boaters who want to learn more about safety and river skills pretty much anyone with an interest in River Safety and Boating

Skill Level: Beginner-Advanced

Every spring Dvorak Expeditions puts on the 14 day guide training for not only soon to be DVK guides but for whoever wants to learn to confidently and safely guide a raft. Whether you’re a long time boater, or have a passion for the river and want to learn more about best practices and river etiquette the DVK guide training is valuable for all abilities and river disciplines. Over the 14 days you will start to learn the technical skills. strokes, and maneuvers needed to become a proficient white water guide or simply practice and learn advanced techniques in a controlled learning environment. Lessons taught will include things such as equipment selection, paddle boat and oar boat rigging, maintenance and repair of equipment, reading river flows and lines, scouting and running rapids, rescue and evacuation techniques, and minimum impact camping. Dvorak Expeditions is a company founded on experiential learning, and we urge others to share their thoughts and techniques from their own river experiences so that everyone involved has potential to learn valuable new skills and tricks.

This course has the potential to provide you with all the foundational skills to become a seasoned river professional and access to the means to accomplish the most important part endless practice and exploration.

This course will provide the tools and training you need to become a competent qualified, and versatile raft guide on any river.




Swiftwater Rescue Technician SRT-1-NFPA

For Who: Fire and Rescue Personnel

Skill Level: Advanced

3 day  Rescue International Certified Course. 8 -10 hours of classroom and 16-20 hours in the field. This course is designed to teach fire and rescue personnel the confidence and necessary skills in dealing with swift water situations.  Students will learn about swift water dynamics and water related physiology and be able to recognize and treat the signs and symptoms of specific medical problems. Students will also leave the course with knowledge of all equipment used such as: safety gear, climbing gear, lights, boats, signaling devices, specialized gear, and vehicles.




SRT – Advanced

Prerequisite: SRT -1

For Who: Fire and Rescue Personnel

Skill Level: Advanced

An intensive 3 day, 30 hour course that dives into an in-depth look at swift water dynamics and hydrology, boat based recuses, technical rescue systems, 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.



TRR – Technical Rope Rescue Technician Level

For who: Rescue Professionals

Skill Level: Expert

This 4 day course integrates the most current technology and research on rope rescue from throughout the world and utilizes “discovery learning” to teach skills necessary to safetly effect technical rope rescues in environments ranging from simple over the bank situations to vertical cliff and structure rescues.  The course covers basic and specialized equipment, ropes and rigging, safety considerations, scene management and organizations, helicopter applications, special problems, ascending and descending systems, rappelling, belaying lowering and raising systems, Telphers, highlines, and litter management




RRC/Pro River Rescue Course with Professional Qualifications possible

For Who: River Guides, SUPers, Kayaker, or anyone that spends a good portion of their lives on the river in a professional capacity.

Skill Level: Medium

*Rescue 3 International Certification qualifies you for SRT-Advanced

This 3 day course has 8-10 hours in the classroom and 16-20 hours in the field. The course is designed to take the professional boater to a whole new level. The program is engaging, exciting, challenging, fun, and affordable for all participants, with a strong emphasis on safety and prevention of accidents; as well as appropriate response to whitewater emergencies.




Pro – Qualification Rope and Water

For Who: For students looking for qualification as a water technician

Skill Level: Expert

This 2 day course 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


2018  Rescue Course Schedule

Custom dates are available upon request

Guide Training : May 10-23, 2018

Rescue 3 Swiftwater Course WRT/RRC -P : May 25-27

Swiftwater Rescue Technician SRT -1-NFPA : April 28 – 30 : July 20-22 : July 29-30

Whitewater Rescue Tech. River Recue Pro WRT/RRC: May 25-27 July 20-22

Whitewater Rescue Tech River Rescue Pro: June 1-3

SRT – Advanced: August 1-3,

Pro-Qualification -rope & water : Call for date options

Technical Rope Rescue TRR: Arpil 20-23 : Oct 5-8


Please Visit DvorakExpeditions or Call Us At 1-719-539-6851 To Learn More!