SRT I; Nantahala River ; Andrews, NC

 The Rescue 3 International SRT I course addresses various aspects of swiftwater and flood emergencies with a focus upon rescuer safety and team efficiency during these types of emergencies. This course is a physically intensive, 30-hour class that includes classroom instruction followed by two days of developing and practicing water survival & rescue skill sets. Emphasis of this course is based upon self-rescue skills and meets and/or exceeds the skills taught within N.F.P.A. 1006 Awareness and Operations for swiftwater rescue. Other topics include an in-depth analysis of hydrology, handling hazards and obstacles, rescue equipment familiarization, utilizing basic rope systems, conducting in-water contact rescues, and much more. Information from this course is applicable to anyone confronted with potential water rescue, as well as, the possibility of self-rescue.    This is a physically and mentally challenging course! Those students with phobias of swimming class I & II rapids, extremely cold water (35 degrees), or extensive health problems (heart, trauma, respiratory…) are discouraged from attending this course.



The SRT I course is an objective driven course, class times will be promptly adhered and will dismiss when all objectives for each training date have been completed. Attendance to all class sessions is required in order to receive full certification.Students will receive a course manual, skill sheet, test, certificate of completion, I.D. card, and patch during the class.



$390 First Time Students

$265 Re-certifying Students

Register Here For
October 23,24,25 SRT I

Lecture Location:

Lecture location is subject to change based on facility availability and lodging demands.

Valleytown Fire Department
2769 Stewart Rd,
Andrews, NC 28901


Valleytown Fire Department is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains in Andrews, NC. The department is located along Hwy. 74 West / 19 West beside the Hardess as the highway transitions from the 2-lane to a 4 lane road.  .

Alternate Lecture Location: (You will be notified if alternate lecture site is selected)

River Location

Nantahala River Boat Launch

Wayah Rd. &  U.S. Hwy 74/19 Intersection

River training will meet in the parking lot of the Nantahala River Commercial & Private Boat Launch site located at the intersection Hwy. 74 and Wayah Rd. near Topton, NC. Travel distances vary depending upon lodging locations to the river.

Nantahala River Launch Site Map

  • From Topton, NC-10 minutes

  • From Andrews, NC- 20 minutes

  • From Bryson City, NC- 30 minutes

  • From Cherokee, NC- 45 minutes

Itinerary & Locations:

Day #1: (Lecture Day)

Valleytown Fire Department
2769 Stewart Rd,
Andrews, NC 28901
Start Time: 1200 hrs.
End Time: 1900 hrs.

Click here to view map

Day #2: (River Day)

USFS Nantahala River Launch Site
Hwy. 74/19 & Wayah Rd.
Topton, NC
Start Time: 0800 hrs.
End Time: 1800 hrs.

Click Here to View Map

Day #3: (River Day)

USFS Nantahala River Launch Site
Hwy. 74/19 & Wayah Rd.
Topton, NC
Start Time: 0800 hrs.
End Time: 1800 hrs.


All meals are at the responsibility of the student.

Day #1:
Supper is at the conclusion of  lecture around 7 pm.
Day #2:
Breakfast -On Your Own;
Lunch- Bring bag Lunch; Eat in USFS Parking Lot
Supper; Class Supper in Bryson City 1930 hrs.
Day #3:
Breakfast -On Your Own;
Lunch- Bring bag Lunch; Eat in USFS Parking Lot

Class Info  

The Rescue 3 Int. SRT I is the first of three classes needed for personnel to meet the requirements for the Technician / Level II NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents and the NFPA 1006 Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications in the area of water rescue.  Our SRT courses are delivered in two regions of North Carolina, Nantahala River (Bryson City, NC) and the Roanoke River (Weldon, NC).

Course Overview & Class Details

See below for more information on lodging, times, and itinerary.

Lecture portions of the class are conducted on Day 1 (8 hrs) and practicals are help days 2 & 3 (10 hrs).


Students are responsible for their own Personal Protective Equipment:

  • An approved USCG  Type 3 or Type 5 personal flotation device (PFD) (Type 5 is preferred)

  • A rock climbing or water rescue helmet. (Helmet must have holes for venting water)

  • Drysuits or Wetsuits (5mm or thicker wetsuits) are encouraged.

  • Synthetic Undergarment (Polypropylene for Drysuits; Thicker the warmer)

  • Neoprene gloves for thermal protection

  • River boots with ankle support (River shoes or surfer shoes will not provide enough protection)

  • Socks; Neoprene or wool thermal protection are suggested.

  • Clothing suitable for the diverse mountainous climate

  • Snorkel & Mask (Optional)

  • Swim Fins (Optional)

  • Neoprene Skull Cap (Optional)

  • River Knife

  • Dry Bag (Optional)

Rescue North Carolina reserves the right to refuse any equipment not compliant with industry safety standards or not meeting safety inspection guidelines. 


