Indiana River Rescue School

The IRRS will be going to a Five day Operations/Technician level format.

The education committee has been re-evaluating the needs of the students and their departments and has presented to the Board of Directors these changes. The curriculum will be in alignment with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Swiftwater modules and NIMS. These guidelines closely follow NFPA 1670 and NFPA 1006.

Students attending this class will become familiar with the relentless power of moving water and should be in good physical condition. After our classroom lecture on day 1 we will go right into the pool to begin our hands on training. Days 2 thru 5 will be all hands on training. Students will learn Shore based operations, Boat based operations and Go rescue techniques.

Students attending this class should have prior to coming:

  1. Strong swimming ability. (Required to navigate class I-III rapids in approved PFD)
  2. Be in good physical condition.
  3. Some knowledge of rope/knots.
  4. Ability to function as a member of a team.

Class lectures will provide a background in theory and concepts that enables students to go directly to the water. Students become familiar with such equipment as inflatable boats, outboards, rescue ropes, rope rescue systems & necessary personal gear. Many of our teaching sites have actual accident histories.

Pyramid TechniqueThe Indiana River Rescue School (IRRS) was formed in 1983 through cooperative efforts of the South Bend Parks & Recreation Dept., the Indiana Dept. Of Natural Resources, South Bend Fire Dept., South Bend Police Dept. and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources. Based in downtown South Bend, IN., the IRRS follows the founding principles of water rescue, as taught by ODNR in it's breakthrough 1979 program. The 5 day school includes extensive field training on the St. Joseph River and it's unique "L" shaped dam, and the East Race Waterway. The East Race Waterway is a 2000' run which winds through the heart of the city. It has been the site of many U.S. Olympic trials and World Class kayak events. It allows for realistic but controlled training in river rescue, what is now formally known as the premier training ground for "Swiftwater rescue".

Multiple Control Point Rope TechniqueThe IRRS is now administered by the South Bend Fire Department under the direction of the Special Operations Bureau. The majority of instructors are comprised of South Bend Firefighters and Conservation Officers from the IDNR. Other public safety agencies also instruct at the school, including Niles Twp. (Michigan) & Mishawaka fire depts. During the last 27 years over 2500 students from throughout the US and South America have been trained by the IRRS. With the excellent location of the school's classroom and training sites, an emphasis is put on "hands on" training with a minimum of downtime for travel. All lunches will be provided on site.