shropswaterFirefighters from Temple and Bedminster fire stations have put their training and skills into practice for an exercise on the River Avon in Bristol as part of CFOA's recent Water Safety Week.

Supported by colleagues from Devon and Somerset FRS, the exercise scenario involved two ‘casualties’ in the water underneath the railway bridge in Victor Street.

Watch: FIRE speaks to RBFRS water rescue lead about Drowning Prevention week following exercise on the River Thames

Station Manager Rob Seaman said: “We attend on average between 10 and 15 water rescues in the Bristol area every year so it is vital that crews have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure they can deal with any incident quickly and effectively.

“The exercise was designed to ensure those attending could practise their water rescue skills and use the equipment we have to assist us in the event of a real emergency. It also involved the trial of a new rescue boat which was loaned to us by MFC Survival. Over the coming months we will be carrying out a series of trials to see if this vessel is something we could procure for AF&RS.

“I would like to thank all those involved in the planning and delivery of the exercise, in particular our colleagues from Devon and Somerset who provided two boats and crews to support our work on and by the water.”

The first national Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week was an initiative led by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), aimed at raising awareness of water safety issues and reducing the 669 water-related fatalities that occur in the UK’s waterways every year.

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