Our Approach

We believe training should be tailored to the specific needs of each client. While we teach all the skills and knowledge necessary for certification, we approach a course for firefighters in an entirely different manner than one for field workers or outdoor guides.

Sector Specific Training

Our technical rescue curriculum is developed by Rescue 3 International the global leader in technical rescue, and our wilderness first aid curriculum has a firm foundation in internationally recognized programs including Wilderness Medical Associates. Simply put, we meet and exceed the standard of care, and in fact, where technical rescue is concerned, we set the standard against which all other providers are measured. This means you are getting the best courses on the planet. All our courses include how to evaluate a location for potential risks, how to work safely in the environment, and what to do if you or a colleague gets in trouble. You've got to know how to perform a rescue or provide first aid - safely and fast.

However, a team of emergency personnel responding to an incident where someone is already in trouble is going to emphasize different skills than a fisheries biologist who has to stay safe while working in moving water day-after-day. A SAR team may have a large truck full of specific rescue equipment for every eventuality, while someone engaged in fish surveys will often be limited to what they can carry in a backpack if they are accessing remote terrain on foot. An outdoor adventurer will also have significant limits on how much rescue gear they can pack into a canoe or raft., and so they need to utilize simple, multi-use items. Training needs to reflect these different operational realities.

As a result, we have developed different approaches for three different sectors that cover all the skills and knowledge needed for an internationally-recognized certification, but teach them in a way that is relevant to the work you do. Choose the sector from the list below that is most relevant to you, and then check out the courses we have developed to meet your specific needs.

Emergency Response

  • firefighters
  • SAR teams
  • military SAR Techs
  • police tactical teamsunderwater recovery divers
  • RMCP
  • paramedics
  • industrial ERTnatural resource enforcement officers

Click here to view courses for Emergency Responders.

Resource Management and Industry

  • federal resource management personnel (DFO, Parks Canada, Environment Canada, Coast Guard)
  • First Nations fisheries workers
  • provincial government employees (Environment, Parks, Natural Resources, Fsheries, Aquaculture, Conservation etc.)
  • hydro electric workers
  • mines (underground and surface)
  • environmental consultants
  • hydrologists and engineers
  • bridge inspectors
  • highway and pipeline construction workers
  • geoscientists and mineral exploration firms
  • oil and gas service companies

Click here to view courses for Resource Management and Industry.

Outdoor Adventure

  • outdoor adventure companies
  • recreation, tourism and leadership programs 
  • raft guides
  • fish guides
  • Pro Patrols
  • trip leaders
  • camp counsellors
  • outdoor educators
  • individuals

Click here to view courses for Outdoor Adventurers (including those who work and play outside).

Our Instructors Get It

Our Instructors have personal experience teaching clients from a wide range of backgrounds. This is possible because we are the major provider of technical rescue and first aid training in Canada. We're busy ... which means our Instructors have been exposed to the operational realities of many different clients and they know the solutions that will work best for them. Other trainers simply don't have the same range of experience to draw from.

In addition, our Instructors are all operationally active in the rescue and outdoor fields. They aren't retired firefighters or former raft guides who are teaching just to make a few extra bucks. Our Instructors "practice what they preach" every day. In fact, they're required to prove mastery level of skills before they complete our rigorous instructor certification process. Other trainers require little more than a rubber stamp or a 3-day course to make someone into an instructor.  Our approach is a mentorship process that can take several years to complete. At the end of it , our guys (and gals) get it. They know the curriculum inside-out, they understand how to adapt it to the wide range of clients we serve, and they're accomplished teachers. 


It doesn't stop there. In addition to exceptional instructors, our customer service is second to none. We publish all the relevant info online - so it's at your fingertips when you want it. The prices are public knowledge. We publish the course dates. We make registration and payment fast and simple through our online options. No "call us to find out more" games that can be so frustrating when you want info fast, and make you wonder if you're paying the same as the other guy. Plus, we answer the phone. We return your emails. You get your paperwork. Want a quote? Change dates? No problem! We make training easy ... not a bureaucratic nightmare that eats up your valuable time.

Challenge by Choice

We also recognize that in every group, there is a range of abilities. Some people are going to excel at the skills we teach, others are going to find them overwhelming and beyond their comfort level. We believe caution is the sign of a safe employee and that knowing personal limits is critical to operating safely in high risk environments. For that reason, we support “Challenge by Choice” which means that if at any time, a student feels that they are unable to perform a skill as requested, they have the option to observe only. This decision is documented on the student’s personalized skill sheet and provides a detailed snapshot of each individual’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses. If they are unable to complete the requisite skills for certification, we provide them with a lower level of certification that attests to what they can do. Then, supervisors can use this information to determine the range of activities to which each employee is best-suited. 

Training Maintenance

The skills you learn during your course are only as valuable as your ability to recall and utilize them when the need arises in the field. Regular practice is a key part of competence, and best practices dictate a minimum of annual practice. In addition, many standards (NFPA 1006, CSA, ANSI, etc...) recommend training, but not recertification, at least yearly. To ensure you meet best practices between your course and your recertification, we offer two different forms of training maintenance that can be taken advantage of on an annual basis.

- Audit Program: Take a look at our upcoming course schedule online and find a course location and time that works for you. Email or call us to sign up as an audit. Show up and take the course for free. It's that simple. Free audits do not extend your certification period in any way, but this is a great way to re-fresh your skills on a regular basis, in a safe, controlled environment with a qualified, insured instructor. Check out our online schedule for upcoming courses or contact us for more info.

- Training Maintenance Program: If you have a group that would like to review their training together, the training maintenance program may be right for you. All your group pays is the instructor's daily teaching fee and travel costs associated with bringing the instructor to your training location. This is generally very reasonable as we have a network of instructors from coast-to-coast. In return, you'll get a private instructor for a single day of jam-packed review of skills and knowledge, tailored to your group's unique needs. It's an excellent value for the cost, and allows you to review your skills in your own backyard.

While neither the Audit or the Training Maintenance Program replace the need to recertify your training before its expiry date, these programs are the key to meeting best practices by keeping your skills and knowledge sharp between certification dates.

Please note that our annual training maintenance programs do not apply to WMA courses.

Professional Evaluations

If you require a formal evaluation of your skills for professional reasons, we can provide that too, but we do it right. In order to be a true evaluation, it has to be done by a "third party", ie. someone other than the person who taught you the skills. This arms-length approach is the only way to provide an evaluation that is actually worth something.

Of primary interest to emergency responders, we host ProBoard Evaluations through a partnership with North Vancouver Fire Rescue, a ProBoard Accredited testing agency. These rigorous evaluations result in certifications that are respected industry-wide and are often desired by emergency response agencies to help justify funding increases. For individuals, they can considerable weight to a job application. We offer these on an annual basis in major centres, or as private courses on request. 

Unparalleled Documentation

Court cases have proven that training isn’t worth much if you can’t prove it, so we provide extensive documentation of each student’s training. First, each student is assigned a certification number so that they can access their training record at any time in the future, for employment or legal reasons. Then, each person receives a skill sheet (training record) that lists the specific skills and knowledge taught, the relevant NPFA standard, and whether the student performed or observed each skill. The instructor signs and dates the record and adds any concerns he has about the individual’s skill level or abilities. This becomes an invaluable training record that should be kept in a personnel file and should form the basis for decisions regarding the types of activities the individual is suited to perform. However, we're the only trainer that goes the extra step of keeping your certifications on file - forever. Our database goes back 25 years and we can provide electronic copies of your training record within 24-48 hours. It is this high-level of record-keeping that is needed to demonstrate “due diligence” by employers and is one of the many ways our approach is unmatched by other training providers. It is also what you need to be confident that your training will stand up when it counts.

Full Service Company

We pride ourselves in more than 25 years of technical rescue and more recently wilderness first aid training. We have the certified training you need to meet due diligence requirements, and the experience to help you develop creative, customized solutions to your training challenges. Don't hesitate to ask us about your equipment needs - we probably sell it - and all of our clients get preferred pricing. Need stand-by rescue personnel to augment your own team? No problem. We maintain a large roster of trained, insured emergency responders who are able to meet your needs for short or long-term contracts. Just need a bit of advice? Give us a call. We love to share what we know best.

Training, Equipment & Services ... so simple to be so safe!


Aug 6-7

Swiftwater Operations

  • $399
  • Terrace, BC

Aug 6-8

Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT 1)

  • $499
  • Terrace, BC

Sept 14-18

Technical Rope Rescue - Operator

  • $795
  • Canmore, AB (TRA)

Sept 14-16

Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT 1)

  • $499
  • Chilliwack, BC
See Full Schedule

BLOG...the Raven Speaks

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Chad Black, Operations Manager, Nicolas Dean Lodge, Terrace BC

After attending the course personally, I have to say that you guys did a great job. Kevin was very professional and courteous, and myself and the guides all learned a lot. Perhaps most importantly, I think we all gained a lot of confidence about how to approach cold water scenarios and rescue situations. Again, well done.


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