Inside Swiftwater Rescue Training

Swiftwater Rescue Training at Colorado Mountain College

We sat down with Derik Frieda, EMT for Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services, to ask him a few questions regarding the Swiftwater Rescue Course offered at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville.
Swiftwater Rescue Training on the Arkansas River

CMC Leadville: What is your experience with rivers, swift-water & swift-water rescue?
Derik: I grew up in Chaffee County and haven’t spent much time on the river. However, I am currently an EMT for Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services and am working towards my Paramedic. Having the tourist population that we do, river accidents are quite common and the swift-water rescue course was a must. 

CMC Leadville: Describe the swift-water rescue course at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville in 10 words or less.
Derik: One of the greatest courses I have ever taken.

CMC Leadville: Did the instructors use a lot of hands-on or experiential learning?
Derik: I am definitely a hands-on learner, as are most people. Roger Bill and Donnie in the SRT course spent at least 80-90% of the time working with us hands-on and being in the river.

CMC Leadville: What was the most important thing you walked away with?
Derik: Comfort with the river. This course has helped me with feeling comfortable in providing a rescue in the river, and the drive to spend more time on the river in my personal life, as well.

CMC Leadville: How can you use the material learned at the Swift-water Rescue Course in your life?
Derik: My career is based on helping the community, and with the help of the Swift-water Rescue Course I am now able to broaden the areas in which I can help someone who is in danger in the river. The course also gave me motivation to look into kayaking and spending time on the river so that I can have another summer activity to enjoy in beautiful Colorado.

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