International Water Rescue Instructor Academy

Thursday, September 12, 2024 – Sunday, September 15, 2024

The International Water Rescue Instructor Academy is an intensive and comprehensive 4-day program designed to train and certify Public Safety and Rescue personnel as Water, Surf and Swift Water Rescue Instructors.

Course Location

Portland, Maine and surrounding area



Course Date

Thursday, September 12, 2024 – Sunday, September 15, 2024

Water Rescue Instructor Academy Objectives

The Lifesaving Resources Water Rescue Instructor Academy trains representatives of Public Safety and Rescue organizations as Lifesaving Resources’ Water, Surf, and Swiftwater Rescue Instructors. During the 4-day Academy, Instructor Candidates participate in a variety of training venues including classroom, swimming pool, river, ocean, and lake.

Those who successfully complete the Academy are authorized to conduct Water Rescue training, Swift Water Rescue training, Flood Rescue training, and Surf Rescue training on behalf of their agency.

Training Methodology

Lifesaving Resources’ Ice and Water Rescue Instructor candidates are trained based upon best practices and internationally-recognized standards. Policies, procedures and systems are in place to insure excellent training with limited predictable risk to course participants, faculty and staff. Furthermore, a system of trust and verify exists to ensure the outcome of well-trained Instructors lead by highly qualified and well-trained faculty, instructors, and supervisors.

NFPA 1006 Standards for Technical Rescue

These courses meet/exceed NFPA 1670 and NFPA 1006 Standards for Technical Rescue.

Graduate Certification

Upon successful completion of the Academy, graduates are certified at the Technician level and authorized as Instructors to conduct Water Rescue Awareness, Operations, and Technician level courses, as well as Surf and Swiftwater Rescue Technician courses on behalf of their own Public Safety and Rescue agency for 3 years. In order to be eligible for re-authorization, instructors are required to conduct a minimum of 2 courses within their authorization period, of which at least one course must be conducted at the Technician level.

Awareness, Operations and Technician level certifications are valid for five (5) years from the course completion date, although annual skill review is advocated and necessary in order to maintain critical lifesaving and survival skills and to maintain a high degree of response readiness.

Course Curriculum

Lifesaving Resources’ Ice and Water Rescue training curriculums have developed and evolved over the past 30 years to produce comprehensive and internationally-recognized training curriculums for Fire, Rescue, EMS, and Law Enforcement personnel.

Areas of Training

Throughout the 4 days of training, some of the many areas of study include:

  • Technical Response

    • Emergency Rescue & Recovery Operations
    • Underwater Search & Rescue
    • Incident Command
    • Flood Response
    • Shore-based Non-Swimming Rescues
    • Rigging, Ropes & Knots

  • Water Based Technical Response

    • Escape and Rescue from Submerged Vehicles
    • Firefighter Survival in the Water
    • Flood Rescue Training
    • Surf Rescue Training
    • Swiftwater Rescue Training
    • Rescue Swimmer Evolutions
    • Cold Water Rescue & Survival
    • Personal Survival & Defense Maneuvers

  • Medical Response

    • Emergency Resuscitation Protocol for Drowning
    • Mechanisms & Physiology of Drowning
    • Mechanisms of Aquatic Spinal Injuries
    • Management of Aquatic Spinal Injuries


Instructor candidates must be in good physical condition, must have the endorsement to participate from their department/agency Chief or Training Officer, should have prior teaching/leadership experience, and must be proficient swimmers.

The 4-day Water Rescue Instructor Academy is a very intense and comprehensive training program and instructor candidates must be dedicated and committed to participate fully with classes conducted daily from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Instructor Candidates will be provided with a confirmation packet prior to their arrival that contains prerequisite reading assignments that must be completed prior to the start of the Academy.

Water Rescue Instructor candidates must:

  • be a minimum of 21 years of age
  • be an active member of a Fire, Rescue, EMS, or Law Enforcement agency or be in a position to conduct training for Public Safety and Rescue personnel
  • have the endorsement of the department’s Chief or Training Officer to participate

In addition, the Water Rescue Instructor candidate must demonstrate his/her proficiency in the water by passing the following pre-requisite swim test:

  • swim continuously 100 yards while wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  • while in deep water, remove the PFD, surface dive to a depth of 9′, recover a 10 lbs. brick and bring it to the surface
  • support a 10 lbs. brick at the surface of the water, using legs and 1 hand only, for 1 minute
  • surface dive and swim a distance of 35 feet underwater

Required Equipment

Most equipment will be provided by Lifesaving Resources for the practical sessions, including helmets and Personal Flotation Devices.  Instructor candidates must provide their own:

  • bathing suit
  • long pants and shirt to be worn in the water
  • tennis shoes or rigid sole wetsuit booties for use in the water
  • wetsuit or swiftwater dry suit
  • wetsuit gloves

Course Schedule

The Academy will be conducted in a fast-paced, boot-camp style, and Instructor Candidates must be prepared to put in 110% effort to successfully complete this comprehensive and intensive training. Instructor candidates must be well-rested and prepared to participate in this very rigorous and fast-paced 4-day schedule training program.

