Blog - The Raven Speaks

The 2017 Raven Rescue Instructor Meeting

Our professional development program is based on three components:

  • time spent teaching in the field
  • technical updates
  • our biennial instructor meeting.

With more than 40 instructors across Canada, making professional development accessible to each member of our team is a challenge we meet with enthusiasm. We provide a range of opportunities designed to enhance their already significant skills and knowledge which ensures their competency and improvement across multiple fronts. 

Of the three components of our ProD program, the biennial instructor meeting is always a highlight. Three days spent learning alongside the best rescue instructors in the country is more than ProD, and the value of the sideline moments spent comparing stories and techniques can’t be quantified.

This past years' western instructor meeting was hosted at our company headquarters in Smithers, British Columbia. Things kicked off with a day of paddling. Instructors could pick between the Class III/IV water of the Bulkley Canyon or a family-friendly float down a more benign section for those with kids in tow. This approach was a great team builder and primed everyone to focus during two days of indoor sessions. 

Over the next two days, we focused on communicating better as an instructor including how to improve student retention, particularly on shorter courses; and how to ensure that feedback is delivered in a way that supports a student’s growth and improvement.  Technical updates were not a part of this year's meeting as we are launching regional field-based workshops in the coming year in order to provide enough time to enhance technical competence as well as teaching ability.

We also took advantage of the attendance of Equipment Manager, Matt Kilback, at this year’s conference who reviewed the numerous ways we can support the improvement of client equipment caches. We took a cue from Ontario Regional Manager Dan Kirvan who took an equipment inspection course with Petzl this past year, and reviewed the highlights of the training he received in gear cache inspections (which forms the foundation of our new equipment inspection service).

The instructor team was also briefed on the range of services Raven Rescue provides. As the lead technicians on all our services jobs, different instructors have found themselves deeply involved in very specific components of our services sector in the last year – from safety program audits, to confined space program development.  Being together with other instructors allowed everyone to step back and observe the scope to which Raven’s services have grown.

As one of the integral components of our Professional Development program, the biennial instructor meeting serves as a springboard for improvement and growth across each aspect of Raven Rescue's operations – equipment, training and services.

Raven Rescue’s Eastern instructors will be gathering for their biennial meeting in 2018, and we’re already looking forward to the 2019 western meeting.

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