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Incident information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify best access route, rendezvous point (RVP) and marshalling area and communicate to all responders

  • Control measure - Guidance Establish the last known position (LKP) or place last seen (PLS) of casualties, including times
  • Control measure - Guidance Identify the casualty's level of consciousness and offer reassurance where possible
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Question the casualty, other responders and witnesses to understand incident factors and history
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish casualty details (name, age, sex, size, clothing, state of mind, swimmer, floating, sub-surface)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Assess hydrology and status of water or other liquids - depth, temperature, type of liquid, speed of flow

  • Further incident information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Investigate the possibility of rising waters and increased flow from tides, flooding, sluice gates

    • Consider the use of water temperature charts where available

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access past, present and future weather information from sources such as the Met Office

Resource information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Request adequate resources to enable effective search given the scope and environment of the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use appropriately trained responders at incidents involving water

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Confirm that required agencies have been requested or notified (e.g. Police, Ambulance, environmental agencies)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use approved specialist volunteers, individuals or teams

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Request medical support at rescue incidents as soon as a need is identified

  • Further resource information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting specialist underwater search and recovery dive teams

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider the use of specialist camera equipment to help locate underwater casualties. Urban Search and Rescue teams use 'snake eye' cameras which are suited for such purposes
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider using a range of thermal imaging resources such as aerial appliances, drones and helicopters

Risk information

  • Working environment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effects of geography on equipment logistics, casualties and crew welfare

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Manage hazards in the working environment that could lead to slips, trips and falls

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish, identify and communicate safe traffic routes, establish clear zones and equipment points

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Define routes using physical barriers and clearly illuminate where there is reduced visibility
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Provide lighting to illuminate hazards to personnel in poorly lit environments

    • Consider the possibility of bankside erosion (undercutting) from flowing water

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and communicate any electrical or mechanical hazards that present a risk to personnel

  • Bodies of water

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and communicate the presence of water or other liquids to all responders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that crews operate on the safe side of suitable existing or improvised guarding or barriers near water or other liquids

    • Ensure that crews are aware of the risks and associated control measures for working near bodies of water and unstable surfaces
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Appoint a safety officer to monitor the hazard presented by water or other liquids

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure personnel working around unstable ground are secured using work restraint or fall arrest systems

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement an effective plan to control boat traffic and water users

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that personnel wear suitable PPE and personal flotation devices when working near water or other liquids

  • Vehicles in water

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid entering a submerged or partially submerged vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider the possibility of air pockets maintaining the buoyancy of a vehicle in deep water
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the stability of unsecured vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider securing or anchoring vehicles in water

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Regularly assess and review the effectiveness of the stabilisation techniques employed

  • Unstable ground

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish and maintain safe means of access to and egress from scene of operations at all times

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the impact of past, present and future weather conditions on the ground conditions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure personnel working around unstable ground are secured using work restraint or fall arrest systems

    • Control measure - Guidance Establish tag line and recovery systems for crews deployed around unstable ground
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the use of specialist equipment for rescues from mud, ice and unstable surfaces

  • Casualty

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Maintain rescuer safety whilst attempting shout, reach and throw methods

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using specialist equipment to assist in the removal of casualties from water

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request additional or specialist resources to assist with manual handling tasks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the task, individual capabilities, load and environment (TILE) when carrying out risk assessments for manual handling

  • Weather conditions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access past, present and future weather information from sources such as the Met Office

  • Extremes of temperature

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Monitor personnel for signs and symptoms of fatigue, dehydration, heat or cold stress
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider task rotation when  personnel are carrying out  manual handling tasks

    • Control measure - Guidance Instigate appropriate medical interventions if personnel show signs and symptoms of physiological stress
  • Waterborne microorganisms

    • Control measure - Guidance Wear body fluid gloves and cover broken skin with waterproof dressing
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Comply with hygiene arrangements and don't eat, drink or smoke

Powers, policies and procedures

  • Restrict the access of persons to premises or a place if they reasonably believe an emergency to have occurred

Why? Expectations? Benefit vs Risk?

Objectives

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Maintain the safety of all personnel, other responders and the public

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Save life and reduce harm

  • Further objectives

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Minimise the impact of the incident and fire service actions on any identified environmental risk

Tactical priorities

  • Jointly agree search and rescue or recovery response with other agencies based on survivability model

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider deploying appropriate safety officers at incidents involving water and unstable surfaces

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement a co-ordinated search plan, define parameters and sub-divide the area where necessary

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Develop a plan based on Locate, Access, Stabilise, Transport (LAST) principles

  • Control measure - Guidance Assign suitably trained responders to carry out casualty assessment and provide treatment
  • Further tactical priorities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider appointing a search co-ordinator to ensure all areas have been systematically searched

Operational tactics

  • Control measure - Guidance Make a safe approach to the casualty and maintain a safe environment for all involved
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider mobilising appropriate resources to close off the search area

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish and maintain contact with the casualty

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement a co-ordinated search plan, define parameters and subdivide the area where necessary

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Adopt a shout – reach – throw – row – go - helicopter hierarchy approach to rescue plan

  • Control measure - Guidance Consider the need for immediate rescue or a means of securing the casualty
  • Control measure - Guidance Assign suitably trained responders to carry out casualty assessment and provide treatment
  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance Use approved equipment to protect the casualty from the effects of cold water shock and to reduce the possibility of hypothermia
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the use of specialist equipment for rescues from mud, ice and unstable surfaces

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Take care when digging around casualties partially submerged in unstable ground

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider screening casualties from the view of the public, media or other casualties
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Remove casualties from water in a horizontal position and elevate legs where possible

       

Communication

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Establish communications with police search advisors (PolSA) and other responder agencies
  • Control measure - Guidance Brief search teams on plans, parameters and casualty information, confirming understanding
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use the most effective methods for communicating with people who are either directly or indirectly involved in the incident 

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Communicate using appropriate hand and whistle safety signals for water rescue to all personnel

  • Control measure - Guidance Provide a structured handover when transferring casualty to medical responders
  • Further communication

    • Control measure - Guidance Establish a media liaison point and brief a nominated media liaison officer

Control

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Appoint a safety officer to monitor the hazard presented by water or other liquids

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider establishing control zones at incidents involving water and communicate to all responders

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use an appropriate system of identification for water safety, search and rescue teams

  • Further control information

    • Establish and maintain an exclusion zone around any body of water or unstable surface where no existing guarding exist

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Appoint a safety officer to monitor the hazard presented by water or other liquids

Incident closure and handover

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Follow service protocols for post incident health surveillance and monitoring

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider decontamination of personnel, PPE and equipment prior to redeployment

  • Further incident closure and handover

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Instigate and co-operate with post incident investigations where necessary

Additional information

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  • Suvivabiliity model 

  • Team identification system

    • Water safety and rescue (first responder): Yellow water rescue helmet
    • Water safety and rescue (technician): Red water rescue helmet
    • Rescue boat operator: Red water rescue helmet
    • Team leader: White water rescue helmet