Our instructors have a passion for rescue and the certifications to prove it. Each instructor has passed Rescue 3 International's and Sierra Rescue International’s rigorous instructor requirements and had years of experience. They have taken their love of technical rescue and turned it into an opportunity to teach others, like yourself, what it takes to be safe on and off the water.
We have worked with clients from various groups and agencies including:
Professional River Guides
Recreational River Runners
Dive Rescue Teams
Search and Rescue Teams
Wyoming Game and Fish
United States Park Service
United States Forest Service
United States Air Force
United States Coast Guard
United States Special Forces
LA County Life Guards
San Diego County Life Guards
KC Bess - Owner and Lead instructor
Swiftwater Rescue - River Rescue - Rope Rescue - Ice Rescue
KC grew up in the wilds of southern Utah, scrambling on rocks and shooting guns with friends in the lava fields. As a young adult, he learned to channel that outdoor energy into safer practices, such as sport and trad climbing throughout the western US. Climbing led him to the Teton and Wind River Ranges of Wyoming and opened the door to river running and the world of professional guiding. KC has been working as a guide on the Snake River for 16 years and has been the risk and operations manager for Mad River Boat Trips for the last 10 years. During this time, KC has run rivers and led expeditions throughout the western United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Outside of work, KC serves as a member of the Teton County Search and Rescue Team and as a Team Rubicon member, giving him valuable skills and experience as a technical rescuer. KC has worked with a variety of groups including Professional Guides, US Forest Service personnel, Fire and Rescue personnel, Search and Rescue Teams, US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers, US Special Forces, Ocean Life Guards, National Park Rangers, Game and Fish Wardens, Fisheries Biologists, Wilderness Risk Management Conference attendees as well as international rescue personnel. KC is an ACA Level 4 Raft Guide Instructor, International Rafting Federation Class 4/5 Guide and Safety Craft Instructor, ACA Level 5 Swiftwater Rescue Instructor, and a Rescue 3 International Instructor Trainer.
Ryan Mertaugh - instructor
Swiftwater Rescue- River Rescue/PRO
Ryan Mertaugh was raised in Michigan, but spent his childhood and young adult years traveling with his family to climb mountains and run rivers throughout the Mid-West and on the East Coast. We're thrilled that he chose to join us here in Wyoming full time. Ryan has a teaching degree in both French and Spanish, a skill he is able to pull from that makes him a memorable and effective instructor. He has been safety boating and guiding whitewater for over 10 years, and kayaking recreationally for even longer. Ryan is also a professional rescuer with Teton County Search and Rescue. His cumulative experience makes him an incredible rescue instructor with a depth of knowledge and skill.