Ensuring the safety of water rescuers: proper training is essential to safe working with boats in rescue operations, contends Rescue 3 UK Director Paul O'Sullivan.(Water Rescue)

As fire brigades throughout the country continue to address working near, on, of in water the issue of operating motor powered boats is coming to the fore. Many brigades are recognising the benefits of having such craft to extend operations into areas where bank based rescues can not be effected These include:

* Urban and rural flood waters;

* Inland open waters;

* Rivers whose width excludes full access from either bank; and

* Tidal waters.

Meanwhile, other brigades who are already operating boats are realising that there are health and safety issues as to whether the operators are sufficiently trained to use these craft in moving water and flood situations. …

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