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Old 03-24-2014   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5
Best Rescue3 WRT options near Front Range?

Thought I would do the 'right thing' and spend some of my beer and gas money on a swiftwater rescue course this spring.

I'm looking at the Rescue3 WRT sessions being offered in Colorado this spring, and since $350 could buy a lot of gasoline... really would like to find a good class.

It looks like both Sawatch Rescue (Young and Campton) and Bill Dvorak offer sessions in late May. Can anyone pipe up if they've previously taken Rescue3 WRT courses with these folks? While I've found a few threads about differences between the various SWR certifications (ACA, WRT, SRT1), I only found passing comments about folks' actual experiences with the different companies/instructors that offer this training.

Has anyone taken the Dvorak or Sawatch Rescue classes, and could offer some feedback?


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Old 03-28-2014   #2
suzannetheotter's Avatar
Totah, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
It probably depends on what sort of boating you are doing,
I took a class with Bill Dvorak back in 2008 on the Poudre. It was good -tailored to rafting for sure -not the best for kayakers, but for raft guides and fire/rescue I know his class was worth it. there was a lot of time in the water, Bill and his buddy Russ are pretty experienced and have a lot to share -as probably all of the instructors you listed do,
day 1: watch some rescue videos and talk about rescue operations for two hours, then go swim a class III rapid a few times, then swim it a few more times but with instructions to cross here or there, or make it to that boulder there... then swim some more and practice throwbagging and live-bait.

at many points we discussed and practiced different rope systems on land in a controlled setting
day 2: training on raft flips, more swimming, strainer swimming, foot entrapment rescues -team rescues with ropes and teams on either side of river.
I don't remember if there was a third day, but I remember lots of swimming and lots of team-oriented rescue stuff as there were firemen there for to get SWR certified.

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Old 03-29-2014   #3
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5
OK, thanks for your comments about Dvorak's class. Sounds like really worthwhile training, and I'll probably end up in one of the sessions this spring. All that time in the water is going to make for a couple of cold days in May!
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Old 03-29-2014   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48
There is this one as well

Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue Class: May 24th - 26th 2014
Instructors: Eric Young and Chris Campton

This class is done through Rockey Mountain Adventures up in Fort Collins on the Poudre as well. I took this class and it was awesome. With all the events that these two have experienced they had an answer for each question. I also like the way that this class is set up with the first day (classroom day) starting in the afternoon and the next two specifically on the river working in practical situations, plus lunch is provided both of those days. I know that this class is a little more @ $399 but i think it is totally worth it as well as the drysuit rental of $60 cuz that water is cold.

I have taken a class from Dvorak and after taking this class last year there was so much more information and they had examples of situations that I hadn't even thought of.

If you have more questions about this class contact Rocky Mountain Adventures @ 970-493-4005 or their email
The Warrior of the Light Knows that eveything around him form part of his Good Fight. -Paulo Coelho
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Old 04-06-2014   #5
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 11
I can reccomednd Sawatch Rescue

I have taken the recert class with Campy and Eric Young I believe 4 times now. They are incredible instructors who are great at making the class relevant to the group they are teaching. They are both boaters who have commercial rafting and kayaking experience, as well as agency experience. The experiences they bring to the class really give them an ability to structure the class to teach you to be proficient at rescues with the equipment you are likely to have, not just in a perfect world where you have unlimited resources. Regardless of who you choose a rescue class is worth a bit of beer money… might make it possible for you to have that beer with one of your buddies one day!

I highly recommend Sawatch Rescue. They are top notch, and even though I have been through the class with them several times they always bring a new technique or new piece of equipment that i have not seen before. It goes to show that they are also constantly researching and learning the latest skills to pass on to their students.

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Old 04-08-2014   #6
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5
Thanks for all the comments from folks that took these classes. Great to hear some positive feedback. I got in touch with Eric Young and signed up for one of the May sessions. I'll report back.

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