Police to think twice about rescuing drowning

#1
Police officers have been warned not to hold out a hand to drowning swimmers, and to think twice before throwing a lifebelt, in case they are pulled into the water themselves.

The health and safety rules issued by one force, which state that an officer on the bank of a lake or river should not offer help to a struggling non-swimmer, raise fresh concerns over a "risk-averse culture" in the emergency services. Even a life belt must not be thrown without a "dynamic risk assessment" being carried out. Where possible, rescues should be left to other emergency services.

The extraordinary instructions were issued by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. In another case revealed today, two Dorset police officers carrying life-saving equipment were ordered not to board a lifeboat to reach a suspected heart attack victim because they were not trained in sea survival.

Rules for West Country officers are set out in a policy document headed Health and safety – water safety, which states: "Devon and Cornwall Constabulary do not expect or require any member of staff to enter water in a rescue attempt of any person or animal under any circumstances'.
In full

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/30/nsafety130.xml
 
#3
Not necessarily a bad idea. It's better to have one casualty than two after all.

I dare say that this is more alarmest journalism from the Torygraph.

PB
 
#4
Maybe they sould shout " I can't save you but could you tell us about your next of kin so we can notify them"
"What did you say? Well if you're angry we can refer you to an Anger Management Clinic if you survive"
 
#5
Am I being cynical in thinking that this is more to do with covering their own arses than anything else? In the case now of a bobby getting drowned during an attempt, the force will be able to quote that guideline and avoid being held liable. It's a pound to a pinch of s**t that it was drawn up by the force lawyers.
 
#6
Yes, it is about covering your own arrse.

As a few freinds have been lifeguard trained it is a very dangerous and requires training to rescue a drowning victim.

It is all very well, in light of recent incidents, to imagine a copper leaping in, but in reality it is not a good idea.

Should all coppers be trained in Life Guarding as well as First Aid? Perhaps if they are on a beat where there is sufficient requirement for it.

As for the life buoy? It is there to be thrown to a victim, normally attached to the bank, so you don't have to hold it yourself, then get a couple of bystanders to pull it back.

Perhaps a little law that says, no one is to blame for injuries in such incidents but compo is still available form the government/council etc.
 
#7
My thoughts as an Elf and Safety bod is that the police are following the correct steps BUT some journo has jumped to create a "slow news day" article

Step one is to identify the risks.
Step two is to determine what actions are needed.
Step three is immediate to be taken
Step four is corrective action
Step five is the new instruction/policy

As I see it,
Step 1 has been carried out
Step 2 says "We need to be trained"
Step 3 is "Stand still until training is completed"
Step 4 is "Arrange courses pdq"
Step 5 will be "Carry on as per policy"

Methinks that there may be more info available from the force but it would reduce the effect of the story if published

Health and Safety can be the refuge of the lazy.

It's not about stopping something.

It should be about considering all aspects of an action and then, having considered all angles and corrected unseen problems, allowing the new action to continue.

OK, sometimes you cannot reduce the risk, and then you have to say "This practice must stop"
When this happens Health and Safety is applauded but for most of the time it's just the sillys that make the news.
 
#8
PassingBells said:
Not necessarily a bad idea. It's better to have one casualty than two after all.

I dare say that this is more alarmest journalism from the Torygraph.

PB



Thank god Lisa Potts didn't think like that
 
#9
It is surprising just how poorly many Brits are when it comes to swimming.

It would be very fair to say that if not very confident in the water and also not trained in rescue you would very likely end up as a casualty rather than a 'hero'.
 
#10
Zulu_w said:
It is surprising just how poorly many Brits are when it comes to swimming.

It would be very fair to say that if not very confident in the water and also not trained in rescue you would very likely end up as a casualty rather than a 'hero'.



Its not about swimming,its about offering asstance from the bank and throwing a lifebelt,thats what people are up in arms about
 
#11
I may be missing something here, but arent the police supposed to be one of the Emergency Services. What is someone classed as when drowning, I always thought it was an emergency. When I joined the army we were taught basic life saving skills, so why arent the police taught that, or would they want a bonus .
 
#12
RHODESIAN said:
Zulu_w said:
It is surprising just how poorly many Brits are when it comes to swimming.

