Ice Rescue Technician

This course is valuable training for personnel who work on frozen lakes or rivers, or for those who respond to incidents where someone has fallen through the ice. The emphasis is on determining ice strength, identifying risks, self rescue and low-risk methods of rescuing others.

A Customized Approach to Ice Safety and Rescue

Resource management personnel and outdoor guides will emphasize determining ice strength and hazards as they are often required to work on surface ice for several hours or even days at a time, while first responders will spend more time learning the finer points of a “go rescue” and the Incident Command System as it pertains to ice rescue. All students will cover the full range of skills and knowledge required for certification. This course is compliant with the NFPA 1670 Standard for technical ice rescue incidents.


  • 18+ years of age (16-17 years with parental permission)
  • Basic swimming ability
  • In good physical condition

Required Equipment

  • Drysuit, survival suit or thick wetsuit (wetsuit rentals available upon request)
  • Personal Flotation Device (Type III or IV)
  • Water-sport helmet
  • Neoprene footwear with a good walking sole, or running shoes (a bit large to accommodate extra socks)
  • Note: winter boots do NOT work well as they get very heavy when wet
  • Neoprene gloves or insulated gloves with waterproof gloves overtop (commercial dishwashing gloves work great)
  • Layers of down, wool or fleece clothing for under the drysuit
  • Headwear including a thin hat or balaclava (pom-poms don’t work under a helmet)
  • Hot Shots (pocket warmers)

General Objectives

  • To develop a sense of confidence and necessary skills for personnel working in surface ice situations on lakes and rivers.
  • Develop ability to self rescue and rescue others in surface ice situations
  • Familiarize and train the student in utilization of standard ice rescue gear.

Ice Rescue Course Outline

Day 1 – Classroom

  • Rescue Philosophy
  • Overview NFPA standards (optional)
  • Size up
  • Management and pre-planning
  • Ice processes and properties
  • Rescuer safety
  • Gear and equipment
  • Communications
  • Animal handling (optional)
  • Knots

Day 2 – On Ice

  • Walking on ice
  • Ice staff
  • Self rescue techniques
  • Ice picks
  • Shore-based rescue techniques
  • Anchoring
  • Mechanical advantage
  • Live bait rescues
  • Continuous loop
  • Boat-based techniques
  • Using mechanical advantage on heavy loads
  • Rescue scenarios

Take Aways

  • Rescue 3’s Ice Rescue – Technician Level Manual
  • Personalized skill sheet (training record) signed by the instructor (valuable document for risk management)
  • Registration of training record in Rescue 3’s international database
  • Wallet card with personal Rescue 3 registration number and date of certification
  • Certificate of Completion

*Content is derived from Raven Rescue – to book an ice rescue course please visit*