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Jim is a retired university professor, single and currently residing in Shreveport, Louisiana; however, being a native of Arkansas Jim spends chunks of time in the Natural State. Jim has been a participant and instructor in paddlesport for more than 45 years. Now in his mid-70's, Jim led college trips on rivers in the late 60's and taught whitewater tandem canoe classes for college credit beginning in the early 70's while teaching in university. Before formal certification programs were established, in the early 70's Jim trained with well-known Carolina Instructor, Bob Benner, at Camp Mondam, NC and was an instructor for the American Red Cross with their river paddling courses. He certified with the American Canoe Association in the 80's in whitewater canoe (both tandem and solo) and later in swift water rescue in 1992 (he was in the first group of instructors when the ACA swift water rescue curriculum was initiated).
Jim's interest in promoting safety and rescue for paddling clubs and recreational boaters spans more than 33 years (formal swift water rescue began with Rescue 3 International in 1979). During university teaching, because of his work as a water safety, swimming and lifeguard trainer for the ARC, Jim developed a strong interest in promoting safety in river paddling. Another main aspect of Jim's work in both university teaching and in the private sector has been as an outdoor adventure educator and challenge course facilitator. He also served on the staff of the Educo Adventure School in Colorado for 16 summers (with broad experience and expertise in a variety of outdoor activities). After early retirement Jim often led multi-day programs for Centenary College and Outdoor Specialty Stores in Shreveport. Jim has paddled throughout the South/Southeast U.S. and in the Western U.S., and continues to maintain a keen interest in whitewater paddling, but especially in training for swift water and whitewater rescue techniques and strategies.
Tim, Jim Jones, and Jim thoroughly enjoy sharing knowledge and experience in rescue with other paddlers as well as with search and rescue personnel. We maintain our interest in activism for more improved rescue vests for paddlers and rescuers, and continue our rescue vest field reviews of leading brands.
I'm Jim Jones, Tim's older brother, and I reside a few minutes north of Van Buren, AR (Crawford County). Wife, Christy, and two children--Dylan and Ashleigh, and a new grandbaby, Chloe. I served 7 1/2 years in the U.S. Air Force during Desert Storm and currently work as an Electrical Engineer at Baldor Electric in Fort Smith, AR, designing AC and Servo motors. Tim, Jim Simmons and I have been friends since 2003 when we all met while Jim and Tom Jenkins were conducting a swift water Rescue workshop on the Lower Mulberry River, AR. The three of us paddle whitewater together and in addition to paddling kayak, I also paddle solo canoe. Jim and I have had lots of fun paddling tandem as well! Tim and I have paddled for many years, with our early years beginning on the Elk, Illinois and Mulberry streams when we were both boys. We began kayaking more seriously about 10 years ago, and we also enjoy rappelling, backpacking and camping.
Because of our interest in rescue, Tim and I both certified as ACA Advanced SWR instructors in 2005. Since then, Jim, Tim, and I have taught numerous ACA rescue workshops, which is always a pleasure. We also conduct workshops for local and regional SAR personnel. The three of us are different personalities but we blend and work well together--our divergent approaches to teaching keeps it interesting. We hold workshops on different sections of the Mulberry River, at Rockport near Malvern, AR, and on the Lower Mountain Fork river near Broken Bow, OK. We continue to search for other suitable teaching venues.
Tim and I are both heavily involved as volunteers with SAR in Crawford County, AR, along with close friend, Todd Harris, the CC Training Officer. I also assist with teaching National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) classes for other volunteers. I have fulfilled the required NIMS coursework for SAR volunteers, and have the following credentials for both SAR and for teaching ACA workshops: First Responder, Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, Health Care Provider and CPR/Bood Borne Pathogens. Credentials related specifically to Search and Rescue: NFPA Rough Terrain High Angle Rope Technician; NFPA swift water Rescue Technician; Hazardous Material Awareness; Forest Service Wildland Fire Fighting; and AR Game & Fish Boater Safety Course. I currently serve as the Vice President of Crawford County SAR (member of Butterfield District 5 Volunteer Firefighter) and am a Board Member.
These ACA Instructors and paddlers frequently teach with us, or assist us with a rescue workshop; as well as assist us in conducting field reviews of rescue life vests:
Mike Gardner, Claremore, OK and Todd and Lisa Ruffin, Tulsa, OK. Participants from previous workshops also occasionally assist us with a class.