Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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MFRS teams up with RNLI to deliver life-saving training to waterside workers at the Albert Dock

MFRS teams up with RNLI to deliver life-saving training to waterside workers at the Albert Dock

Friday, 07 December 2018

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has teamed up with the RNLI and RLSS to deliver life-saving training to waterside workers at the Albert Dock in Liverpool.

With the number of revellers in the city likely to rise over the Christmas period, steps are being taken to help prevent people drowning on Albert Dock and surrounding waterways.

To coincide with the RLSS UK's Don't Drink and Drown Campaign, MFRS and RNLI community safety experts carried out vital training to door staff, waterside workers and other agencies with an interest in water safety, to ensure they are aware of the risks around water and are equipped to help people who get into difficulty in the water.

Representatives from pubs, restaurants and other relevant agencies were trained on the dangers that cold water poses and provided them with the knowledge and equipment to help rescue people safely.

They learned how to use a throw bag and what to do when people get into distress near the water. The potentially life-saving throw bags - a 20m floating line used to pull a casualty to safety - can be supplied to venues at key locations across the region.

This training is part of the Community Responder Scheme to help prevent people drowning around rivers and waterways.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner, said: "Research found that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. We know that this is a risk to people in the region, suffering from cold water shock when they didn’t intend to be in the water. This training scheme aims to raise awareness of these dangers and ultimately help save a life."

Steve Pang, Station Manager, Road and Water Safety, for MFRS, said: "Sadly the festive season can see a rise in water-related incidents, including fatalities. We are aiming to prevent as many of these as possible by educating and equipping people who work in water-side establishments in water rescue, so they can help save lives year round.

"This work will be reinforced by the coming together of a number of Merseyside agencies to form the Merseyside Water Safety Forum – a body which will meet regularly to tackle the issue on an ongoing basis. If any member of the public sees somebody struggling in the water, we advise them to call 999."

The initiative supports the RNLI’s annual national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of the water and take steps to minimise the risk of being in or near water. The RNLI is urging people to remember this basic safety information:

· People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering your lungs and increases strain on your heart.

· If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.

· If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 or 112. If you are at the coast, ask for the coastguard. If you are inland by a river or waterway, ask for the police.

The initiative coincides with the RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, which warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.

It also comes soon after the first visit of a newly formed Merseyside Water Safety Forum, which brings organisations with an interest in water safety together with the shared goal of reducing drowning across Merseyside.

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