Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Rescue Swimmer class taught?
The class is taught in Oak Ridge, TN on Melton Hill Lake. However, we can bring the class to you! We're able to teach it anywhere we have access to a pool for one day and an open body of water for two days. If you're interested in hosting a class where you live, contact us for more information.
Where is the Swiftwater Rescue class taught?
The class is taught on the Obed Wild & Scenic River in Wartburg, TN. However, we can bring the class to you! We're able to teach it anywhere we have access to any body of water with current continuously moving faster than 1.5 knots for two days. If you're interested in hosting a class where you live, contact us for more information.
How long are the certifications good for? Do they expire?
The certifications are good for one year upon successful completion of the course. In order to maintain the certification, you must submit proof of training totaling 16 hours. This can be done by emailing a copy of your department's training rosters for the specific training. The training must have been conducted within the previous 12 month period.
The cost to re-certify is $50.00 per certification. We offer refresher training courses and will waive the recertification fee for each student that attends our refresher courses. The cost of the 16 hour refresher course is $100.00. Additional charges will be applied if our instructors travel to your location to conduct the training. Email us for more information and estimates of final costs.
How does the Rescue Swimmer class compare to a swiftwater rescue class?
Not all water related rescues are the same. Swiftwater Rescue response involves water moving in excess of 3 knots. Swiftwater rescue technicians must possess the skills and knowledge necessary to mitigate a variety of hazardous situations related to swift water dynamics and hazards utilizing technical rope rigging skills, specialized boating skills in fast-moving water, specialized self-rescue and swimming techniques as well as patient retrieval methods.
Rescue Swimmers respond to water rescue incidents involving bodies of water that do not fall into the swiftwater category, but also require specialized training and equipment. Surface water areas such as lakes, slow moving rivers, ponds, swimming pools and localized flooding as well as other incidents like vehicles in the water or boating accidents are examples of the surface water areas Rescue Swimmers are trained to respond to. The Public Safety Rescue Swimmer program provides responders with the skills and knowledge they need to safely and efficiently conduct these types of water rescues.
The Public Safety Rescue Swimmer program is also an excellent source of training for anyone that will serve as a safety tender for the rescue swimmer. Anyone interested in shore operations and safety can participate in this class and learn the valuable skills needed to ensure the safety of the rescue swimmer. Safety tenders are not required to get in the water during the training and will not be certified as rescue swimmers. They will receive a certification for Rescue Swimmer Tender.
Swiftwater Rescue and Public Safety Rescue Swimmer are both excellent courses. However, the Public Safety Rescue Swimmer program is a cost-effective alternative for agencies that recognize the importance of having a well-trained water rescue team, but have neither the need nor equipment necessary for conducting swiftwater rescues in their local response area.
What equipment do I need to bring with me to the Rescue Swimmer class?
The minimum required equipment for class is:
- low-volume/low-profile scuba mask
- J-type snorkel
- dive booties
- rubber military style open-heel, rubber dive fins
- Type III USCG approved PFD
The following equipment may used operationally as well as for training, but are not needed for the class:
- thermal protection (drysuit or wetsuit)
- weight belt
- rescue buoy
- 1/4" braided polypropylene line (100' length)
- marker buoys
- window punch
- dive light
- throw bag