Course Summary:

The International Water Rescue Instructor Academy is an intensive and comprehensive 4-day program designed for training and certifying public safety and rescue personnel as surface water and swiftwater rescue instructors.


For the complete course schedule, visit our Course Registration page.


Portland, Maine, and nearby locations.

Additional Course Information:

The Lifesaving Resources Water Rescue Instructors Academy trains representatives of Public Safety and Rescue organizations as Lifesaving Resources’ Surface Water Rescue and Swiftwater Rescue Instructors.  Participants are taught 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.

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 meet and exceed NFPA 1670 and NFPA 1006 Standards.

This course includes over 45 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).

Course Completion:

Upon successful completion of the Academy, graduates are 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 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.


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, comfortable swimming in pools, rivers, and the ocean.

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.

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
  • 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

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.

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

If you would like assistance in finding the correct equipment, please contact us.

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 the Academy. The Water Rescue Instructor 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
06:00 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 Ocean 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 River Session
01:00 PM – 01:45 PM Lunch
02:00 PM – 03:00 PM Classroom
03:00 PM – 03:30 PM Graduation


Instructor Candidates may fly into Portland Airport (PWM) in Maine and take a taxi or Uber to the hotel.

Instructor Candidates and Faculty are lodged at the Ramada Inn Conference Center at Saco Plaza (352 North St.) in Saco, Maine and are provided individual rooms for rest and comfort. Lodging and meals meals (Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch) are provided and included with the Academy tuition.


Tuition for each Instructor candidate must be paid at the time of registration. Agency purchase orders are accepted.

Tuition includes:

  • 3 nights lodging; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
  • 9 meals including:
    • 1 meal on Thursday (dinner)
    • 3 meals on Friday (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
    • 3 meals on Saturday (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
    • 2 meals on Sunday (breakfast and 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.

Please contact Lifesaving Resources prior to registration if you have any questions regarding these terms.


dworkin-smallGerald M. Dworkin

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 350 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]


Questions about this course? Contact Lifesaving Resources.