Resource and Industry

Surface Ice Field Safety

Course Summary

Working on frozen surfaces

Field personnel performing work on frozen surfaces face unique challenges. Some of the complexities include the need to identify hazards, working in small teams, and limited access to rescue resources. This 2 day course is designed specifically for personnel who venture onto surface ice to perform work.

Participants will develop their ability to determine ice strength, in part by learning about ice formation. Ice testing procedures will be practiced. Hazard identification skills will be sharpened, and personnel will learn to perform self-rescues and rescues of co-workers.  Participants will be familiarized with Raven Rescue's Ice Safety Plan, a document which satisfies provincial requirements for documented pre-planning. (Please note: if you work on frozen rivers that are large volume and have open leads surrounded by ice mantles, you should consider our Ice Rescue Technician - Advanced course.)

Course Details


2 days (16 hours)


1 day classroom, 1 day on the ice


Minimum 10. Maximum 12.

  • 18+ years of age
  • Basic swimming ability
  • In good physical condition



Repeat the entire course at a 15% discount every three years

Annual Training Maintenance

Click here to read about the options available for annual guided practice.

Required Equipment
  • Drysuit, survival suit, or thick (5mm+) wetsuit*
  • Personal Flotation Device (Type III or V)*
  • Water-sport helmet*

* Rental equipment available. Click here for a price list.

Takeaways & Documentation
  • Surface Ice Safety & Rescue Field Guide
  • Raven Rescue's Ice Safety Plan
  • Personalized skill sheet (training record) signed by the Instructor (valuable document for risk management)
  • Wallet card with personal Rescue 3 registration number and date of certification
  • Registration in Rescue 3 International's database (guaranteed record-keeping)
  • Certificate of Completion

For more details about surface ice rescue courses including what to expect and how to prepare, click here for our Surface Ice Rescue FAQ.

Day 1 - Classroom

  • Rescue Philosophy
  • Training Standards
  • Risk Management and Rescuer Safety
  • Ice Properties, Formation, Types
  • Ice Hazards
  • Basic Swiftwater Hydrology
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Technical and Team Equipment
  • Management and Preplanning
  • Incident Management and Site Control
  • Medical Considerations
  • Knots, hitches and special rope considerations
  • Anchorage Options and Techniques

Day 2 - On Ice

  • Tensioning Systems and Mechanical Advantage
  • Ice Testing Procedures
  • Walking On Ice
  • Self Rescue Techniques
  • Conditional Rescues
  • Contact (True) Rescues
  • Co-worker Rescues (Single Rescuer Techniques)
  • Rope-assisted Self Rescue/Belay Techniques
  • Rescue Scenario


Nov 24-25

Ice Rescue Technician

  • $399
  • Edmonton, AB

Dec 6-7

Ice Rescue Technician

  • $399
  • Canmore, AB

Dec 10-11

Ice Rescue Technician

  • $399
  • Busby, AB ( Camp Nakamun)

Jan 5-6

Ice Rescue Technician

  • $399
  • Thunder Bay, ON
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Natasha Eastman
Fisheries Technician

AMAZING course. The surface ice safety training was the best course I have ever taken. I liked that there was some simple first aid and hypothermia components included in the course. The instructor, Frank, was awesome. He was easy to talk to, answered questions quickly but didn’t assume answers. He got back to us regarding a question asked that he had to research the answer for. Frank used the time well, and was adaptive to the class needs and skill levels. The course helped me get over my fear of ice/falling through, especially since I gained the nerve to do a polar dip afterwards. It helped me understand the formation and melting pattern of ice and ice weaknesses. The equipment used was simple and easy. The textbook and field guide are great references, and the field guide is simple and easy to understand and read. Overall 10/10 for the course and instructor.


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