THE

NATIONAL CAVE RESCUE COMMISSION

presents a

Cave Rescue Operations and Management Seminar

July 16 - 23, 2022

Clifton Middle School
1000 Riverview Farm Rd
Covington, VA 24426


Contact [email protected] with any registration questions or [email protected] to reach the site coordinator.

 

About Seminar

The seminar consists of extensive classroom instruction and fieldwork in all phases of cave rescue including the underground environment, search problems, extrication techniques, patient evaluation and care, patient packaging, horizontal and vertical patient movement, rigging, hauling and lowering systems, communication systems, and the organization and management of cave rescue operations. Students typically include cavers, emergency services personnel, and emergency managers. The Seminar is physically demanding and participants must be in good physical health. Students should be prepared to work in difficult situations, both above and below ground.

Seminar Costs

Seminar Registration:
Now until May 31st$625.00
June 1st till July 16th$725.00

Cancellation:
Now until March 31st$600.00 refund
April 1st until June 1st$450 refund
After June 1stNo Refunds

Additional Options:
Additional meal/camping plan$315.00 (per person)
Manual of US Cave Rescue Techniques 3rd Edition - Purchased on-site All students are required to have or bring this Manual$40.00
Event Shirt (XXL + $2.00)$20.00

Seminar Scholarships

The NCRC awards scholarships to help provide financial assistance for those students otherwise unable to attend. The exact amount of the scholarship varies from year to year, but does not exceed half the cost of a seminar. To be considered, you must submit a scholarship request that includes completing the scholarship application, a caving resume, two letters of support from NSS members, and a cover letter describing your financial need and how training would benefit the caving community in your area. Letters from Grotto Officers and leaders in the caving community will be given the most weight.

The application is available.

Applications must be received by April 10 to be considered. Email [email protected] for details.

If you were already awarded a scholarship from your 2020 or 2021 scholarship application, it will be honored at the 2022 National Seminar. Check back for more information as additional scholarships may be awarded for the 2022 seminar in addition to those being carried forward from the postponed 2020 and 2021 seminars.

Available Courses

Space is limited and registration is first come first served.

LEVEL 1 teaches current cave rescue and emergency management techniques, and provides instruction in cave environment, medical considerations, basic rope work, litter rigging and transport, and the Incident Command System (ICS). It is specifically designed to meet the various needs of agency personnel with little or no cave-related experience, and cavers with little or no rescue or medical experience. Level 1 prepares students to function as cave rescue task force members.

LEVEL 2 prepares students to function as cave rescue task force leaders. Students are taught more advanced techniques in medical management, vertical and horizontal rescue, team leadership, and incident management. The course is heavily oriented toward vertical rescue in the cave environment.

LEVEL 3 is designed to challenge and fine-tune students’ technical and management skills. Most sessions will be practical field exercises focused on crack and crevice rescue, technical rigging, water problems, and difficult litter handling situations - with an emphasis on small group scenarios and innovation. Throughout the week student teams will be presented with a variety of cave rescue problems and be expected to solve them with the assistance and supervision of the instructors.

OPTIONAL VERTICAL WORKSHOP is an optional opportunity for students to practice personal single rope technique (SRT) skills prior to entry testing, and to prepare for a more productive NCRC experience. Build and adjust a safe, functional climbing system; fit and fine-tune an existing system; work on ascending techniques; and practice changeovers. This optional session is open to all registered students. It will be held the evening of Friday, July 15th, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Any student not absolutely confident in their personal SRT skills should plan to participate in this workshop.

Pending Courses

TOFE (Team Operations and Field Exercises) is designed as a series of hands-on field exercises with a variety of rescue scenarios in cave and cliff environments. Participants in TOFE must have successfully completed an NCRC Level 2 or higher course within the past six years. This course provides cave rescuers the opportunity to experience more practical problem-solving exercises.

Course Prerequisites

Seminar Prerequisites apply to all students along with the applicable course specific prerequisites. Students must review both sets of prerequisites carefully.

Seminar Prerequisites

NSS Membership: All students must be active members of the National Speleological Society (join online at members.caves.org).

NCRC Manual: All students are required to have a copy of the Manual of US Cave Rescue Techniques, 3rd Edition (version 2.1 or newer).

