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Weekly Edition - Published  26 April 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Merseyside firefighters teach water safety to schoolchildren and students during Drowning Prevention Week

MERSEYSIDE Fire and Rescue Service are holding special events for schoolchildren to support the Chief Fire Officers Association's (CFOA's) Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week, which launched on Monday, 25 April 2016. The campaign, which runs to Sunday, 1 May 2016, is raising awareness of the everyday dangers of being near water after 633 people died in water-related incidents across the UK from 2014 to 2015. Firefighters are backing the initiative by inviting local school children to take part in educational events held at the Service's Marine Rescue Unit at the Pier Head, on Tuesday, 26 April 2016, Wednesday, 27 April 2016 and Thursday, 28 April 2016.

Pupils from St Paul's Catholic Junior School in West Derby, Holy Spirit Primary Roman Catholic Primary School in Bootle and Lander Road Primary School in Litherland will visit the Unit to learn about water safety through interactive rescue demonstrations delivered by firefighters and partners from HM Coastguard and the Royal Life Saving Society. The children will also take educational trips on Mersey Ferries' river explorer cruise, escorted by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service's hovercraft and Marine Fire One rescue boat, to learn more about water safety.  Advice and water safety tips will also be issued on the @MerseyFire Twitter account over the forthcoming week using the hashtag #BeWaterAware

Station Manager Sean McGuinness, who has organised the schools' visit, said:- "Drowning in the UK is amongst the leading causes of accidental death but knowing how to respond efficiently and appropriately can help save lives.It's vital that all children receive water safety education, to make them aware of the risks of being near water and so they know how to respond quickly and safely should the worst happen. Being near water is perceived as a low risk activity, but statistics show that this is not the case. One of the main at risk demographics is young adult males so we will also be visiting university campuses and halls of residence to deliver leaflets and posters around the themes of alcohol and drowning."

CFOA's water safety lead, Dawn Whittaker, said:- "Most people would be shocked to hear that many victims of drowning just happen to be near water and have no intention of ending up in it, such as runners, walkers, anglers and young adult drinkers. They are unaware of the risks and often totally unprepared for the scenario of falling in the water. By joining forces with regional fire and rescue services we hope to highlight this issue and reduce the numbers of needless deaths."

Tips for what to do if someone falls in to deep water:-

► Call for help right away. Call 999 and if you are near the coast ask for the Coastguard. If you are inland, then ask for the Fire Service and Ambulance.

► Give accurate information about where you are. Use the location services or map tools on your phone to give a clear description to emergency services and look around for any landmarks or signs.

► Stay on the line and call for help from anyone who might be close by.

► Never enter the water to try and save someone; you are likely to suffer from cold water shock.

► Shout to the person ‘swim to me' to give them a focus and keep any instructions clear, short and loud.

► Look around for any lifesaving equipment and use it. If there is no lifesaving equipment look what else you can use to help them stay afloat.

► If you manage to get the person out of the water they will need medical attention. Medical problems can still occur up to 48 hours after the incident if water has entered their lungs.

If they are unconscious check they are breathing and perform five rescue breaths and CPR (30 chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths) until help arrives.

► If the person is unconscious, but breathing put them in the recovery position with their head lower than their body. If they are conscious try and keep them warm.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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