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Be an Asset to the River Community! 

Spring is in full swing in the Sawatch Mountains! The snow in the high mountains is melting, and the Arkansas River is rising along with the stoke for the upcoming river season! The locals are swapping their ski poles for paddles and dusting off the boats in preparation for the nice weather and flowing river. In addition to preparing the necessary gear, now is the perfect time to prepare your rescue skills by taking a swift water rescue or a wilderness first aid course!

Regardless of your boating experience, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a passionate novice, there are compelling reasons to consider a swift water rescue course before embarking on your river adventures this season. The course’s first component, understanding river hydrology and navigating obstacles, is a game-changer. Mastering these skills is not just about preventing capsizing and the need for rescue; it’s about empowering yourself with the knowledge to navigate any river confidently. 

Mistakes happen even if you know how to read the river, and having the right skills can make a difference. If you do capsize, your first safety line is your ability to self-rescue and swim to shore. During a swift water rescue course, you will practice the skills needed to swim in fast-moving currents and conduct a self-rescue. 

Even if you’re adept at reading a river and confident in your self-rescue abilities, a swift water rescue course is a crucial step towards becoming a responsible member of the river community. It equips you with the skills to assist others in need of rescue. The course focuses on effectively using your personal protective equipment (PPE) and rescue gear while enabling you to coordinate a dynamic rescue and potentially save a life.

Skills for rescuing yourself or someone else from fast-moving water are paramount for river safety. However, these skills only go so far without foundational medical training. After being rescued from the river, someone may or may not need medical attention. Knowing how to provide medical attention and what to do in the case of a near-drowning event is critical for the safety of those around you.

A wilderness first aid course will give you the necessary skills to access and treat common medical emergencies associated with outdoor activities that expand beyond river banks. Therefore, taking a wilderness first aid course is the responsibility of everyone who likes to play outside.

Being an asset in a rescue scenario is an empowering feeling of responsibility that should not be overlooked. Relying on your medical and rescue training will help you take action to save someone’s life and it will make all the preparation and training worth it. 

When preparing for the river season and considering your rescue and medical skills, ensure you are an asset by taking a swift water rescue course or wilderness first aid course with us at the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center (RMOC)! In addition to our rescue and first aid courses, we also have a host of guide training courses to include Raft Guide Training, SUP Instructor Certification, and Kayak Instructor Certification!

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