Drowning Prevention Week
This week I have been actively supporting the National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety campaign. This campaign has seen a huge amount of innovative engagement activity, including talks to community groups, water safety equipment ‘show and tell’, stands at reservoirs and throw bag training amongst others. This activity has been widespread across the UK involving the respective Fire & and Rescue Services’, Coastguard Volunteer Rescue Teams, RNLI, water companies, water safety campaigners, Search and Rescue Teams, Police Services’ and water safety groups all collaboratively spreading and sharing the water safety and drowning prevention messages. On social media the twitter #BewaterAware has been shared extensively to ensure the message is spread as far as possible and even ‘trended’ 5th on Monday 23rd, although the birth of the Royal baby was ‘trending’ as number one! This campaign has been spreadheaded by the Chief Fire Officers Association Drowning Prevention Lead and East Sussex Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Whittacker
Each day of the campaign, has seen a focus on a different activity, namely Monday – exploring the waterside equipment aka life rings and throw bags that are now standard around our rivers, canals, coasts and waterways, Tuesday – runners and walkers safety, Wednesday – ‘Away From Home’ (holidays in the UK and abroad and the emphasis on being safe whilst swimming), Thursday – Away From Home, Friday and Saturday will be alcohol related themes (due to the weekend potential for higher rates of socialising).
More young children die in pools abroad on holiday than do overall in the UK!
Kent’s Community Responder Programme
Kent Fire and Rescue Service have teamed up to work collaboratively with the RNLI to roll-out the Community Responder programme. The Community Safety team are delivering the training on behalf of the RNLI to train businesses (at selected locations around Maidstone, close to the River Medway) in water safety and how to deploy the throw-bags and will receive a free throw-line bag to retain on their premises inreadiness for an incident in the river. If this is well received by businesses, it may be rolled out to other areas in the county where water poses a risk in built-up localities. If you are an organisation or business in Kent and want to find out more then email the Community Safety Team.
Effectively deploying a throw bag to a water casualty
Thanks for reading about this vitally important campaign. Please share far and wide, it just could save someone’s life.
Here are just some of the very useful drowning prevention groups, organisations and individuals, so check them out for more advice:
Kent Fire and Rescue Service Drowning Prevention
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Water Safety
West Mercia Search and Rescue ‘Home and Dry’ campaign
RLSS – Don’t Drink and Drown
RNLI – Dog Walking Safety Advice
National Chief Fire Officers Drowning Prevention campaign
Safe and Dry – No More River Deaths (Kent Search and Rescue)
Durham City Council – Don’t Drink and Drown campaign