Employee Manual

Thank you for joining IGS this season. We are looking forward to this years river adventures. Please find the following official rules and regulations of Idaho Guide Service Inc.( IGS.)  Please feel free to comment and or offer suggestions in regards to its content and presentation.


All equipment will be handled with the utmost tender, love, and care.  Equipment will be carried, not dragged or tossed.  Please!

A salaried or full time guide will be a team player and committed to maintaining the quality and appearance of the equipment in use by IGS.  The de-rigging of any trip shall leave the equipment cleaned and repaired if necessary.  All equipment stored after a trip shall be in a condition of non-use, i.e. may not be used for the remainder of the season thus ready for storage and is in good repair and clean.

IGS maintains a warehouse for all equipment in Hagerman, Idaho.  During the season, an organized warehouse keeps the jobs of cleaning up and packing between trips quick, simple and painless.  It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure the warehouse is completely swept, cleaned, and everything is put in its place prior to departing for each trip.  This will include boats washed, equipment cleaned, and any equipment not in use to be left in “condition of non-use”.

Equipment will be maintained, cleaned, and repaired during the de-rigging.  Projects will not be allowed to accumulate unless repair items are not available. Lists will be kept on the river and the lead guide of the trip will delegate assignments.  Life jackets will be washed once per week.

Vehicles need to be washed, cleaned, and fluids checked during the de-rigging.

Due to very limited space, guides should keep all personal items somewhere other than the warehouse and not IGS vehicles. Parking for guide vehicles is available.


Each trip leader and designated driver is responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle and trailer being used.  This includes, but is not limited to, driving no faster than conditions permit and in no case, faster than the posted speed limit and not in violation of any applicable laws.  No alcohol and or drugs are to be consumed by the designated driver either before or during a road trip.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

The deductible for damage incurred at driver fault will be the responsibility of the designated driver.

Particular care is to be taken in loading the trailer.  Weight is to be properly distributed and everything securely tied down.  The trip leader, designated equipment guide, and all other trip guides are responsible for the loading and securing of each trailer load.  In other words, each guide on the crew is individually responsible for each trailer load.  In the event of lost, stolen or damaged equipment, the entire crew will share the consequences should the problem be in their control.

In addition, each trip leader, designated driver and designated equipment guide is responsible for checking for proper tire inflation, operation of lights, operation of brakes, trailer properly coupled with truck, engine oil and other vital fluids and notifying the office in the event of an equipment failure.

The insurance on our vehicles covers only the staff.  In no case shall any guests be allowed to ride in any of the company vehicles because our insurance specifically excludes our guests.  Olin or Shelley must approve any exceptions.

No one is allowed to ride on the trailer under any circumstance.

All company vehicles are to be used for company business only.


At IGS, we strive to always maintain our professionalism as well as maintaining warm and friendly relationships with the BLM, National Park Service, Idaho Power,  Twin Falls County, personnel, private river users, other outfitters and guides and anyone else we may contact in our day to day travels.  Because IGS is a multi-permit company, it is very important to always stress the positive aspects of each adventure we offer to our guests.  The river sections we run are different and one is not better than the other.  When a guest asks which adventure is better, explain that one is not better than the other, but they are different and it depends on what kind of experience the person is looking for.  Generally, the guests are asking about the other offerings because they are considering doing another IGS trip.  If the guides give all the adventures we do a favorable mention, bookings should increase thus increasing the need for paid guides.

Personal hygiene is of the utmost importance because a guide’s job includes preparing meals and spending extended time with our guests.  All guides should be extra careful with hair control while around food and shirts should always be worn when preparing or serving.  Clean clothes, appearance and appropriate language are always appreciated by guests.


IGS will pay for the license of any guide completing 20 river days in any one season.  IGS will pay the initial cost of licenses for all tenured guides committing to a full season schedule.  Any tenured guide not completing 20 trips in any one season will be required to reimburse IGS for the cost of their guide’s license.  Any part-time or non-tenured guides will be required to pay the initial cost of their license and will be reimbursed upon the completion of the 20 river days.


