West Yorkshire's water rescue capability: the tragic events of September 1999 at Redisher Lane, Bury and the subsequent improvement notice issued by the Health and Safety Executive came as a 'wake-up' call to a number of brigades. Here, West Yorkshire details its policy and the provision of equipment and training to deal effectively with all water rescue incidents.(Water Rescue)

The Health and Safety Executive's improvement notice demonstrated to brigades that for all the operational tasks they undertake there needs to be a clearly defined policy, the provision of appropriate equipment and adequate training which allows personnel to carry out those tasks safely and efficiently.

At the time a number of seminars were attended and most brigades awaited the outcome of the GMC improvement notice to formalise their policies on water" rescue. The strategy taken by West Yorkshire was to implement a phased approach to carrying out water rescues, starting with the initial bank side through to technician and specialist assistance. As no specific training had taken place there was a restriction placed on all personnel that only bank side rescues could be carried out. …

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