Would you know what to do if someone fell into open water?
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is inviting residents to take part in water safety events at Gloucester docks this Thursday 27th and Saturday 29th April, helping people to #BeWaterAware.
GFRS is working to prevent people getting into dangerous situations around water this summer as part of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) water safety and drowning prevention campaign, ‘Be Water Aware’.
GFRS has donated a number of rescue ‘throw lines’ to local businesses around Gloucester docks, and will be holding two demonstration events to show people how to use the throw lines and raise awareness of the dangers of activities near water.
Training for staff of venues near the docks will be held on Thursday 27th April, when GFRS crews will demonstrate how to perform a water rescue.
Residents and visitors will also be invited to take part in a public demonstration on Saturday 29th April. The drop-in event will run from 10am – 4pm: residents can turn up at any point through the day to discover how to use the throw lines in a rescue situation.
National figures show that nearly 50% of people who accidently drown in the UK did not intend to enter the water. Latest statistics show that in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Knowing how to respond quickly, safely and appropriately can help save lives.
Gloucestershire’s chief fire officer Stewart Edgar, who is also the national fire chief council lead for prevention, said: “In Gloucester we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment venues situated around the docks. However, this presents certain risks to the public which our crews will be trying to raise awareness of during water safety week. The Fire and Rescue Service has successfully reduced the number of fire deaths by focussing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to tackling drowning.”
NFCC’s water safety lead, Dawn Whittaker, said “Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and fisherman. They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths.”
For further information and more safety tips please visit www.glosfire.gov.uk