Every minute of this 4-day Academy is accounted for. The Academy begins at 3 PM on day 1 and continues until 10 PM. Days 2 & 3 begin at 7 AM and continues until 10 PM. Day 4 begins at 7 AM and concludes at 3 PM.


Instructor Candidates may fly into Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Maine. A hotel shuttle will transport you to the hotel.

Boston Logan airport is approximately 2 hours away and candidates will need to rent a car or take an Uber to Portland.

Tuition includes lodging (Thursday through Sunday) and all meals (Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch). Instructor Candidates and Faculty are lodged in a local hotel and are provided single-occupancy rooms for rest and comfort.


Agency purchase orders are accepted or registration may be paid via check or credit card.

Tuition includes:

  • 3 nights lodging; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
  • All meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday Lunch
  • Full access the Lifesaving Resources’ Instructor Portal to download curriculums, PowerPoint, keynote, and other instructional materials.

Upon receipt of registration and payment, a confirmation packet will be sent to the instructor candidate that contains directions and additional information, including local motel information for participants requiring lodging after the conclusion of the training Academy.


Instructor Candidates will be required to sign an Instructor Agreement and their department/agency will be required to complete an Authorized Provider Agreement. As an authorized provider of Lifesaving Resources’ Water Rescue Courses, the Instructor candidate and the department’s Chief or Training Officer must agree to the following:

  • The curriculum must be conducted as defined in the Lifesaving Resources’ curriculum materials.
  • All safety and rescue procedures must be adhered to during the conduct of all Lifesaving Resources water rescue curriculums.
  • Each Water Rescue course student must receive his/her personal copy of the Lifesaving Resources’ Water Rescue Course Guidebook purchased through the Instructor portal of this website.
  • Upon completion of the course, Instructors must submit a RECORD OF COURSE COMPLETION to Lifesaving Resources within two (2) weeks from the course completion date.
  • Upon course completion, Instructors must award a Lifesaving Resources Awareness, Operations, or Technician level certificate to each participant who successfully completes the training.

Testimonials From Course Graduates


Gerald M. Dworkin

Gerry Dworkin, Lifesaving Resources. Water Rescue Training Consultant.Gerald M. Dworkin (Gerry) is a professional Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue Consultant for Lifesaving Resources, LLC and is the author of publications including “Lifeguard Competition Guidebook” and “Ice Rescue Course Guidebook” (published by Lifesaving Resources).

Gerry has an extensive background in Aquatics Safety, Water Rescue, Ice Rescue, EMS, and Public Safety and Rescue. Along with his textbooks, he has written and published over 40 articles, and has consulted in over 500 drowning and aquatic injury litigation cases as a Forensics Expert.

Gerry has appeared as an expert on such national media broadcasts as CNN; MSNBC; CBS’ Early Show; ABC’s Good Morning America; NBC’s Today Show; and The Weather Channel. He is frequently contacted for interviews by publications throughout the U.S. on matters pertaining to submersion incidents; Lifeguard operations and management; submerged vehicle incidents; aquatics safety; water rescue; and ice rescue.

A Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician for over 40 years, Gerry was a career Firefighter/EMT with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia. He is currently a Firefighter/EMT with the Kennebunkport Fire Department in Maine.

Course Cancellation and Refunds

Please visit our cancellations and refunds page for our complete policy.

Course Host and Sponsorship Opportunities

Any agency, organization, company, or association may host or sponsor any of our training programs.

For details, contact Lifesaving Resources at (207) 967-8614 or e-mail [email protected].


We suggest online registration by clicking the Registration button below. However, if you prefer to register by mail, you may download the registration form here.

Questions about the Water Rescue Instructor Academy

You can contact Lifesaving Resources with any questions regarding our water rescue training course or any of our classes and academies by visiting the contact us page or calling (207) 967-8614.

Register for the International Water Rescue Instructor Academy

Join our cadre of over 400 authorized Ice Rescue or Water Rescue Instructors across the globe.