Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Aid for the River Runner

Dave McEvoy, Director of Aerie Backcountry Medicine, sat down with WRI to discuss what first aid skills river runners should focus on and prepare for. The video interview can be seen on Youtube (

Click here to read the full interview with Dave.

If you need to get your wilderness medicine certification, we recommend Aerie wholeheartedly. Their courses are fantastic!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Call for Nominations

The Higgins & Langley Memorial and Education Fund, working in conjunction with the Swiftwater Rescue Committee of the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), is seeking nominations for the 2010 Higgins & Langley Memorial Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Swiftwater Rescue, the highest international honors presented for flood and swiftwater rescue.

In addition to individual achievements and swiftwater-flood rescue team efforts, those who have dedicated years of service to developing and implement­ing swiftwater-flood rescue training programs, as well as public safety media-education efforts, will be considered for nomination. Nominations for the 2010 flood and swiftwater incident awards may include those between January 1, 2009 and February 1, 2010.

The awards honor civilian rescuer, Earl Higgins, who lost his life in February of 1980 while attempting to save a child being swept away in the flood-swollen Los Angeles River, and firefighter/paramedic Jeffrey Langley of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, who lost his life in a helicopter accident in March of 1993.

Earl Higgins

Writer/Film Maker


Jeffrey Langley



The awards will be presented during the annual conference of the National Association for Search and Rescue at the end of May 2010.

The DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is February 19, 2010.

All nominations must be postmarked no later than February 19, 2010. Read instructions with care to avoid having nominations disqualified for lack of completion.

There are several award categories, not all of which specifically recognize noteworthy technical swiftwater/flood rescues. Some recognize significant achievement in the development of swiftwater/flood rescue training programs, flood disaster preparedness and response, flood and swiftwater safety education programs, etc.

The Higgins & Langley Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Swiftwater Rescue

The Higgins & Langley Memorial Award is the premier internationally recognized Award for excellence in Swiftwater Rescue. It recognizes an intense dedication to the field and a genuine desire to benefit the larger community. Only one Higgins & Langley Memorial award is awarded in any calendar year.

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for those few individuals who make a significant and lasting impact in the field of swiftwater rescue. Consequently, lifetime achievement awards are awarded only occasionally.

Program Development Award
The Program Development Award recognizes agencies that make a significant commitment to swiftwater rescue programs in their area. This award profiles the education, training and resources to develop a successful swiftwater rescue program.

Incident Award
Occasionally, a specific Incident is recognized that clearly demonstrates outstanding skill and preparedness, as well as outstanding teamwork in swiftwater rescue.

Special Commendation Award
The Special Commendation Award recognizes the breadth of possible contribution in the field of swiftwater rescue. Awards of this type can be for media contribution, strategic planning, individual heroism or esprit de corps.

For more information, please contact:

Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards
c/o Fred “Slim” Ray, Treasurer
8 Pelham Rd
Asheville NC 28803
Tel: 828-505-2917

Download Nomination Forms:

Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards in Swiftwater Rescue

Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards newsletter:

If you have any questions, please contact us:

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Missoula Paddling Community Meeting

On November 11th, 6:30 pm, at the Break Espresso on Higgins, members of the local river community will be gathering to discuss the Blackfoot River Management Plan. For those of you who have yet to heard about this plan, we recommend that you visit the FWP website and read through it.

In essence, the proposed plan sets in place trigger points (40 launches a day) for the stretch between Harry Morgan and Russell Gates. If the proposed trigger points are surpassed, then a permit system could be set into place. After that, trigger points would be set for the next stretch from Russell Gates to Round-up. And again, if surpassed, a permit system could be set in place. This would continue to the next stretch and so on.

This is obviously an over-simplification of the plan, that is why you should read it yourself and decide how you feel. The comment period ends on November 16th.

Join us at the Break to discuss our options and what the paddling community should do to help better manage this great resource.

See you there!