Course Topics

Most of Southwest Rescue’s courses are held in scenic Durango, Colorado. For more information about Southwest Rescue, it’s instructors, and it’s affiliated companies, please visit the about page.

In addition to the schedule listed here, scheduled courses are also listed with their course catalog description. To browse course details for both past and scheduled courses, visit the course details archive page.

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Wilderness First Aid – Standard 03/27/20 – 03/29/20 Durango, CO 3 days Course Details | Register ($260)
Wilderness Medicine Review and Recertification – Standard 04/24/20 – 04/26/20 Durango, CO 3 days Course Details | Register ($305)
Wilderness EMT Upgrade (WEMT) – Hybrid 05/11/20 – 05/15/20 Durango, CO 5 days Course Details | Register ($710)
Wilderness First Responder – Hybrid 05/11/20 – 05/15/20 Durango, CO 5 days Course Details | Register ($710)
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recreational 05/19/20 – 05/20/20 Pine River, CO 2 days (16 hours) Course Details | Register ($250)
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional 05/19/20 – 05/21/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($345)
Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician 05/26/20 – 05/28/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($425)
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recreational 05/29/20 – 05/30/20 Pine River, CO 2 days (16 hours) Course Details | Register ($250)
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional 05/29/20 – 05/31/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($345)
Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician 06/22/20 – 06/24/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($425)

Wilderness Medicine

All Southwest Rescue wilderness medicine courses are provided by the Wilderness Medicine Training Center (WMTC). WMTC’s educational focus is on providing practical instruction so that students can understand, remember, and use what they learn. Their curriculum strives to teach students the information they will need to prevent, assess, and treat the most common injuries and illnesses they are likely to encounter in the outdoors as expedition medical officers, guides, trip leaders, or participants.

To learn more about WMTC, click on this link.

Wilderness First Responder – Standard

9 days

No courses currently scheduled.

The WMTC standard 9-day Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course has been designed specifically to meet the needs of outdoor professionals, those who embark on multi-day personal trips, those who take part in high risk activities (rock climbing, whitewater paddling, mountaineering, multi-week expeditions of all kinds, etc.), or those who simply want to know more about wilderness medicine. Certification as a Wilderness First Responder is the industry standard for outdoor instructors and guides.

The course includes WMTC Adult and Child CPR and AED certification.

We recommend taking the full WFR every six years.


 

Wilderness First Responder – Hybrid

5 days

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Wilderness First Responder – Hybrid 05/11/20 – 05/15/20 Durango, CO 5 days Course Details | Register ($710)

Like WMTC’s standard 9-day Wilderness First Responder (WFR), the hybrid WFR course has been designed specifically to meet the needs of outdoor professionals, those who embark on multi-day personal trips, those who take part in high risk activities (rock climbing, whitewater paddling, mountaineering, multi-week expeditions of all kinds, etc.), or those who simply want to know more about wilderness medicine. Certification as a WFR is the industry standard for outdoor instructors and guides. We recommend taking the full WFR every six years.

The course includes WMTC Adult and Child CPR/AED certification.

The practical session of WMTC’s hybrid WFR is only 5-days, but requires a significant amount of independent studying and testing to attend.  If you are wondering if a hybrid course is for you, check out this WMTC blog post.  This includes successful completion of three online exams.  Check out WMTC’s hybrid Wilderness First Responder website to see if this course is for you before registering.

 


 

Wilderness EMT Upgrade (WEMT) – Hybrid

5 days

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Wilderness EMT Upgrade (WEMT) – Hybrid 05/11/20 – 05/15/20 Durango, CO 5 days Course Details | Register ($710)

WMTC’s Wilderness EMT Upgrade hybrid course is for experienced medical practitioners who are acting as an expedition medic or trip leader.  Participants must hold a current NREMT certification or state EMT license at any level.  The WEMT Upgrade course focuses on assessment and treatment fo traumatic, environmental, and medical emergencies in a wilderness environment.  While the focus remains on expedition medicine, the skills taught during our WEMT upgrade course may be applied directly to situations where prolonged EMS transport is expected (e.g. disaster relief, SAR, rural EMS, etc.).

This course is only offered as a hybrid course.  This means a significant about of independent studying and online testing is required prior to attending a 5-day practical session. If you are wondering if a hybrid course is for you, check out this WMTC blog post.  During the practical session, labs teach field assessment and treatment skills while lectures are brief and focused on answering questions raised during simulations and case study reviews. Check out WMTC’s hybrid Wilderness EMT website to see if this course is for you before registering.  WMTC Adult & Child WCPR/AED certification is included in this course.

WMTC is not registered with any CEU organization for EMT’s, nurses, PA’s, or physicians.  If an EMT is affiliated with a licensed service, the training officer or education department supervisor can grant CEU’s.  NREMT typically grants (but is not obligated to) CEU’s to EMT’s who have taken a WEMT course based on clock hours.  Nurses, PA’s, and physicians can apply for CEU’s through their hospital’s education department.  Those not affiliated with a hospital may be eligible for CEU’s and should contact their state licensing department for guidance.


 

Wilderness Medicine Review and Recertification – Standard

3 days

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Wilderness Medicine Review and Recertification – Standard 04/24/20 – 04/26/20 Durango, CO 3 days Course Details | Register ($305)

This course may be used to recertify Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT (wilderness portion only) certifications. The WMTC Review & Recertification course is over 75% hands-on skill review, role plays, and simulations. All recertifying students need to complete a pre-course practice exam prior to arriving at the course.  WMTC certifications remain valid for a maximum of three years with no grace period, although WFR and WEMT graduates are encouraged to attend on a yearly basis to maintain and polish their skills.  Since there is not enough time to cover all the material presented in your original course, participants should thoroughly review their original course materials since they are responsible for knowing it.

Graduates who are currently certified (or within their grace period) by WMTC approved wilderness medicine school may recertify with this course.  Click here for a list of currently approved providers.  Please contact Southwest Rescue with any questions. If your certification is through a wilderness medicine school NOT on the list of approved providers, you may be able to appeal to WMTC directly.

WMTC Adult & Child Wilderness CPR/AED certification is included with this course.

Individuals may also recertify their WFR or WEMT by taking our Wilderness First Aid course and passing an online recertification exam.


 

Wilderness First Aid – Standard

3 days

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Wilderness First Aid – Standard 03/27/20 – 03/29/20 Durango, CO 3 days Course Details | Register ($260)

WMTC’s standard Wilderness First Aid workshops are designed to introduce participants to the concepts of medical care in a wilderness setting. This course may be the best choice for dealing with incidents in remote settings but within cell phone coverage.  This course focuses mostly on trauma related problems, but also covers select environmental and medical topics. The majority of the course is hands-on skills practice and simulations, and there is no formal testing. Unless indicated, CPR certification is not included.

WMTC’s WFA course meets the Boy Scouts of America and the American Camping Association trip leader requirements.

Graduates from WMTC approved wilderness medicine schools may recertify their Wilderness First Responder or WEMT with this course if they are currently certified or within their grace period.  Click here for a list of currently WMTC approved providers.


 

Wilderness First Aid – Hybrid

2 days

No courses currently scheduled.

WMTC’s hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) courses are designed to introduce participants to the concepts of medical care in a wilderness setting. This course may be the best choice for dealing with incidents in remote settings but within cell phone coverage.  This course focuses mostly on trauma related problems, but also covers select environmental and medical topics. The majority of the course is hands-on skills practice and simulations.

The practical session of WMTC’s hybrid WFA is only 2-days but requires independent studying and successful completion of an online exam prior to attending. If you are wondering if a hybrid course is for you, check out this WMTC blog post.  Please visit WMTC’s hybrid WFA website’s home page for course details before registering.

Unless indicated, CPR certification is not included.

WMTC’s WFA course meets the Boy Scouts of America and the American Camping Association trip leader requirements.

Graduates from WMTC approved wilderness medicine schools may recertify their Wilderness First Responder or WEMT with this course if they are currently certified or within their grace period.  Click here for a list of currently WMTC approved providers.


 

Swiftwater Rescue

Rescue 3 International is the largest accrediting body for Technical Rescue programs in the world. Rescue 3 International develops curriculum and accredits training programs across various Technical Rescue Disciplines, including water, technical rope and rigging, ice, boat, confined space, and medical.

To learn more about Rescue 3 International, click on this link.

Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recreational

2 days (16 hours)
Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recreational 05/19/20 – 05/20/20 Pine River, CO 2 days (16 hours) Course Details | Register ($250)
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recreational 05/29/20 – 05/30/20 Pine River, CO 2 days (16 hours) Course Details | Register ($250)

The Rescue 3 International Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recreational (WRT-Rec) course is for people who find themselves on or around the river for recreational purposes. This two day course consists of intensive training using techniques and simple equipment to assess and perform river rescues. The emphasis of the class is on fast, low-tech and improvised rescue techniques.

Fire and rescue personnel should take the NFPA-compliant Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician (SRT) course.

Prerequisites:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • adequate health insurance coverage
  • basic swimming ability
  • in good physical condition

**This course does NOT meet the requirements for NFPA 1670 Standard and does NOT qualify as a prerequisite for Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA).


