Water rescue forum launched: the inaugural meeting of the National Water Rescue Forum (NWRF) recently took place at West Midlands Fire and Rescue Training Centre in Smethwick. The forum was set up to provide a way of sharing best practice and discussing common issues relating to rescues from any open water and was attended by over 30 fire and rescue services.(Water Rescue)

THE NWRF HOSTED A SERIES OF discussions involving water related like-minded individuals from across the UK. These discussions highlighted several important areas of development within the Service.

Nationally, the Fire and Rescue response to water rescue appears to be fragmented. Some FRS' are quite advanced in their approach with well developed systems of work and risk assessment processes; others are not so well positioned. Integrated risk management planning in many areas has identified moderate to substantial levels of organisational risk presented by water related incidents. The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 provides a mechanism for FRS' to engage in this type of rescue activity and the new Civil Contingencies Act imposes a duty to plan for large scale flooding incidents such as we have recently seen in Carlisle.

Developing Safe Systems

FRS' now have to deal with the development of standard operating procedures and safe systems of work for these activities. …

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