Code 3 Rescue Training

(530) 727-8550

SwiftWater & Flood Rescue (Operations)

Course Overview

An Adventurous and Hands-On, 3-day course of intermediate river and flood rescue Skills, Strategy and Tactics involving Shore Based rescue techniques, Rescue Swimming, Rope Rigging Systems and light rescue watercraft handling for Emergency Service and Public Safety personnel. This "industry standard" certified course meets NFPA 1670 & 1006 “Operations Level" and partial "Technician Level” certification.   **Students will receive the NFPA "Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Operational” certification, (24 Instructional Hrs.).

unnamed Class Video                       Fleyer YellowCourse Flyer                        Yellow Flyer IconCourse Details PDF


Day 1: 9am - 5pm

Classroom: Rescue Philosophy/Priorities, Hydrology & River Terminology, Water Rescue Analysis, Rescuer/Victim Psychology & Physiology, Equipment Overview, Knots & Rope Rigging, Throw-bag Rescue Techniques.

Day 2: 9am - 5pm

On the River, Site TBA: Basic Swimming Survival Tactics, Basic Rescue Systems M/A Rigging, Self/Team Shore Based Rescue Techniques, Boat Handling Rescue Tactics.

Day 3: 9am - 5pm

On the River, Site TBA: Advanced Rescue Swimming Tactics, Intermediate Rope Rescue Rigging Systems, Victim Contact Rescues/Combat Swimming, River Rescue Scenarios/Team Mgmt., Exam


Personal Gear and Wetsuit Rental

We will provide you with a helmet and rescue life-jacket as a rental for $15 for the class if you dont have your own. Your own department swiftwater rescue rated gear is welcome. You will also need to furnish your own wetsuit or drysuit & shoes (Wetsuit thickness should be 7mm for winter classes and 3-5mm in summer)

  • Wetsuit: Rentals about $15/day locally at Scuba Hut 530-636-2644.  Located at 2725 Hwy 32 Chico. Suits may be fitted and picked-up on the first day of class during the lunch break. We will gladly return your suit for you after the class.
  • Footwear: Hard sole wetsuit booties or running shoes with ankle support, are recommended. Lightweight hiking boots also work well. IF you rent a wetsuit, they are included with the rental.

The first day of class will be in the classroom (We will not be getting in the water today)

  • Lecture and rope skills will be information intensive! Plan on getting a good night rest beforehand.
  • Bring note taking materials: your textbook, handouts and certification/registration paperwork will be provided.
  • Class refreshments will be provided. However, we will break for lunch in town.
  • Attire is casual dress, appropriate for public contact, unless otherwise require by your agency.

Class Days 2 and 3 on the river!

We will meet at a pre-determined grocery store each morning at 7:30 for students to get lunches and then caravan or carpool to the river training site. River training sites are wild and scenic, restrooms facilities are limited as well as cell phone signals.

Some items to consider bringing with you:

  • Ice Chest and/or Thermos for hot drinks
  • Lots of hydration fluids: A gallon of water and several sports drinks per day, per person.
  • Sun Screen
  • Hat & Sunglasses
  • Waterproof Disposable Camera
  • Portable Camping Chair
  • Towel
  • Change of dry clothes
  • Jacket for winter classes

Last day of class

We will finish up at the river site with a written test and certificate handout. By 6pm, you should be on the road home or traveling back to your hotel.


Day 1: Classroom/Lecture

Focus: Rescue Philosophy & Priorities, Hydrology & Terminoligy, Swiftwater Rescue Situational Analysis, Rescuer/Victim Psychology & Physiology.

  • Class Objectives
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Rescue Psychology
  • Rescue Priorities
  • Low to High Risk Options
  • River Terminology
  • Hydrology
  • Communications
  • Intermediate and Advanced Water Rescue Techniques
  • Handling Vehicles in Moving Water
  • Flood Disaster and Safety
  • Incident Management and Pre-Planning
  • Witness/Family/Bystanders/Media
  • Water Rescue Medical Considerations
  • Rope Rescue Rigging: Knots, Anchors, Mech-Advantage
  • Swiftwater Gear and Equipment

Day 2: On the River: Location TBA

Focus: Basic Rescue Swimming Tactics, Basic Rescue System, Rigging, Self & Team Members Rescue Techniques, Boat & Shore Based Rescue Tactics

  • Safety Briefing
  • Performance
  • Anchors & Tensioning Systems
  • River Line Crossing Options
  • Throw Bags
  • Swimming Positions
  • Eddy Swimming
  • Rescue Boards/ Towed Victim Swim
  • Shallow Water Crossing
  • Swimming a Hole/Hydraulic
  • Body Entrapment/ Stabilization line Drill
  • Strainer Drill
  • Boat Handling Drill