IGS will reimburse guides for any expenses incurred for the benefit of the company.  The costs for any guide’s meals while in transit between trips is the responsibility of the guides.  In order to be    reimbursed for any expenses, receipts must be submitted to the office at the end of the trip the expense was incurred.


All trip participants, other than IGS staff, are required to sign a standard IGS assumption of risk form prior to joining an IGS trip.  This is required by our insurance carrier and there are no exceptions.

Generally, the office will have all participants sign the Assumption of Risk form; however, there may be cases where a guest must sign at the put-in.  Notification will be made regarding who needs to sign at the time the boater registration form is released from the office.  Due to the need for each guest to sign a liability release, we are not able to offer rides down the river to hikers or other boaters that we may encounter along the river corridor.


Idaho Guide Services crew operates as a team working together to accomplish the tasks of the day. Normal tasks include: Getting the equipment onto the trailer in the morning and making sure all food is packed safely. Once down to the river the duties include preparing all of the rafts for the guests and getting life jackets out and sorted in a nice manner. At lunch the guides work together to put together a nice looking lunch and entertain the guests. After loading the boats and equipment at the take-out, the guides will go back to the wear house to put away all gear where it was found in a reasonable manner.



In the interest of safety, the order of the boats while on the river is of the utmost importance.  The guides must always attempt to maintain a cohesive group.  The tail boat (the last boat in the flotilla) should always be within sight of the lead boat or a distance of less than ½ mile.  The tail boat will have the trauma kit and rescue equipment and the guide on this boat will be well versed in using both.  The guide on the lead boat will be an experienced person on the crew as well as holding a lead guide’s license for the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board.  All other boats will be safely spaced between the lead boat and the tail boat.  This order is to be consistently maintained with particular care taken when navigating rapids.


The consumption of any alcohol or drugs, while guiding is strictly prohibited.  Light social consumption during the evening at camp or lodge is permitted.  The use of any illegal drug is prohibited.   Intoxication by any guide on any trip will lead to immediate dismissal.


Each guide should have a personal “ouch kit” to take care of the small needs.  Each trip will have one large trauma kit and one or more small basic first aid kits.  All guides should familiarize themselves with the contents of each kit and how to use each item.

Each trip will also have one large rescue bag containing a static line, several pulleys, webbing, prusiks, etc.  All guides should be familiar with the contents of the large rescue bag and how to use the items in it.  Also, each guide and each boat will have his or her own personal throw bag.

The trauma kit and large rescue bag will always be on the tail boat.


Emergency phone numbers and evacuation plans are kept in each trip’s trauma kit.  Accident and incident report forms are also kept in each trauma kit.


Landing Zone Preparation –

Minimum size of the area 100’ x 100”

Maximum slope, 10 degrees with no obstructions

Clear all loose objects and dampen sand

Mark perimeter with streamers (survey tape) to indicate wind direction

Contact pilot with radio when in sight

Signal pilot by positioning your back to the wind and pointing with outstretched arms to suggested sight

Safety –

Never approach helicopter until signaled to do so by pilot

Never approach helicopter from the rear of from the uphill side.

Rotorwash is extreme so it is extremely important to secure all loose objects prior to landing.  The main danger is objects becoming entangled in the rotors which endangers not only the helicopter but also everyone on the ground.

Assist –

Provide assistance if necessary in loading evacuee, and if possible, have his or her personal gear loaded also.  On occasion, evacuated persons who were treated on an outpatient basis at medical facilities were stranded because they did not have any clothing other than what they were wearing at the time, money, (charge), or identification with which to obtain a meal, room or transportation.  There is room for two people with gear or three people without gear.  If anyone leaves the trip however, there is no way they can return.

