Water Rescue Train-the-Trainer Academy

The International Water Rescue Train-the-Trainer Academy is a very intensive, comprehensive, and boot-camp style 4-day training program that includes over 48 contact hours of classroom and practical instruction. Practical session venues include indoor swimming pools, the Presumpscot River (Westbrook, Maine), the Atlantic Ocean (Kennebunkport, Maine), and the Saco River (Saco, Maine). The Academy is designed to train representatives of Public Safety and Rescue organizations as Lifesaving Resources’ Surface Water Rescue and Swiftwater Instructors. Graduates from this Academy are authorized to conduct nationally/internationally standardized Surface Water Rescue Awareness, Operations, and Technician level courses, as well as Swiftwater Water Rescue Technician courses within their individual department/agency. These courses prepare participants to safely and effectively respond to rescue and recovery incidents in swimming pools, flat-water beaches, lakes, oceans, waterparks, etc., as well as in moving or swift water environments. These courses meet and exceed NFPA 1670 & NFPA 1006 Standards for Technical Rescue.

Tuition includes single-occupancy lodging (Thursday through Sunday), and meals (Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch), as well as all books and materials.

Upon successful completion of the Academy, graduates are authorized as Water Rescue Instructors 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.

The 4-day Water Rescue Train-the-Trainer 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 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 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 the Academy. Instructor Candidates will be provided with a confirmation packet prior to their arrival that contains pre-requisite reading assignments that must be completed prior to the start of the Academy.

Instructor Candidates may fly into Portland Airport (PWM) in Maine and transportation to the hotel is available via Uber or Taxi.


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 affiliated with a municipal Parks and Recreation Department
  • 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 all equipment will be provided by Lifesaving Resources for the practical sessions. In addition, Instructor candidates must have:

  • bathing suit
  • long pants (for in-water use)
  • t-shirt (for in-water use)
  • tennis shoes or rigid sole wetsuit booties for use in the water
  • wetsuit or swiftwater dry suit
  • wetsuit gloves


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:

  • All safety and rescue procedures must be adhered to during the conduct of all Lifesaving Resources’ Water Rescue courses.
  • Each Water Rescue course student must receive his/her personal copy of the Lifesaving Resources’ Water Rescue Course Guidebook at a price of $18.95 per book.
  • Upon completion of the course, Instructors must submit a Record of Course Completion and must issue Course Completion Certificates the course participants.
  • The Record of Course Completion must be submitted within two weeks from the course completion date.The curriculum must be conducted as defined in the Lifesaving Resources’ curriculum materials, including:

Course Completion: 

Upon successful completion of this Academy training program, participants will be certified as Water Rescue and Swiftwater Rescue Techncians and Water Rescue Instructors and will be authorized to conduct Water Rescue Awareness, Operations, and Technician level courses, and Swiftwater Rescue Technician courses on behalf of their own Public Safety and/or Rescue agency.


The Water Rescue Train-the-Trainer Academy is a very comprehensive and intensive training Academy. Instructor candidates must be well-rested and prepared to participate in this very rigorous and fast-paced 4-day schedule as follows:

Day 1
03:00 PM – 05:30 PM Classroom
06:00 PM – 06:45 PM Dinner
07:00 PM – 10:00 PM Classroom

Day 2
07:00 AM – 07:45 AM Breakfast
08:00 AM – 11:30 AM Practical Pool Session
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM Lunch
01:00 PM – 04:00 PM Practical Pool Session
05:00 PM – 05:45 PM Dinner
06:30 PM – 09:00 PM Practical River Session
09:00 PM – 10:00 PM Classroom

Day 3
07:00 AM – 07:45 AM Breakfast
08:00 AM – 11:30 AM Practical River Session
12:30 PM – 01:15 PM Lunch
01:30 PM – 04:30 PM Practical Pool Session
06:00 PM – 06:45 PM Dinner
07:00 PM – 10:00 PM Classroom

Day 4
07:00 AM – 07:30 AM Breakfast
08:00 AM – 11:30 AM Practical Ocean Session
01:00 PM – 01:45 PM Lunch
02:00 PM – 03:00 PM Classroom
03:00 PM – 03:30 PM Graduation