CFS Press

Swiftwater Rescue Reviews


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What the professionals are saying about SWIFTWATER RESCUE
"A much-needed bridge between professional swiftwater and recreational whitewater communities"
Charlie Walbridge, American Canoe Association Safety Chairman

"SWIFTWATER RESCUE is not only thoughtful but thought provoking. Not only is it the most complete book available on the subject, but is also the most current. Any rescue team having to deal with this most dangerous of natural environments has to have this book."
Jim Segerstrom, Rescue 3 International

"A must read for any fire department involved in water rescue training and emergencies."
Captain Tim Rogers, Charlotte, NC Fire Department

"SWIFTWATER RESCUE is the most complete text ever written on the subject. It should be mandatory reading for all public safety personnel."
Steve Linton, President, International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists

"SWIFTWATER RESCUE is a must for all outdoor rescue personnel. Slim Ray examines all contemporary tools found in the swiftwater rescuer's tool box. He has produced an exhaustive collection of current rescue techniques and swiftwater safety."
Ken Phillips, SAR Coordinator, Grand Canyon National Park

"The most comprehensive text on the subject of swiftwater rescue that I have read. It should meet the needs of everyone from the weekend boater to the swiftwater rescue professional."
Marshall Parks, San Diego Lifeguard Lieutenant, San Diego Swiftwater Rescue Committee Chairperson, USAR Task Force 8, Flood Rescue Component Member Rescue 3

TECHNICAL RESCUE Magazine No. 14 Summer 1997

Two books edited by Slim Ray-USA's top expert on safety in whitewater-have been released as new editions: "RIVER RESCUE - A MANUAL FOR WHITEWATER SAFETY" targeting for rafters and kayakers, and "SWIFTWATER RESCUE - A MANUAL FOR THE RESCUE PROFESSIONAL" targeting professional rescue staff such as police or fire departments. Both of the books treat the subject in such a comprehensive way which to date is not to be found in two books.

For us kayakers "RIVER RESCUE" serves both as a profound teaching basis and reference source, starting from describing objective and subjective danger, continuing with equipment, self rescue, use of throw ropes up to rather sophisticated rescue techniques. Pulley fans will absolutely be delighted.

Major focus has been put to the headings rescue organization, CPR and the rescue of injured. Hair-raising photos and many detailed drawings especially depicting knots and rope techniques illustrate the topics very well. This book is a "must" for anyone who is seeking a comprehensive description of anything concerning safety in kayaking.

"SWIFTWATER RESCUE" contains much of the basic principles of whitewater for the inexperienced. This book focuses more on employing "heavy" technical rescue equipment up to the use of helicopters being available with professional rescue organizations. In this sense this book to a lesser degree meets with the kayaker's demand for quick and effective action on the river as being equipped with basic safety equipment only. Anyhow, like the above, it is a stunning book impressing with many photos and drawings.

However, all theory remains meaningless and even the best books will fail to meet their purpose with lacking of due practical training and experience.

Alpiner Kajak Club TIP 93 edition December 1997 (Germany)


A review by Jim Segerstrom

VP of Operations & Founder,  Rescue 3 International

While there are many rescue books available, most suffer from a plethora of detail, and the clear message is often lost; that is, "these are the simplest ways to do this kind of rescue, and these are the reasons why you should doing it these ways."

Slim Ray knows of what he speaks. A long-time professional boater and guide, former member of the staff of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and co-author of one of the pioneering books on moving water, "River Rescue," which is about to be issued in its 3rd edition by the Appalachian Mountain Club, Slim is also an instructor-trainer for Rescue 3's Swiftwater Rescue Technician program. Slim epitomizes the saying, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Breaking his back in a boating accident, Slim had to be rescued by the very people whom he trained and boated with for years. Now a paraplegic, he continues to teach rescue, boat, and write, and is an active member of NASAR's Swiftwater Rescue Advisory Committee.

"Swiftwater Rescue" is a straightforward, well-organized, and most importantly, an easy, read. Slim not only addresses river and flood rescue directly, he also includes those techniques that have become the recognized competency standards among all the river rescue program being taught today in the U.S. He covers variations in techniques from Europe. He thoroughly covers such diverse subjects as basic and advanced equipment; training; pre-planning; boat-based rescues and various rope systems. He looks at many specialized situations such as river searches, night operations, vehicular rescues, weirs, and helicopter rescues. Finally, he looks at the bigger pictures of major flood operations and disaster work involving floods.

Moving water continues to kill 2 to 3 rescuers each year, and nearly 300 citizens as well. Moving water is statistically the most dangerous kind of rescue work. Yet preparation and training for such work continues to be ignored by most departments until after a tragedy. For the forward looking individual or department interested in getting a state-of-the-art perspective, written by the man widely recognized as the ex-officio "dean" of swiftwater rescue, this book is an absolute must.

Jim Segerstrom

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