Liability Waiver All students must complete a liability waiver prior to particiating in the Seminar.

Personal Equipment All students must attend with all required personal equipment in safe, usable condition and marked to identify the owner. Equipment deemed unsafe or unacceptable during check-in must be replaced prior to the student’s continued participation in the course. (More details are available in the Student Preparation Guide under the course-specific prerequisites.)

Climbing HelmetThree Sources of LightBoots
Rugged ClothingSix Locking CarabinersDescent Device
Sewn Seat HarnessAscending SystemGloves
Water BottlesSmall, Heavy-Duty PackWatch, Paper, Pencil
2 - 20ft Pieces of 1-inch tubular WebbingOptional First Aid Kit

Age Restriction: Any prospective student under the age of 18 may be permitted to participate in the seminar, but must contact the registrar prior to registration concerning specific rules and restrictions.

Level 1 Prerequisites

Student Preparation Guide: The Level 1 Student Preparation Guide contains comprehensive information on the requirements for personal equipment, vertical systems, knots, and SRT. The guide also contains the testing/scoring criteria used in the entrance exams and is a must-read resource.

Knots and Hitches: Level 1 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in the following basic knots and hitches commonly used in cave rescue:

Figure Eight on a BightFigure Eight Follow ThroughDouble Figure Eight
Bowline with safetyMunter HitchButterfly Knot
Clove Hitch with safetyTrucker's HitchRing Bend (water knot)
Double Overhand BendPrusik Hitch (3 wrap)Square Knot

SRT Skills: Level 1 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in using single rope techniques to ascend and descend rope:

  • Ascend 10 meters
  • Change over to rappel
  • Desend roughly 7 meters
  • Demonstrate a hard lock off
  • Changeover to ascending
  • Downclimb to the ground

Retesting: Level 1 students who fail entry skills testing will be offered retraining and are allowed repeated tests per skill within the timeframe allotted to entry testing.

Level 2 Prerequisites

Eligibility: Students must have successfully completed Level 1 within the last six years (2016) to be eligible to register for Level 2. (note: this date includes 2 years extension due to covid!)

Student Preparation Guide: The Level 2 Student Preparation Guide contains comprehensive information on the requirements for personal equipment, vertical systems, knots, SRT, and rigging. The guide also contains the testing/scoring criteria used in the entrance exams and is a must-read resource.

Knots and Hitches: Level 2 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in the following basic knots and hitches commonly used in cave rescue:

Figure Eight on a BightFigure Eight Follow ThroughDouble Figure Eight
Bowline with safetyMunter HitchButterfly Knot
Clove Hitch with safetyTrucker's HitchRing Bend (water knot)
Double Overhand BendPrusik Hitch (3 wrap)Square Knot

SRT Skills: Level 2 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in using single rope techniques to ascend and descend rope:

  • Ascend 10 meters
  • Change over to rappel
  • Desend roughly 7 meters
  • Demonstrate a hard lock off
  • Changeover to ascending
  • Downclimb to the ground

Rigging Skills: Level 2 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in rigging skills:

  • 1:1 with progress capture
  • 2:1 with progress capture on a separate rope
  • 3:1 with internal progress capture

Retesting: Level 2 students who fail entry skills testing will be offered retraining and are allowed two additional tests per skill (three attempts maximum per skill) within the timeframe allotted to entry testing.

Level 3 Prerequisites

Eligibility: Students must have successfully completed Level 2 or TOFE within the last six years (2016) to be eligible to register for Level 3. (note: this date includes 2 years extension due to covid!)

Student Preparation Guide: The Level 3 Student Preparation Guide contains comprehensive information on the requirements for personal equipment, vertical systems, knots, SRT, and rigging. The guide also contains the testing/scoring criteria used in the entrance exams and is a must-read resource.