Day 3: Mountain River: Narrow Channel/Gradient "Rapids" Setting , TBA

Focus: Advanced Rescue Swimming Tactics, Advanced Rescue Rigging Systems, Victim Contact Rescues, Rescue Scenario Performance

  • Safety Briefing
  • Performance
  • Contact Rescues/Combat Swimming
  • C-Spine Precautions
  • Rescues PFD's Tether release
  • Tethered Rescuer Contact
  • Vertical Channel Rescues
  • Boat Handling Skills
  • 2 or 4 point Boat Tether Rescue
  • Highline Tryoline Rescue Problem #1
  • Rescue Problem # 2
  • Written Exam
  • Wrap- Up and Certificates

Student Requirements

  1. Students must be 18 years old and have a moderate swimming ability to face challenging situations in dynamic water.
  2. No pre-requisite course is required. Although it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of knots, anchors, and mechanical advantage.
  3. Students must have personal medical insurance or department insurance coverage.
  4. Student will need to provide their own wetsuit and footwear for the course. Rentals are available (see details below). All other gear is provided for you.

Meeting Location

Oxford Suites Chico

Unless otherwise notified, we will meet at 9am on the first day of class at the Oxford Suites Chico Hotel Confernece Center.  

2035 Business Ln.  Chico, CA  866-460-7456.

Check in a the front desk for the conference room location.


*Special Student Lodging Discount is available. Contatct Sale Manager, Analise.

Oxford Suites map


Dates and Locations

$465 per student

  • Click below on the Registration button for your class
  • Contact us to pay with a Department or personal check
  • Contact us to have a class scheduled on location for your Agency.

Available Dates

Oct 26-28th, (Tu, W, Th) 2021 OPEN

Chico, California

Number of Students

Nov 30-Dec 2nd (T, W, Th) 2021 OPEN

Chico, California

Number of Students

Jan 11-13th (Tu, W, Th) 2022  OPEN

Chico, California 

Number of Students

Mar 1-3rd (Tu, W, Th) 2022 OPEN

I'm Chico, California

Number of Students

April 5-7th (Tu, W, Th) 2021 OPEN

Chico, California

Number of Students

Chico Area Lodging

(Hotels are within 5 miles of each other)
(List increases in price)
*An exclusive Student Discount is available thru the Oxford Suites Hotel, just mention you are taking this class.

Motel 6

Best Western Heritage Inn

Oxford Suites
(Preferred Student Rates!)

Holiday Inn

Marriott Hotel Residence Inn

Check on-line for additional Chico lodging options

Camping: **State Parks Campground at Lime Saddle Marina on Lake Oroville (20 min from Chico, 530-538-2219)

Cancellation Policy

If you absolutely cannot attend, your tuition will be refunded only if cancellation is made 10-days prior to class start date, No exceptions please, ie. (Funerals, Weddings, Personal Illness, Employer Conflicts). Cancellations after this time period are non-refundable and cannot be credited to another course.

Class sizes are kept small for quality "one-on-one" training but our courses require a minimum number of personnel for safety and team effectiveness. Therefore, students dropping at the last minute could jeopardize the course numbers resulting in the cancellation of the class for all others scheduled. However, you will be refunded in full if the class has been cancelled by the instructor.

**Starting Jan 1st 2020:  If you cancel your registration prior to the 10-day terms above, you will be refunded your full tuition, less $25, as PayPal is now keeping their credit card transaction fee, thus passing the refund burden onto the consumer.

Certified Training: NFPA & CSFM

We have been training professional rescuers from all over the California and the Western United States since 1997. Upon completion, students will receive certification meeting the National Fire Protection Association 1670 & 1006 standards for rope and water rescue guidelines for the “Swiftwater and Flood Rescue-1 "Operations Level” (24 hrs.) certificate. Additionally, students will receive the California State Fire Marshal's Office FSTEP "River and Flood Water Rescue" certificate. Course is taught by a certified, State Fire Training Officer and also meets the CSFM River and Flood Rescue Operational curriculum. This course exceeds qualifications to meet Federal, State and Local-government Fire/Police/USAR Team standards for urban and remote-area technical rope rescue. With safety as our highest priority, our mission is to provide an innovative, thorough and concise technical rescue training program, focusing of quality control! We are experienced, line-of-duty firefighters who regularly respond to these types of emergencies teaching and passing on our heritage.