Swift Water Rescue Training – A Few Review Points

Defensive swimming. Feet downstream.

We did some swift water training a few days ago.  The class was hosted by Ehove Career Center and taught by Dive Rescue International.  We did about 8 hours of classroom and ground school on water dynamics, hazards, equipment, ropes, knots, and rigging.  Then, over the next 2 days we were in the water covering defensive swimming, throwbags, shallow water crossings, swiftwater rescue boards, 2 and 4 line boat operations, high line boat operations, and victim rescue.


Swift water rescue is another technical discipline that falls under NFPA 1670.  We covered and reviewed knots and rigging systems, but this class is another example of why every firefighter should be pretty well versed in rope rescue.  Getting some rope rescue training and staying proficient in it is one of the first steps in the rescue arena.

Below are a few pictures from the class with teaching points.

2 line boat ops set-up. We used in-line figure 8’s which could also be swapped with butterfly knots.

Self equalizing anchor on the bow of the boat. 25-30′ of webbing and 5 carabiners needed. Remember to put a twist in your webbing coming from the center.

Multi-person shallow water crossing. This was the one animal crew that made it across in this location.

High-line with a kootenay pulley. This set-up allowed for river left/right and upstream/downstream to be controlled from the near shore.

Boat crew probing the river bottom during training. Hand signals are necessary for communications because of the noise from the rushing water.

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