Whitewater Rescue Institute | Montana River Guides
Swiftwater Rescue Technician Class

Whitewater Rescue Institute

The Whitewater Rescue Institute is an industry leader in Swiftwater Rescue Training, industrial spill response training, and response, as well as river safety research.  WRI is a certifying agency for rescue instruction and has provided certified training for thousands of students from over 200 different agencies and organizations. WRI regularly presents at national whitewater and search & rescue events and Director Cody Harris serves on the Higgins and Langley Board.

WRI offers  Swiftwater Rescue classes from the Kern River in California to the Potomac River in Washington DC, from the Kootenai River, Montana to the Pacuare River in Costa Rica. WRI staff and former students have responded to river incidents on the Kootenai River in northwest Montana, the train derailments on the Clark Fork River and an oil spill on the Yellowstone River near Billings and Glendive, Montana.

Montana River Guides was on the Yellowstone River all summer of 2011 with the Whitewater Rescue Institute (WRI) coordinating the river cleanup for an oil spill near Billings Montana.  MRG owner Mike Johnston and longtime MRG Guide and Rescue Instructor Cody Harris are the co-founders of WRI.  They worked on the Yellowstone from early July through late October providing transportation and safety for cleanup wildlife teams, researchers and cleanup crews working on islands on over a one hundred mile section of the river. WRI developed a cleanup staff of over 100 EMTs, Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and jetboat operators who collectively transported over 25,000 people — over 100,000 aggregate river miles.  Current and former MRG guides Mike Johnston, Martin Belden, Paul Heffernan, Russell Gilbertson, John Amtmann, Yael Girard, Jesse Dagle, Jenna Witkowski, Matt Drummond, Alan Burgmuller, Brett Mollenhauer and Joe Blattner all played key roles in the WRI operation.

In 2015 WRI focused on developing a GEOGRAPHIC RESPONSE PLAN  for the Clark Fork River and coordinated community spill response training on the Clark Fork, Kootenai, Yellowstone, Mississippi and Columbia Rivers.

WRI continues to set the standard in professionalism for Swiftwater Rescue instruction and industrial spill response on rivers along with providing quality Montana Rescue training.

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