Written Report for Physician or Hospital –

The helicopter pilot should be given a written report that should have the name and address of injured or ill; name, phone number and address of relative or other person to be contacted; nature and cause of illness or injury; first aid treatment given, and type, amount and time given of any medication – this information is of critical importance to the attending physician.  Also include the outfitter and trip leader’s name.  If at all possible, a guide will accompany the injured to the hospital.

Human Relationships Regarding Accidents or Injuries –

Our relationships with our guests can help create an atmosphere that will help reduce the guests desire to make a claim against us in the event of an accident or injury.  The following are guidelines for your interaction with guests before and after injuries or accidents.

Notice people.

Recognize people.

Respond to people.

Make friends

Comment on the things people are doing right from a safety viewpoint.

Pay special attention to people after an injury.  Recreation allows people to do stupid things they would not do under normal circumstances.

Observe and document when the injured person/guest seems to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Do not volunteer insurance information for liability purposes.

Never give first aid without the permission of the guest.

Document what people say immediately after an accident.  Many times they are self-accusing at first.

Put down what you observed.  If you did not see it, indicate “party stated..”  If what you saw differs from what guests stated, indicate it.

Put any information which is pertinent, such as “guest stated she was not hurt, but her husband insisted she be given first aid”.

If the injury is a result of another guest’s negligence, so indicate.

Do not include conjecture or possibilities.  State only facts you know or quote comments you hear.

Remember that everything you are told is important.  Guests often tell the first person they talk to one version of how an accident occurred and tell a different story later on.

In your report of the accident it is very important you get the first version of how an accident occurred or that you are a witness.

Take what pictures you can.  If you think a picture of the location and conditions would help document the accident, please get one.

Indicate any witnesses, employees or guests, including name, address and phone.  The witnesses could be extremely important.

Written statements.  If any injury appears serious, it may be prudent to ask for a written statement by witnesses.

Guides should not encourage guests to participate in activities which pose greaten than normal hazards, or in which the guest is reluctant to be involved.

The human relationship guidelines above should be studied carefully and reviewed often.


Each item included in this package should be reviewed carefully and utilized for its specific purpose. All of the laminated sheets are to be kept in our vehicles and dry bag, so they can be handy and used as needed.

The following items are included in this package –

1.  Guests pre-trip orientation outline. This is an outline of the topics covered in IGS’s standard pre-trip orientation.  This orientation is generally given before the trip launch.  Keep this outline handy in case you are ever called upon to give an orientation.

2.  Release of Liability and Acknowledgment of Rick form. Each guest is required to sign this form.

3.  Guest Survey. This form is sent to each guest after their trip so they can rate our service.  This is generally where we hear about the service and care provided by specific guides. The returned surveys are always available at the office for guide to review.

4.  The general safety talk.  5” by 7” laminated card. Use this card when called upon to present the  safety talk to our guests.  This talk is normally given at the river launch site.

5.  Camp safety talk.  5” by 7” laminated card. Use this card when called upon to present the camp safety talk.  This take is normally given at the first launch or at the first camp.

6.  Inflatable kayak safety talk.  5” by 7” laminated card. Use this card when orienting the inflatable kayakers.  This talk is normally given at the river launch site, however, you may need to refer to it any time during the trip.

7.  First aid and trauma kit contents: 5” by 7” laminated card. Refer to this card for the contents of our medical kits.

8.  Rescue card. 5” by 7” laminated card.  Located in large rescue. This card is to be used as a quick reference for setting up z-drags and vector pulls.

9.  Recommended minimum cold water protection for guests. This is a guideline to use in suggesting how our guest should dress for the river.

10.  IGS emergence phone list.  Phone numbers to use in the event of an incident.  Copies of this form will be in each major trauma kit.

11.  Incident and accident report form. This form is to be completed in the event of an incident.  A copy of this form will be in each major trauma kit.

12.  Witness statement form. Several of these forms will be in each major trauma kit.