Advisory Board


The IRIA is governed by an Advisory Board comprised of:

  •  Executive Director
  •  International Subject Matter Experts

Advisory Board composition brings decades of training program management 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 organization
  • Sets policy and procedure in meeting IRIA requirements
  • Formalizes communication and information exchange
  • Knowledge 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.

Throwbag training, Campbell River, BC, Canada

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: Michael Stegemann is the current Acting Executive Director of the IRIA.

Jim Lavalley

Director/Acting 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.