Swiftwater Rescue – Whitewater Wisdom

Spring is an amazing time to be in the New River Gorge! The days are warming up, the flowers are blooming, and best of all, it marks the start of another rafting season. Getting ready for the season means getting the dust of our equipment and refreshing our guides’ rescue skills. Safety is always our number one priority and ACE is committed to holding our guides to the highest standards in the outdoor industry.

This year, ACE is excited about its partnership with Whitewater Wisdom to offer swiftwater rescue and wilderness medicine courses. Guides are always cultivating and fine tuning their craft: studying new rivers, learning about new gear and exercising rescue/medical skills to ensure the safety of everyone for a fantastic adventure. All guides complete an intensive training course their first year. However at ACE, guides are encouraged to enhance their training every season they return. Many of our staff have been paddling the river for 10, 20 and even 30+ years and they still continue to take part in training and workshops to strengthen their skills.

This spring, 60 returning staff and 30 trainees are taking part in the Whitewater Rescue Technician Level 1 courses, certified by Rescue 3 International, which involve plenty of swimming on the New River. The 3-day courses include tying knots, setting up ropes systems and working through rescue scenarios.  Whitewater Wisdom offers a wide range of courses for the weekend paddler, whitewater professionals, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and military groups. With West Virginia’s reliable flows, the New River Gorge is the ideal place to hone in these skills year round.


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