Posted: Wednesday 24 July 2019, 11:19
Firefighters from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service have been delivering training and throwlines to public houses, coffee shops and eatery’s close to the Erewash Canal and the Trent and Mersey Canal to help prevent accidental drownings.
Firefighters from the Service’s Prevention Department, supported by trainers from Learning and Development have been visiting 12 establishments to train staff on what to do if someone ends up in difficulty in the water adjacent to their business.
Signage will identify businesses where throwlines are located. 16 throwlines have been generously donated by Reach and Rescue Limited.
Crew Manager Ben Keiller said: “It’s very timely that we are delivering throwlines and training to businesses along the canals of South Derbyshire as we are currently experiencing a heatwave, a time when people typically look for a way to cool down.
“Swimming in open water is very different to a swimming pool where the temperature is controlled and a lifeguard is present. The cold water of rivers, canals, reservoirs and quarries can quickly lead to cold water shock – the body’s involuntary response to suddenly or unexpectedly being immersed in cold water. This is when people get into difficulty and a rescue is needed.
“In Derbyshire since April 2014 the Service has attended 77 water rescue incidents, rescuing a total of 228 people, tragically 6 of these were fatal incidents. We hope that through water safety education and initiatives like the introduction of throwlines at higher risk areas, we can reduce the number of water fatalities and water rescue incidents in the future.”
A plan to role the throwline initiative out in the North of the County is currently being developed.