Knots and Hitches: Level 3 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in the following basic knots and hitches commonly used in cave rescue:

Figure Eight on a BightFigure Eight Follow ThroughDouble Figure Eight
Bowline with safetyMunter HitchButterfly Knot
Clove Hitch with safetyTrucker's HitchRing Bend (water knot)
Double Overhand BendPrusik Hitch (3 wrap)Square Knot

SRT Skills: Level 3 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in using single rope techniques to ascend and descend rope while passing a knot:

  • Ascend 10 meters passing a knot
  • Downclimb 2 meters
  • Changeover to rappel
  • Demonstrate a hard lock off
  • Descend to the ground, passing a knot

Rigging Skills: Level 3 students must pass an entrance exam which includes demonstrating proficiency in rigging skills:

  • 1:1 with progress capture
  • 2:1 with progress capture on a separate rope
  • 3:1 with internal progress capture
  • 4:1 compound with progress capture on a separate rope

Retesting: Level 3 students who fail entry skills testing will not be offered retraining and are allowed only one knot, one srt, and one rigging station retest.

Course Certifications

NCRC certification is provided for students passing the written and skills tests for Levels 1, 2 and 3. NCRC certification is in accordance with NIMS Cave Search and Rescue Technician training requirements.

NIMS Typing:
Cave SAR Technician, Type 3NCRC Level 1
Cave SAR Technician, Type 2NCRC Level 2
Cave SAR Technician, Type 1NCRC Level 3

Seminar Location

The seminar is being held at Clifton Middle School 1000 Riverview Farm Rd Covington, VA 24426. The Camp is 51 miles from Roanoke Reginal Airport, 168 miles from Richmond International, 216 miles from Dulles International.

60 80°F on the surface. Bring bug repellent, sunscreen, rain gear, and long hiking pants to protect against ticks and poison ivy on cave approaches.

54 58°F in cave, with some streams and muddy conditions.

Meals and Lodging

Meals are included in the seminar registration and are provided from Saturday morning breakfast on July 16th through Saturday morning breakfast on July 23rd. For those with specific dietary requirements: Vegetarian, Vegetarian Ovo Lacto, Vegan and Gluten Free (when medically-necessary), please contact the registrar for accomodations. Additional medically-necessitated requests, such as food allergies, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and accommodated if possible. They can be submitted during registration or confirmed in advance by contacting [email protected].

Camping is included in the seminar registration and is available from Friday afternoon on July 15th through Saturday afternoon on July 23rd. Camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc.) is not provided. Students preferring private rooms or other accommodations must make their own off-site arrangements.

Additional meal/camping plans are available for spouses and/or partners traveling with a student who are not participating in the training.

On-site Vendor

Onsite vendor announcement comming soon!

White Nose Policy

Virginia is a WNS positive region. Decontamination will be pursuant to the National Protocol: National White-Nose Syndrome Decontamination Protocol - Version 09.13.2018

Arrival and Check-in

Students must arrive and register prior to the start of the seminar at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 16th. On-site registration will be open on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Lodging is available starting Friday evening to facilitate arrival, check-in, the vertical workshop, and a full night sleep before the Seminar begins.

Nearby Resources

Covington is a small town of less than 6,000, however it offers a small grocery, WalMart, Tractor Supply, and laundromat for resupply. A Kroger grocery and True Value are located in nearby Clifton Forge for additional amenities.


Seminar Registration:

  • Intensive initial training (or refresher) of core fundamentals to operate as a team member at a cave rescue. Price includes meal plan and camping.

  • Thorough technical and operational training (or refresher) to function as a team leader or as a more technically proficient team member at a cave rescue. Price includes meal plan and camping.

  • Advanced technical and command training (or refresher) to function in any capacity at a cave rescue, including as command staff in charge of the incident. Price includes meal plan and camping.

  • Additional meal/camping plan for any non-student traveling with a registered student.


  • Workshop is held the Friday Evening prior to the beginning of the seminar. Normally begins at 7:00 pm The workshop is recommended for all participants.


Registration Prerequisites:




Each student is required to attend training with a copy of the Manual of US Cave Rescue Techniques, 3rd Edition ( 2.1 or newer).


Student Information:


Emergency/Medical Information:


Additional Purchases:

  • Event shirt

    Event shirt


  • Manual of US Cave Rescue Techniques 3rd Edition

    Manual of US Cave Rescue Techniques 3rd Edition

    Manuals purchased during registration will be provided during at the time of your check-in at the Seminar.

    If you wish to have the Manual prior to the seminar, it is available for purchase through the NSS bookstore for $50 + shipping.

    $40.00 ea.


$0.00


Release of Liability:



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