It would be very fair to say that if not very confident in the water and also not trained in rescue you would very likely end up as a casualty rather than a 'hero'.



Its not about swimming,its about offering asstance from the bank and throwing a lifebelt,thats what people are up in arms about
Yes I agree take off all your clothes and make a rope by tying them together Improvise to overcome
Adrian
 
#13
billc said:
I may be missing something here, but arent the police supposed to be one of the Emergency Services. What is someone classed as when drowning, I always thought it was an emergency. When I joined the army we were taught basic life saving skills, so why arent the police taught that, or would they want a bonus .
You will find training was was cut or sevely slashed as part of many forces budgets, ROSPA together with the ACPO are now trying to get either partical or full rescue and life saving restored im sure if you serch the BBC radio 4 PM at 5 PM you may well find the orginal interview where thsi was stated by ROSPA.

We should not be surprised when we know full well that this shambles of a government just continued the previous tory governments policey of cutting public services too the bone, and disgarding anything that is not cost effective. :x
 
#14
halo_jones said:
We should not be surprised when we know full well that this shambles of a government just continued the previous tory governments policey of cutting public services too the bone, and disgarding anything that is not cost effective. :x
Correction Halo, I am sure you mean disgarding anything that is not 'sexy' or 'cool' or 'media worthy'
 
#15
If you watched the News story the support officers could not actually see the child and it would be pretty pointless to enter a lake of such a large size that it was. There were no safety lines available and if the officer went in he was only putting him at risk without clearly identifying were the boy was.

Standing by the side of the lake whilst sending up to date reports back to HQ and directing firefighters with the necessary equipment to the last known location of the boy was probaly a safer course of action. If he saw the boy struggling on the surface I'm sure he would have been straight in the water.

The family of the boy are angry because of their loss but I also feel sorry for the support officer who has probaly been in many a difficult situation and possibly saved lives including medical emergencies, domestic abuse and gang related situations but this one moment paints him to be gutless.

I do feel sorry for the family but they looked like complete Chavs who were probaly on the wrong side of the law anyway.

NC
 
#16
actionman said:
RHODESIAN said:
Zulu_w said:
It is surprising just how poorly many Brits are when it comes to swimming.

It would be very fair to say that if not very confident in the water and also not trained in rescue you would very likely end up as a casualty rather than a 'hero'.



Its not about swimming,its about offering asstance from the bank and throwing a lifebelt,thats what people are up in arms about
Yes I agree take off all your clothes and make a rope by tying them together Improvise to overcome
Adrian

What are you on about? read the original post
 
#17
armchair_jihad said:
halo_jones said:
We should not be surprised when we know full well that this shambles of a government just continued the previous tory governments policey of cutting public services too the bone, and disgarding anything that is not cost effective. :x
Correction Halo, I am sure you mean disgarding anything that is not 'sexy' or 'cool' or 'media worthy'
Yes but it is up to the individual to make a descision on there actions they have to live with it
Adrian
 
#18
RHODESIAN said:
actionman said:
RHODESIAN said:
Zulu_w said:
It is surprising just how poorly many Brits are when it comes to swimming.

It would be very fair to say that if not very confident in the water and also not trained in rescue you would very likely end up as a casualty rather than a 'hero'.



Its not about swimming,its about offering asstance from the bank and throwing a lifebelt,thats what people are up in arms about
Yes I agree take off all your clothes and make a rope by tying them together Improvise to overcome
Adrian

What are you on about? read the original post
I am sorry what do you mean i thought it was a valid point my input may save a life
Adrian
 
#19
actionman said:
armchair_jihad said:
halo_jones said:
We should not be surprised when we know full well that this shambles of a government just continued the previous tory governments policey of cutting public services too the bone, and disgarding anything that is not cost effective. :x
Correction Halo, I am sure you mean disgarding anything that is not 'sexy' or 'cool' or 'media worthy'
Yes but it is up to the individual to make a descision on there actions they have to live with it
Adrian
yes indeed it is! I was answering the question asked on why police are predominetly not rescue trained ....
 
#20
Quote;the health and safety rules issued by one force, which state that an officer on the bank of a lake or river should not offer help to a struggling non-swimmer,


thats what I mean
 

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