• Advisory Board


    The IRIA is governed by an Advisory Board comprised of:

    •  Executive Director
    •  Subject Matter Experts

      Throwbag training, Campbell River, BC, Canada

    •  Legal Counsel (ad hoc)

    Advisory Board composition brings decades of training program mangement expertise to provide structure and leadership to the IRIA membership. The IRIA board leads a quality management system by the following processes:

    • Implements a strategic plan for the oganization
    • Sets policy and procedure in meeting IRIA requirements
    • Formalizes communication and information exchange
    • Knowlege collection (corporate memory) and succession planning
    • Sets a code of conduct for members and monitors for compliance
    • Documents and verifies certification/accreditation/audits
    • Conducts analysis and measurement of training programs and analysis of raw data for quality assurance
    • Manages a variety of training disciplines through dedicated working groups
    • Provides documentation, data collection and record keeping systems for membership use

    The outcome of the above mentioned process linkages is a continual improvement movement within the IRIA.

    In order for the IRIA to be truly “International”,  the IRIA Advisory Board has directed that the IRIA be fully compliant with applicable International Standards Organization (ISO) standards and is a major tenant of the IRIA Strategic Plan.


    Executive Director: Ralph Krenz is the current Acting Executive Director of the IRIA.

    Ralph brings to the IRIA 27 years experience as an officer and  senior manager in Conservation/Law Enforcement operations in Western Canada. Many of his responsibilities involve all aspects of developing, delivering and managing  both public safety and rescue services.

    As the Officer in Charge of Recruiting, Professional Development and Training section of a government agency, he lead a 30+ cadre of subject matter experts/instructors and delivered training to many other government agencies .

    During his tenure he was a founding member and Steering Committee Chair of the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy, a 4 month interprovincial law enforcement training academy dedicated to Natural Resource protection and Public Safety.

    He has managed complex/high liability training programs that included deadly force authorization typical of police agencies and has qualified as an expert witness in Canadian courts.

    A graduate of post secondary education in Criminology and Conservation Recreation Management Ralph has mentored, led, and set criteria for a broad variety of training programs and instructors and brings this expertise and his energy to the IRIA. Ralph resides near Okanagan Lake in the Province of British Columbia, Canada.


    Jim Lavalley

    Chair:  Jim Lavalley is the current acting Chair Person of the IRIA.

    Jim has been professionally involved, full time, in the safety / rescue industry since 1972, specifically in the moving water environments including, rivers, flood, surf and their ice environments.  During this time he has documented over 56,000  hours (excluding recreational and on-site / on-call hrs) operating in these environments.

    This includes acting as a:  parks planner (rivers), professional river guide, rafting company co-founder, instructor,  contract rescue specialist, member of regional / national and international government and industry standards committees Standards author, international, court recognized, subject matter expert / witness , course and curriculum developer, and as a swiftwater equipment designer, tester and manufacturer.

    Jim’s professional certifications in these environments include Rescue Swimming, Boat, Rope and Helicopter Rescue.

    He has consulted to and trained with police and military special operations groups, all SAR professions, a complete cross-section of occupational safety agencies, extreme outdoor recreational sectors, and professional guides across Canada and worldwide.

    Jim has post secondary degrees in Biology and Economics and was a member of Canada’s National and Olympic Bobsled Team.