At Esprit we take the enjoyment of your experience and your personal safety seriously. As with any adventure activity there is an element of risk involved in participating in our programs. You can however be confident that out team at Esprit have gone above and beyond in calculating the risks and putting into place a myriad of policies and procedures to mitigate them securely. Here are some of the things that we do at Esprit (that may or may not happen with other outfitters).
- Guide Standards and Training: One of the Gold Standards that distinguishes the best companies from the rest of the outfitter pack is the training, qualifications and competencies of their guides. Esprit Guides are hand picked and trained extensively by our Director (and whitewater legend) Jim Coffey. They are all qualified in Wilderness First Aid (some as high as Emergency Medical Technicians), Swiftwater Rescue (some as high as Instructor Level) and are all recognized internationally as guides through the International Rafting Federation. There is no question that good trips require good guides. Esprit has GREAT guides.
- Medical Screening, Colour Coding: We try to to take some of the guess work out of medical issues that could arise during your adventure with us. All Esprit participants fill out a confidential Medical Questionnaire where we can then discuss problems that may arise while you are with us. For example, if you have a bad left knee we can suggest sitting on the right hand side as the best place to sit relative to your previous injury. We also colour code our guests by the colour of their helmet giving people with medical challenges red helmets, nervous swimmers yellow helmets and everyone else blue helmets. This helps us to recognize and identify people’s challenges from a distance in the event that end up in the water.
- Challenge By Choice: Don’t like the description of the upcoming rapid? … Feel like you have bad vibes about it?… Think you might be in for some “Karmic Debt”? No problem! At Esprit we follow a policy of “Challenge By Choice”. The risks, hazards and dangers of whitewater are in the rapids and while you are joining us at Esprit you don’t have to do ANYTHING that you perceive as fool hardy, hazardous or dangerous. You are welcome to walk around any given rapid for any given reason, its up to you. We refer to that as “Challenge by Choice”
- Advanced Emergency Equipment: Each raft carries its own medical kit. Our Trip Leader caries an advanced Expedition Medical Kit which includes a satellite phone for outside communications as well as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). In 2008 we had a kayaker with an undiagnosed heart condition go into cardiac arrest while paddling with us in Mexico. He was resuscitated on the riverbank after receiving a shock from our AED. This lifesaving story speaks of when “Preparation Meets Opportunity”. Rest assured we are well prepared for your adventure.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation: We’ve got you covered with Air Medic. In the event it is necessary to have a fast, efficient and well controlled medical evacuation we are partnered with Air Medic to provide the highest quality evacuation (by road or helicopter) possible. All our guests are insured for emergency evacuation costs in the event of an incident that requires fast and efficient transport.
There are a lot of questions worth asking when choosing an outfitter for your adventure. We believe it is better to know in advance specifically how well prepared your outfitter is in the event things don’t go according to plan. In the event you have further questions regarding the suitability and security of your adventure please feel free to reach out directly to us. We would be pleased to discuss our policy and procedures to help put you more at ease and (hopefully) choose Esprit.