 

Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional

3 days (24 hours)

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional 05/19/20 – 05/21/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($345)
Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional 05/29/20 – 05/31/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($345)

The Rescue 3 International Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional (WRT-Pro) course is designed for professional river users who require a rescue capability in a whitewater environment (e.g. raft guides, safety kayakers, etc.). Fast, low-tech, and improvised rescue techniques are the focus of this course, combined with the emphasis on scene size-up and management.  This three-day course is the standard for many professional river operations around the world.

Fire and rescue personnel should take the NFPA-compliant Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician (SRT) course.

Prerequisites:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • adequate health insurance coverage
  • basic swimming ability
  • in good physical condition

**This course does NOT meet the requirements for NFPA 1670 Standard and does NOT qualify as a prerequisite for Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA).


 

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician

3 days (24 hours)

Course Name Date(s) Location Duration Details
Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician 05/26/20 – 05/28/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($425)
Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician 06/22/20 – 06/24/20 Pine River, CO 3 days (24 hours) Course Details | Register ($425)

The Rescue 3 International Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician (SRT) is an intensive three-day class. The initial emphasis is on self-rescue skills, but other objectives include an in-depth look at water dynamics, handling hazards and obstacles, using basic rescue equipment, setting up technical rope systems, controlling in-water contact rescues, scene management, and much more.

This course is the first of three classes needed for personnel to meet the requirements for the Technician level NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents and the NFPA 1006 Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications in the area of water.

Prerequisites:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • adequate health insurance coverage
  • basic swimming ability
  • in good physical condition

 

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician Advanced

3 days (24 hours)

No courses currently scheduled.

This Rescue 3 International Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA) course builds on the skills learned in the Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician (SRT), taking the students beyond the emphasis on self-rescue to concentrate on victim rescue. Students are exposed to more complex water rescue situations including a mock night river rescue scenario. The three-day course includes 4-6 hours of classroom instruction, followed by two and one-half days of hands-on skill development.

Students are introduced to the role and utilization of various skills in river and flood rescue, including:

  • rope systems
  • management of litter & patient raising systems
  • highline systems
  • advanced river search concepts
  • performing rescues at night or in low visibility
  • and basic flood disaster management

Prerequisites:


 

Avalanche Education

Southwest Rescue markets and promotes avalanche education courses provided by San Juan Mountain Guides (SJMG) using curriculum from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).

Details concerning course dates, locations, prices and more can be obtained by contacting the SJMG office.

AIARE’s Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain curriculum is a three-part program for individuals who enjoy winter recreation in the backcountry.
Over the course of AIARE’s program, participants will learn:
  • How to prepare for backcountry travel with seasonal and daily routines
  • How to use planning tools and checklists to facilitate communicating and making decisions as a group in order to reduce risk
  • How to do a companion rescue
  • Techniques to continue to improve their rescue skills after a course completion

The entire Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain program includes seven days of classroom, field, and self-paced online training. The curriculum is typically delivered in the following parts:  Avalanche Rescue (1 day),  the AIARE 1 (3 days), and the AIARE 2 (3 days).

AIARE 1

3 days (24 hours)
No courses currently scheduled.

The AIARE 1 course is a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management. The course is expected to:

  • Provide a basic understanding of avalanches
  • Describe a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain
  • Focus on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing ‘answers’.
  • Give lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

During the Level 1 course, our student outcomes are:

  • Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Recognize avalanche terrain.
  • Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain.
  • Learn and apply effective companion rescue.

Prerequisites:

  • Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain. There are no other prerequisites.

 

AIARE 2

3 days (24 hours)

No courses currently scheduled.

The AIARE 2 course is a 3 day/24 hour program that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the level 3 certificate (only offered directly through AIARE).

The AIARE 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the level one and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

During the Level 2 course, our student outcomes are:

  • Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
  • Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time; and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability.
  • Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability. SWAG MODULE.
  • Advance understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
  • Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework.
  • Improve companion rescue skills including multiple and deep burials.

Prerequisites:

  • Students must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain.
  • An AIARE Level 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent training/experience is required.
  • A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is recommended before taking the Level 2 course.

 

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course

1 days (8 hours)

No courses currently scheduled.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills.

Each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching on their rescue skills, and will receive a rescue card acknowledging the completion date.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. AIARE recommends that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course the student should be able to:

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche.
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Develop a plan for continuing practice.

All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue skills and timed practice in a realistic scenario.

Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up realistic scenarios, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.

Prerequisites:

  • Students must be able to travel in the snow, and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. There are no other prerequisites.