Swiftwater Rescue Training


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Charlie Walbridge is an American Canoe Association Instructor-Trainer Educator for swiftwater rescue. He teaches one and two-day courses designed for canoe clubs, outfitters, and emergency responders. The program is designed to make people more comfortable in the water so they can self-rescue more effectively and work on boat pins and other situations with confidence. The prerequisite is intermediate paddling skills and strong swimming ability. Charlie's course outline is available, and you can consult the official course outline at the ACA's web site www.acanet.org.

Charlie is authorized to certify instructors. He runs ACA Instructor Certification Course that last four days. The first two days are considered the Instructor Development Workshop (IDW), a fast-paced run-through of the course with an emphasis on how to teach the program. The second two days will be the Instructor Candidate Exam (ICE) when the instructor candidates teach a portion of the course. The prerequisite is an ACA two-day Swiftwater Rescue Course or equivalent training from programs run by outfitters, clubs, or first responders. Check out Charlie's page of instructor notes.

It's also possible to earn an instructor rating by co-teaching. You would need to assist for a minimum of two two-day courses. You would probably observe the first course, then actively co-teach in the second.  Properly qualified ACA instructors in related disciplines (whitewater kayak or canoe) can challenge the course by co-teaching a single two-day program. Anyone interested in co-teaching can contact Charlie directly. Please provide an outline of your experience in the field.

Charlie's teaching and speaking schedule for 2007 is as follows:

April 18-20         Panelist                  Waterparks Conference         McHenry, MD

May 14-17          Instructor Class        Green River Adventures       Hendersonville, NC

June 9-10          Two-Day Class          Lehigh Valley Canoe Club      Bethlehem, PA

July 12-13          Two-Day Class         Zoar Outdoor Center            Charlemont, MA

August 11-12      Wilderness Medicine Conference                         Morgantown, WV


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This site was last updated 03/22/07