Leading world expert on river rescue and International Whitewater Hall of Fame member Julie Munger will be one of the esteemed international speakers at the inaugural World White Water Rafting Summit of the International Rafting Federation (IRF) from October 8 to 13, 2019 in Costa Rica. Munger, who is CEO and co-founder of Sierra Rescue International and the Western Regional Director for Rescue 3 International in the U.S., will lead a dynamic interactive workshop on the latest innovative techniques in river rescue and wilderness emergency management. She will address the importance of professionalism in guiding and why river rescue should be a part of every company’s everyday rafting practices, like any other risk management and risk assessment.
“River rescue should not just be focused on guides getting certification but should be incorporated into a rafting company’s everyday operations along with planning and prevention. Everyone needs to work together to keep the river environment safe,” said Munger.
Rafting and adventure travel professionals from across the globe will come together at the Summit to share their experience and best practices and to develop plans for the future of white water rafting together. Backed by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT), the premier event will be held at the Costa Rica Convention Center and the renowned Pacuare River. “Costa Rica has been a leader in the adventure travel industry, and it makes sense that Costa Rica is the one to bring people together from around the world in a rafting summit,” said Munger. “I think the more communication and information that gets spread, the more successful the adventure travel industry will be. We can all learn from each other and share our experiences no matter where we are in the world.”
Munger has over 40 years of international river experience that includes being a river guide, trip leader, operations manager and an outfitter. She was inducted into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame in 2017 in the Explorer category. Her accomplishments include many first raft descents, the first self-support riverboard trip down the Grand Canyon, being a member of the World Champion U.S. Women’s Rafting Team from 1985 to 2001, and on the 2018 IRF World Champion Masters Team for the U.S. She is an American Canoe Association Level 5 Safety and Rescue Instructor Trainer Educator, and co-author of the River Rescue and Safety Field Guide and the River Rescue Workbook, a certified river rescue and wilderness medicine program that is recognized worldwide.
Additionally, Munger has worked as a U.S. Forest Service hot shot wildland firefighter and has taught agencies as diverse as search and rescue team members, U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers, and the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. Abigail Polsby, who is Munger’s partner in Sierra Rescue International and a wilderness medical expert, will also be a notable speaker at the World White Water Rafting Summit.
Summit organisers encourage all adventure tourism outfitters and professionals to attend to ensure a well-rounded sharing of experiences and knowledge throughout the adventure travel community. Those interested in participating can contact the organization through the official website: www.irfwwraftingsummit.com or Facebook: @WWWRaftingSummit
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