ITRA Tactical Rope Rescue

Tactical rope rescue / operations is a unique discipline within ITRA that focuses on a specific aspect of emergency management and armed forces. It is the only association that has sought to create a global standard for what has traditionally been an orphaned industry.. relying on other rope disciplines that do not operate in the same context. ITRA Tactical Rope Rescue is a stand-alone program, from basic to advanced, customized for tactical rope operations with the specific needs and context of this disciple integrated throughout all levels and learning objectives.

What Is Tactical Rope Work?

Tactical Rope Operations: Situations where there is a human antagonist involved, typically armed and / or ready to resist, or react violently, if only to themselves, and the response involves law enforcement or military personnel access or interventions on or via a vertical medium.

Tactical Rope Access: Where tactical operators use vertical techniques to move to a job site (gain entry into a structure or vessel, infiltrate, exfiltrate a rugged backcountry venue, or access a high point to use an observer / contact platform.)

Tactical Rope Interventions: Situations where tactical operators use rope access techniques to contact another subject in a vertical medium. “Subject” may be friendly, compliant, non-compliant, or hostile.

Tactical Rope Qualification Courses

ITRA has standardized four Tactical Rope Rescue operations courses. These can be offered as an attendance based course (with no assessment at the end) or as QUALIFICATION courses, which require successful completion of a skills and knowledge assessment (test). Successful completion of a qualification course results in a 3 year qualification. After the 3 years, the assessment test must be re-completed.

Tactical Rope Responder (TRR-Tactical Level 1)

Level 1 (Tactical Rope Responder) is an entry-level course for tactical operators and trainers. Little to no prior experience is assumed. The primary focus of an TRR level 1 is basic personal vertical mobility skills, rigging basic contingency anchors and edge protection, basic rope rigging physics, self-rescue, team mate inspections, integrating tactical gear with vertical gear, conducting window and balcony entries, and basic operations in low light scenarios. Graduates should be able to effectively function as a tactical rope team member for routine missions. This course is the foundation needed to future training and certification.

Tactical Rappel Master (TRM)

Tactical Rappel Master (TRM) is an “advanced level 1” that incorporates all the requirements of level 1 and six requirements from level 2. This is probably the most commonly sought qualification course in ITRA as it trains a few more advanced skills needed to solve problems in training and real tactical mission scenarios. Stringent rope rigging inspections are taught and tested, as well as officer rescue and some improvised solutions. This is an intense course with long days, but the result is an operator with a high sense of confidence and ability. Graduates should be able to effectively function as assistant team leaders for tactical vertical missions. This course gets an operator fully functional and sets the stage for higher qualifications.

Tactical Rope Technician (TRT-Tactical Level 2)

Level 2 (Tactical Rope Technician) takes your individual vertical mobility skills to the next level, able to navigate most any rope obstacle and situation from intermediate anchors, overhung edges, and traverses. This course builds on the TRR / TRM courses and prepares operators to conduct interventions in the vertical medium; hostage rescues, downed officer rescues, gap crossings, and improvised haul operations when going down is not a viable option. Graduates should be able to effectively function as team leaders for most tactical vertical missions. This is the journeyman level for tactical rope operations and what every agency seeking to have a capable rope program should have.

Tactical Rope Advanced (TRA-Tactical Level 3)

Level 3 Tactical Rope Technician (TRA) builds on the strong vertical mobility, rigging, and access skills of level 2, focusing or the most advanced technical problems an operator may face. This would be the highest level for the leaders of a tactical rope team, and a pre-requisite for being a formal tactical rope operations instructor. Trains operators to assess the vertical problem and advise scene commander on vertical options. This qualification course serves operators who deal with high rise structure challenges, complex vertical protester interventions, hostage rescue teams, suicide interventions, extremely remote (military / hostile territory incursions), criminal facility incursions, hazardous atmospheres, etc. Ideally every agency with a formal rope program would have at least one level 3 ITRA qualified operator. Graduates should be able to serve as assistant scene commander / advisor for tactical options, assistant program instructors, and rope program leads.

For more information please see the documents in our document library.

Tactical Rope Qualification Certificates

Qualification certificates can be earned through two different methods.

Post Course Assessment

Students can be assessed by an independant third party assessor following the completion of an introductory course. After successfully being assessed, the appropriate certificate will be awarded.

Direct Assessment

Students also have the opportunity to directly assess at the level of their choice without first attending a qualification course.

For more information please see the documents in our document library.

Custom Tactical Rope Rescue Courses

The ITRA system allows for the creation of custom “attendance” courses based on the needs of individuals and organizations. These custom courses can utilize the same learning objectives used in “attendance-based” and “qualification” courses but are tailored to specific needs of end users. ITRA Tactical Rope Rescue program also feature many “Additional Designator” learning objectives. (See the ITRA syllabus These are not part of any qualification level, but are specialized skills catering to certain teams and venues. This can include specific skill suites such as hostage rescue, protester interventions, hazmat operations, litter operations, backcountry operations, etc.

For more information please see the documents in our document library.

Tactical Rope Rescue Working Group

The ITRA Tactical Rope Rescue curriculum is maintained by the Tactical Rope Rescue Working Group. You can contact the Tactical Rope Rescue Working Group directly using the following form.

Contact the ITRA Tactical Rope Rescue Working Group