  • No extensive medical condition(heart problems, obesity, back problems…)

  • Moderate swimming ability

  • Must be 18 years old

  • Health Insurance or Worker’s Compensation coverage



Lodging for the course will be not be provided. Students will need to provide their own lodging in the Bryson City, NC region.

Carolina Mountain Vacation Cabins  1-877-488-8500 (approx. 15-20 miles from training site)  Group Lodging  $$$$

Cherokee Mountain Cabins; 866-772-2246; (Approx. 8 miles from training site)61 Bear Creek Rd, Topton, NC 28781 $$$

Nelson’s Nantahala Campground 1-800-936-6649 ( approx. 3 miles from training site in Topton, NC) $$ (THESE ARE RUSTIC STYLE GROUP  AND BUNKHOUSE STYLE CABINS)

Microtel  Inn (Bryson City, NC) 1-828-488-7900 (approx. 30 minutes from training site) $$

Quality Inn (Andrews, NC) (828) 321-2176 (approx. 20 minutes from training site)
138 Upper Valley River Lane, Andrews, NC 28901

Sleep Inn (Bryson City) 1-828-488-0326 (approx. 30 minutes from training site $$

Falling Waters Group Lodging 1-800-451-9972 (approx. 20 minutes from training site) VERY RUSTIC STYLE BUNKHOUSE LODGING

About the Nanty…


River Temps:

  • Jan.-Apr.        34-37 degrees (F)

  • April-Sept.      36-42 degrees (F)

  • Sept.-Nov.      39-47 degrees (F)

Air Temps:

  • Jan.-Apr.        10’s-40’s degrees (F)

  • April-Aug.       20’s-90’s degrees (F)

  • Sept.-Nov.      30’s-80’s degrees (F)

The Nantahala River is a river in western North Carolina in the United States, within the Nantahala National Forest, and near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Two-lane U.S. Highway 19/74, once part of the Trail of Tears, runs along the river, picnic areas dotting the route. The River rises near the border of Georgia and North Carolina, close to the Southern Nantahala Wilderness and the Appalachian Trail. It empties into the Little Tennessee River at Fontana Lake. The word Nantahala is Cherokee and means “Land of the Noonday Sun“. The river runs through a narrow and steep gorge where in some areas the sun reaches the ground only when it is directly overhead during the middle of the day.


Upper Run (Cascades)

The upper section of the river extends from the Nantahala Dam to the Nantahala Powerhouse just upstream of our training site.
The uppermost section just below White Oak Falls is known as the Nantahala Cascades and is an extremely steep and challenging whitewater route. Upon reaching the bridge, the river becomes the Upper Nantahala and flattens out to become a solid Class III-IV run. The regular Nantahala River flow is diverted through a penstock controlled by Duke Energy, so the only water normally flowing through this section comes from tributaries like Dick’s Creek. However, during periods of very wet weather, or the rare long-term outage at the powerhouse the river flows full. This section of the channel is narrow and features several Class 4 & 5 rapids.

In the Winter months, the Upper Nantahala is maintained as a delayed-harvest trout fishery from the mouth of Whiteoak Creek downstream to the Nantahala Powerhouse. The state of North Carolina stocks approximately 10,000 Brown, Rainbow, and Brook Trout annually in the upper river on top of an already existing population of stream-born Rainbow and Brown Trout.

Lower Run (Where our courses are taught)

The part that can be rafted is 8 miles long and has Class II and III rapids. It extends from the Nantahala Powerhouse to the town of Wesser.  Two launch sites provide access. The main access is just downstream of the Nantahala Powerhouse and upstream of “Patton’s Run”. The other is at the Ferebee Memorial Picnic Area near where US 74 crosses the river. There are two take-out points, one above and one below “Upper Nantahala Falls.” Notable rapids include “Patton’s Run,” “Quarry,” “Whirlpool,” “Surfers,” “Bulls Run,” and “Upper Nantahala Falls.” Just beyond the main take-out point in Wesser lies Lower Nantahala Falls, or Wesser Falls, which drops off at about a 45 degree angle with many sharp rocks. Immediately after this point the Nantahala flows into Fontana Lake.

The flow rate of this section of the Nantahala is dependent on releases from Nantahala Lake, which is controlled by Duke Energy. The Nantahala dam is a diversion dam; the water that normally flows through the river is diverted through a 5.5 mile penstock before flowing through the Nantahala Powerhouse and back into the original river channel far downstream. The river is “on” when Duke Energy is generating electricity and releasing water. From late spring to early fall Duke Energy follows a regular release schedule[4] to help support commercial rafting.

The opening of the main penstock is near the bottom of the Nantahala dam, and is underground for most of its length. Because of this the discharged water is always at or near the average groundwater temperature, which in this region is in the mid 50s (F).