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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure
Safety officers: Water rescue

TRAINING SPECIFICATION

Knowledge and understanding

Control measure element Learning outcome

Safety officers: Water rescue and flooding

Understand:

  • That, if required, safety officers should be appointed, briefed and positioned as soon as practicable
  • That safety officers should have an understanding of the nature of the incident and the environment
  • That the number and location of safety officers should be in keeping with the hazard area and activities being carried out
  • That safety officers should not carry out their duties in isolation and should always have an appropriate method of communicating
  • That the most effective use of personnel and equipment should be prioritised
  • That appointment of downstream safety teams or upstream spotters should be determined by a risk assessment

Upstream spotters

Understand:

  • The role and considerations for personnel appointed as upstream spotters

Downstream safety officers

Understand:

  • The role and considerations for personnel appointed as a downstream safety officer or as part of a downstream safety team
  • How to apply safety systems of work, and use PPE and equipment that are appropriate to the water environment
  • That alternative downstream safety may need to be adopted until systems have been established
  • That alternative means of recovering casualties or personnel should be considered in the absence of appointing downstream safety officers, such as hose inflation kits or a safety boat

Management of tethers or lines

Understand:

  • The role and considerations for personnel nominated as safety officers for the management of tethers or lines
  • The need for personnel managing a line to maintain verbal or visual communication with and have a clear line of sight to:
    • The tethered member of personnel
    • Personnel in watercraft
  • The need to maintain the clean line principle throughout the rescue

Controlling hazards in the area of operations

Understand:

  • Where spotters should be located to enable early identification and communication of hazards in or entering the area of operations
  • The need to inform personnel about potential hazards entering the area of operations
  • The potential need to stop members of the public entering the area of operations

Control of cordons

Understand:

  • The role of safety officers appointed to maintain cordons
  • That cordons may need to be extended or reduced, following a risk assessment
  • The need for a safety officer to monitor the situation and recommend changes to the incident commander
  • The use of safety officers to inform personnel about any changes to cordons

Practical application

Control measure element Learning outcome

Consider appropriately deploying adequate safety officers at water rescue incidents

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Deploy adequate safety officers to carry out appropriate roles and functions
  • Appropriately determine the positioning of safety officers
  • Ensure safety officers establish and maintain effective communication with relevant personnel and the incident commander

Consider using safety systems when carrying out water rescues

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply safety systems that are appropriate to the environment
  • Consider adopting the use of alternative downstream safety until systems have been established

Appropriately restrict members of the public from entering the area of operations while a water search or rescue is in progress

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Stop members of the public entering the area of operations if required