About the Seminar
This seminar consists of extensive classroom instruction and fieldwork in all phases of cave rescue including underground environment, vertical rescue, hauling systems, extrication techniques, medical management, communication systems, and the organization and management of cave rescue operations. Basic and advanced course material is presented for students who typically include cavers, emergency services personnel, and emergency managers.

The seminar provides approximately 100 hours of instruction over eight days. Its classes are physically strenuous and participants must be in good physical health. Students should be prepared to work in difficult situations, both above and below ground.

NCRC requires participants in its seminars to possess certain skills as prerequisites. Each student must demonstrate his or her ability to ascend (on rope), change over, rappel part way down, tie off their rappel device, change over to ascending gear and down climb safely to the ground as part of initial check-in skills. Students must also demonstrate proficiency with the basic knots and hitches used in cave rescue. Students in Levels 2 and 3 will additionally be required to demonstrate retention of key skills learned in previous levels as a prerequisite for participation in the next level. Please refer to the student resources page. Any student lacking the necessary skills will have the option to withdraw from the course or repeat a previous level.

Participants must review and sign liability waivers during on-site registration. (Persons under the age of 18 may be permitted to participate in the course, but must contact the registrar prior to registration concerning specific rules and restrictions.)

LEVEL 1 teaches current cave rescue management techniques, and provides instruction in cave environment, medical considerations, litter rigging and transport, personal vertical skills, and basic vertical rescue techniques. It is specifically designed to meet the various needs of agency personnel with little or no cave-related experience, and cavers with little or no rescue or medical experience. Level 1 prepares students to function as cave rescue task force members.
LEVEL 2 prepares students to function as cave rescue task force leaders. Participants in Level 2 must have successfully completed an NCRC Level 1 course within the past four years, and must demonstrate retention of key Level 1 exit skills.

Students are taught task force level management, additional medical techniques, and more advanced techniques in vertical and horizontal rescue.
Caving and Wilderness First Aid is an elective course to increase knowledge of the medical aspects of cave rescue. The class includes a two-day Wilderness First Aid course, a half-day Psychological First Aid course, and various other medical topics applicable to cave rescue. The rest of the week will be a review of Level 2 techniques with heavy emphasis on the medical care of the patient. Students will work with the other classes for the walkthrough and the mock. Participants must have completed Level 2 to be eligible for this course. This course will renew eligibility to take Level 3. There is an additional registration fee for certification and the special text book.
TOFE Team Operations and Field Exercises is a week-long course of hands-on field experience through a variety of rescue scenarios in cave and cliff environments. Participants in TOFE must have successfully completed an NCRC Level 2 or higher course within the past four years, and will be expected to demonstrate skills retention as a condition of participation. Emphasizing the core skill set developed in Levels 1 & 2; this course provides cave rescuers an opportunity to acquire more practical problem-solving experience. This class does not grade students through exit testing, but evaluates performance and growth throughout the week to produce a written feedback for each student. This course will renew eligibility to take Level 3.
LEVEL 3 is designed to challenge and fine-tune students’ technical and management skills. Participants in Level 3 must have successfully completed an NCRC Level 2 or higher course within the past four years, and must demonstrate retention of key exit skills. Most sessions will be practical field exercises focused on crack and crevice rescue, technical rigging, and difficult litter handling situations with an emphasis on small group scenarios and innovation. Throughout the week student teams will be presented with a variety of cave rescue problems and be expected to solve them with the assistance and supervision of the instructors. Level 3 enrollment may be limited – CONTACT THE REGISTRAR TO ENSURE SPACE IS AVAILABLE BEFORE YOU REGISTER.

The NCRC will be awarding two $350 scholarships to help students attend the national weeklong seminar at Divide, CO. To be considered please send a caving resume, two letters of support from NSS members, and a cover letter describing your financial need and how training would benefit the caving community in your region. Letters from grotto officers will be given the most weight. Letters from Regional Coordinators will be given less weight. Submit your information to Roger Mortimer, 1455 N. Echo Avenue, Fresno, CA. All materials may be submitted electronically to ncrc-scholarship@sbcglobal.net. All materials must arrive by February 17, 2014 to be considered. Awards will be announced by March 17, 2014.

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