|Tom Lindblade (far left) and Scott Fairty (second from left) with some of the participants in a recent Rescue Me! Thursday.|
The concept is simple and smart: Take advantage of the Marge Cline Whitewater Park in Yorkville, IL and the expertise of Ryan Rushton and Scott Fairty of Geneva Kayak Center (located on the course) to offer weekly training sessions on basic swiftwater rescue. The brains behind this belong to Tom Lindblade, president of the IPC, who has been an experiential educator and canoe instructor for more than four decades and was recognized three years ago with an "Excellence in Instruction" award by the American Canoe Association.
|Tom Lindblade, mentor to two generations of paddlesport instructors and president of the Illinois Paddling Council.|
|The group wades into the river, using paddles for support.|
|Scott Fairty (green helmet) takes six participants safely out into the current.|
Attendance has been good: between 9 and 17 people per week. The training is free (though non-ACA members must pay $5 for insurance when they sign the liability waiver) and no reservations are required. Just show up at the whitewater park at 6 p.m. on Thursdays in May, and you're part of the class.
|Alec simulates a pin on a rock.|