With ECHO, you'll be traveling with one of the most experienced outfitters in the industry. Your safety is our number one priority, both on and off the river. Before you can touch a raft, your group will be given a safety talk led by the head guide. You get your PFD (personal floatation device, aka life jacket) and are shown how to adjust it so it fits snugly. You will hear paddling instructions and what to expect as you head through the rapids, learn some basic signals and lingo, and finally get all of your questions answered.
Our river guides are required to be certified and current with their first aid and CPR training. Many of them also have extensive wilderness medicine training, including Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and/or Paramedic backgrounds. They carry complete first aid kits, which are required to be checked before and restocked after each trip. In the event that you sustain an injury, the guides are familiar with evacuation options and carry satellite phones in case of emergencies.
"Never having been on a rafting trip before I was a little apprehensive...but I felt totally safe at all times."
- M. O'Neill, Dragon, AZ
In addition to the above training, ECHO guides are trained in swift water rescue techniques and are competent in whitewater rescue. They are also skilled and accustomed to life outdoors. Most of our guides have spent a lot of time in the wilderness and often work on the mountains during the winter. They are huge assets if you or your family has limited camping experience, and they will take the time to make you feel comfortable in the outdoors. You should also know that river guides working on multi-day trips such as ours are often the best in the business. They usually have years of experience and are familiar with the river they work on and the surrounding area. However, we also offer Professional Guide School each year so we can personally train aspiring guides, as well as provide our current guides with continuing education.
Tested and Trusted Gear
We take pride in providing you with the best equipment available. The rafts we use are made by either SOTAR or AVON. Both have been trusted names in raft manufacturing for over 40 years. SOTAR boats are used by the U.S. Dept. of Defense. They invented the self-bailing raft, which changed the rafting world forever. AVON rafts are preferred by the U.S. Coastguard and other major rescue services. Rest assured that you will be traveling down-river in a tested and trusted raft. Our guides will require you and your children to wear a life jacket at all times on the water. At the beginning of your trip, you will be provided with a certified type 5 life jacket by the guides, which will be yours for the entire trip. The guides will verify that it is adjusted properly for your frame before we load up. Type 5 life jackets are designed to keep your head above water even while unconscious.