Blog - The Raven Speaks

#techrescueacademy 2017 Review

2017's Technical Rescue Academy featured a total of nine courses, hosted out of Squamish Fire's training centre in the picturesque sea-to-sky corridor.  Five of our lead instructors worked together to deliver these nine courses, over a total of 28 days. With participants joining us from across Canada, students were eager to use this intensive training experience to increase their operational range.

We asked the Tech Rescue Academy's five lead instructors to share a photo and a few words about each of the courses they delivered.


Technical Rope Rescue Operator with instructor Craig Gerrard

"It was a pleasure to kick off the first course of the 2017 TRA by teaching the Technical Rope Rescue Operator course.  

Outdoor recreation and fire personnel from across Canada attended this course in Squamish to help form their technical rescue foundation.

This five day course equips responders to excel in every discipline of rescue.  In fact, we used to call this course "fundamentals" rather than "operator" for that very reason - the skills are fundamental to every aspect of technical rescue.

Participants enjoyed the course, and felt well prepared to head into he rest of their Technical Rescue Academy courses."



Technical Rope Rescue Technician with instructor Ryan McLarty

"We had a nice class, made up of a mix of fire fighter canidates, and current operators, outdoor enthusiasts and industrial rope technicians. Some of the class were taking the curriculum for the first time, and the rest were re-certifying their technician level certs, which made for an execellant mix of experience and beginner enthusiasm.

For those individuals that wish to excel as fire fighter candidates, or work as industrial rope technicians, this course is the gold standard for acceptance into these areas of employment.

The folks that were preparing for their Pro Board exam utilized this course as a bench mark of their skills before taking the examination, and we're happy to report that those folks who entered the Pro Board exam post course were successful in their endevour."


Swiftwater Rescue Technician Level 1 with instructor Jim Douglas












Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced with instructor Ron Morrison

"We managed to train in 5 different venues (which I think was a record for me)  in one course which created a wide range of options from scenarios.  

The training culminated with a complex scenario putting all the students skills to the test including, access, in water movement and packaging of a patient and a high angle raise with limited equipment."







Swiftwater Recovery Specialist with instructor Craig Gerrard

"It was excellent to be able to lead our students through a subject that can be very dark and difficult, as it deals with death and loss.

This course provided tools to equip participants deal successfully with the family and loved ones of the deceased.


Participants from fire and SAR organizesations across Western Canada attended this course to increase their expertise in responding in this unique and challenging circumstance."






Rescue from Vehicles in Water with instructor Jim Douglas



Confined Space Rescue Operator with instructor Kit Little

"The group was a really good class made up of mostly people from the Canadian Navy.  The majority of guys were people that work on our Naval ships and submarines.

They had unique challenges with ventilation of confined spaces aboard ships. They couldn’t just vent to atmosphere because it could be four decks down right beside the air intake for the ships engines.

They also used a very interesting and specialized piece of confined space equipment - a skateboard.  They would lie on it and use it to get down things like torpedo tubes... not your everyday skateboarding trick!"








Confined Space Rescue Technician with instructor Ron Morrison

"We had a great crew on the CSRT.  As a result of it being one of the last courses in the Academy, many of the students had just completed a number of other courses so their skills were fresh and sharp.

We also had a crew from the Navy which made for some really interesting and challenging scenarios."




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Darren Saare
Port Alberni Search & Rescue

Once again it was great working with Raven Rescue. The course environment was a challenge, since we were in heavy flood conditions, but Craig did a great job of adjusting the curriculum to meet the needs of the participants while maintaining a sufficient level of safety amongst heavy debris, massive whirlpools and somewhat bizarrely... a couple of huge sea lions that strayed up the river to play in the chaos.


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