Inland water safety: Avon Fire and Rescue Service looks after a diverse mix of urban and rural areas, from the cities of Bristol and Bath to the surrounding countryside. With its broad responsibility the service responds to a wide range of incidents. In this issue, Avon talks to FIRE about two of the special services it provides--inland water safety and rope rescue.(Special Services)

THE CAPABILITY FOR INLAND WATER rescue has been a part of Avon's remit for over ten years. Group Manager and Safety Boat Liaison Officer for Avon, Nick Baker, explains what this means to Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

"Avon has a number of areas of water that pose a potential threat to our community and our services are regularly called upon. Only recently we mobilised our boat to assist crews and RSPCA officers in rescuing a deer by the River Frome and earlier this year we helped rescue a number of tourists from a capsized pleasure boat on Pulteney Weir in Bath. This is where the safety boat really shows its worth."

Avon Fire and Rescue Service does not just cover rivers, the service also has a number of large recreational lakes and reservoirs under its safeguard, as well as commercial water centres in the Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Docks. Because of the varied locations Avon might be called to, it also has the facility to launch and retrieve its boats using one of its turntable ladders--something only a few services are able to do.

"Our tidal water is covered by the coastguard," explains Nick Baker, "but the demand for our safety boat certainly keeps us busy. …

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