PRO-I – (Schedule Link)


The PRO-I is a professional level swiftwater rescue course designed for those requiring certification as a term of employment in a professional capacity. This swiftwater course teaches rescue techniques with regard to limited resources in a variety of river settings. The PRO-I course meets the needs of professional river guides as well as USFS, NPS, Search and Rescue teams, Field Biologists and BLM employees. Additionally, this course is open to highly seasoned recreational river users wishing to train on the PRO track and have access to the PRO-II course not accessible through the REC track.

The PRO-I course focus is on personal safety, decision making, risk management and complex problem solving with other team members having limited rescue resources and communication with outside parties. This course is designed to meet varying student skill levels, and everyone from professional guides to seasonal contractors will benefit from the rescue techniques and concepts covered in this course. Self rescue and hazard avoidance and recognition are key components in this swiftwater course.

ONLINE MODULE: Yes, 2 hours of required online training.

MINIMUM AGE: 16 with parental consent – 15 with a parent also participating

CERTIFICATION: Up to 3 years



  1. Proficient swimmer
  2. Physically capable
  3. Desire to learn
  4. All of the necessary PPE
  5. Meet all Essential Eligibility Criteria


The PRO-I will be delivered in a 2 day, 18 hour format. You are required to complete your online training prior to the field training with SSI. Days 1 and 2 will be spent in the water working on rescue concept evolutions. The PRO-I requires the student to understand key components in the online training and show up in the field on day one (1) capable of constructing a 3:1 mechanical advantage system, simple shore anchor, and a 2-point self equalizing boat anchor on their own (direction provided in online modules). 


Upon registration and payment, you will be automatically enrolled in the online training and have immediate access.


Each module will be followed by a module exam, and you will be able to retake each exam as many times as necessary. You must pass each exam with a minimum score of 80% in order to gain access to the next module. You can start and stop at any time and your progress will be saved. This is how SSI eliminates the formal classroom component, yet still provides you with the training necessary to train at the professional level.


For a 2 day PRO-I, expect to meet at a pre-determined course site on morning one (1) and be presented with the student field manual and all necessary course paperwork. You will be required to construct a simple 3:1 mechanical advantage system, simple shore anchor, and a 2-point self equalizing boat anchor as a means to test into this program. All of this in preparation for two (2) days that will involve a heavy hands-on approach with focus on training in the river and rapidly building your skill-set.


After you have successfully completed the online training and passed with an average score of no less than 80%, you will be allowed to attend the field training portion. There will be no further written examination in this PRO-I training, however you will have to satisfy practical evaluations throughout your time in the field. These are required components for the certification of a PRO-I course.


Internationally recognized 3 year Swiftwater Rescue Training (PRO-I ) Certification of Course Completion – with satisfactory practical and written skills evaluations. On occasion, it may be deemed by your instructor that a one or two year certification is more appropriate based on practical skills evaluations. This will be outlined in the SSI Core Competencies evaluation and clearly explained to the student.

Swiftwater Rescue Patient Movement

PRO-I Learning Objectives

  • Remote-based rescues with limited rescue resources
  • Personnel and group communication
  • Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Hazard avoidance and recognition
  • Gaining comfort swimming in rivers
  • Rescue priorities
  • GAR Risk Calculations
  • Operational Stress Guide
  • Self rescue and rescue priorities
  • Throw bag techniques
  • Contact rescues
  • Foot entrapment extrication
  • Shallow water crossings
  • Knots and anchors
  • Basic (horizontal) technical rope systems & vector pulls
  • Tensioned diagonals
  • Boat pins / flips (class specific and course site dependent)
  • Problem solving with limited gear and resources
  • Overall emergency assessment and recognition dealing with swift water application