First Responder

The Lifesaving Society has a variety of Specialized Lifesaving programs including Boat Rescue, Boat Rescue for First Responders and Swiftwater Rescue.

First Responder Programs Description Prerequisite(s)
Swiftwater Rescue 1 

Swiftwater Rescue 1 focuses on recreating and working safely around moving water. The course emphasis is on hazard identification, self rescue and the use of basic river rescue equipment. Candidates will be introduced to low-risk, shore-based rescue options. Swiftwater Rescue 1 serves as a foundation for Swiftwater Rescue 2. It is recommended training for anyone who works in river rescue environments (including firefighters, resource management personnel, outdoor guides) and anyone recreating in a swift water environment (i.e.: using a canoe or kayak on a river).

Note: This course is consistent with the NFPA 1670 Standard for Awareness in swiftwater rescue incidents.

Current AB workplace approved Standard First Aid (Aquatic Emergency Care or Lifesaving Standard First Aid recommended) and the ability to swim.
Swiftwater Rescue 2

Swiftwater Rescue 2 builds on the foundational self-rescue skills and low-risk rescue options covered in the Moving Water course. Focus is placed on technique and equipment usage in the rescue of others. Swiftwater Rescue serves as the standard of care or recommended training for those who work in or on moving water.

Note: This course is consistent with the NFPA 1670 Standard for Operations in swiftwater rescue incidents.

Swiftwater Rescue 1, current AB workplace approved Standard First Aid (Aquatic Emergency Care or Lifesaving Standard First Aid recommended) and the ability to complete the swim.
Boat Rescue Boat Rescue provides candidates lifesaving knowledge and rescue skills for those engaged in small craft activities. The Boat Rescue course is designed for those who are already skilled in handling their craft. Training emphasizes self-rescue techniques, recognition of emergencies, factors in rescue craft performance and proper emergency response procedures. Since boat rescue techniques vary considerably with the type of craft and the wind and weather conditions, the requirements of the award specify the type of victim, rather than the method of rescue. Ability to swim and craft-handling skills is required. A Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card is required if motorized craft are being used in the course.
Boat Rescue for First Responders

Boat Rescue for First Responders prepares rescuers to play a leadership role in a boating emergency. Candidates acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to prevent and respond to boat-assisted and boat-based rescues. Since boat rescue techniques vary considerably with the type of craft and the wind and weather conditions, the requirements of the award specify the type of victim, rather than the method of rescue. Boat Rescue for First Responders is recommended training for those working in resource management, emergency response or the outdoor industry.

Note: This course is consistent with the NFPA 1670 Standard for Operations in open water rescue incidents.

18 years of age, current AB workplace approved Standard First Aid (Aquatic Emergency Care or Lifesaving Standard First Aid recommended), ability to swim, a Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card and basic boat handling skills.

 

Cold Water Boot Camp

Even in the summer, most Canadian water is cold enough to be a major contributing factor in recreational drowning deaths. It is a fact that more than 60% of all drowning deaths in Canada occur during participation in summer-time recreational activities including swimming, fishing and boating. At Cold Water Boot Camp, nine volunteers offered to ‘jump in with both feet' and experience first hand what happens in 6 degree Celsius water.  You can see what takes place by going to:  http://www.coldwaterbootcamp.com/

The Cold Water Boot Camp DVD is a required resource for Boat Rescue for First Responders and Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Training.

Cold Water Boot Camp is brought to you by:

  • Lifesaving Society
  • Canadian Safe Boating Council
  • National Search and Rescue Secretariat
  • Transport Canada, Office of Boating Safety
  • Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht, PH.D & Ted Rankine
  • Helly Hansen

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards

NFPA Standards have become the global standards for those who respond to technical search and rescue incidents. These standards are the minimum  requirements for fire prevention and suppression activities. These Standards cover technical rescue disciplines in four aquatic environments including; swiftwater, surf, ice and diving.  

The NFPA 1670 Standard outlines the level of "functional capability" for organizations like fire departments, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and search and rescue teams who respond to technical search and rescue incidents.  This Standard outlines how to conduct operations safely and effectively while mitigating risk to rescuers. The 1670 Standard is intended to help the "Agency Having Jurisdiction" (AHJ) assess technical rescue hazards within a given environment, identify the level of operations, and establish guidelines for training and incident response.

NFPA 1670 Standards are reviewed and updated every four years. Copies can be purchased directly from the NFPA.

 

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