Rope Access for Emergency Responders (RAFER)

The Rope Access for Emergency Responders (RAFER) course is aimed at members of technical rope rescue teams who want to become proficient in rope access techniques. This course is specifically aimed at emergency services and not for industrial technical rope rescue. Although there are similarities to IRATA training, there is an important difference, namely that this course only teaches skills that are of interest for emergency services without requiring logged hours, where IRATA focuses on technical rope rescue for industry.

For technical rope rescue team and team members who actually want to perform rescues using ropes, the RAFER course is a good foundation for their individual skills. For a course on team-based rescue techniques using tripods, stretchers, horizontal spans etc, take a look at the Rescue 3 Rope Rescue Technician course.


Course length:

3 days


Course content includes:

  • Legislation and standards
  • Rescuer safety and survival
  • General hazards
  • Medical considerations
  • Risk assessment when working at height
  • Personal and team equipment
  • Introduction to ropes, knots and technical gear
  • Anchor systems
  • Placing rope protection
  • Use of work restraint and fall arrest equipment
  • Lead climbing with lanyards
  • Ascending and descending
  • Passing knots whilst ascending/descending
  • Passing anchors whilst ascending/descending
  • Passing deviations whilst ascending/descending
  • Performing rope transfers/changeovers
  • Individual pick-offs
  • Connecting a casualty on a line using a telescopic pole
  • Lifting a casualty using a pre-installed device
  • Lowering a casualty
  • Suspension trauma procedures



  • Minimum age: 18
  • Prior experience of working with ropes is recommended


Qualification valid for:

3 years


Taught by: