Swiftwater Rescue Weekend with Zak Sears and our 3 Hungarian friends.
“Simple is smooth and smooth is fast” is the leading motto of our industry partner, Swiftwater Safety Institute. For the last two weeks we’ve had the privilege of the company of lead instructor Zak Sears, and his crew training our incoming guides in swiftwater rescue and helping us refine our safety systems and protocols. The 3 other SSI instructors came to us from Hungary, Ma’te’, Csaba, and Levente. The past couple weeks have been incredibly beneficial for our crew and our company as a whole. We’ve learned more ways to keep people safe on the river, and we’ve scouted new rivers that we can now start planning to offer our growing customer base. Each year we get SSI for a week or two, and it’s a pivotal kickstart for our season. This year has to be our best yet as all of our guides completed flip drills successfully, and after today (fingers crossed) they’ll all succeed in attaining SRT-1 (swiftwater rescue) certification.
We, at a contrast to most of our competitors, require all incoming guides to get SRT-1 certification. It’s one more step towards a crew that are similarly trained, who all know and understand the most advanced rescue procedures, and in cases of emergency know how to work together and are trained to do so in a river environment. There’s just no substitute for having the training to deal with inevitable mishaps on the river, and after our guides complete the SRT-1 they’ll have the training and confidence to keep our guests safer on the complex dynamic rivers of Western Washington.
Our lead guides, trip leaders, and river managers that return all have SRT-1 certification from this same organization from years past, and we are looking forward to adding a new swiftwater challenge for our crew. Starting in 2019 we have worked with Swiftwater Safety Institute in offering our guides an advanced swiftwater rescue recertification course. This course is specifically designed for guides, like ours, who already have a depth of knowledge in swiftwater rescue, an opportunity to hone their skills, work on specific rescues more likely to occur on our local rivers, and get them a chance to learn something new. This is a great step for our guide staff in advancing their skill and again pushing above the industry standard in commercial whitewater river running.