As host to the canoeing events at next year's Olympics, the fire and rescue service has been undertaking water rescue exercises to ensure the events run smoothly.

When a man found himself trapped in the Lee Valley Park canal with serious

spinal injuries, a specialist water rescue team from Hertfordshire Fire and

Rescue Service was called in to rescue him. Fortunately the man was just playing the role of a casualty so that the fire service could practice their water rescue techniques as part of their training for the London 2012 Olympics.

Three separate scenarios put the firefighters skills to the test. As well as the injured man

trapped in the lock doors, they were faced with a capsized boat with two people

struggling in the water and a third person missing. The final test was to rescue two men

stuck on the canal bank whose only means of escape was to swim to the other side.

Richard Thake, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: "The London 2012

Olympics will see about 12,000 spectators in the white water rafting venue at any one

time. The safety and enjoyment of the visitors is paramount and the fire and rescue

service has a whole programme of training exercises planned to ensure they are ready to

respond to any type of incident during the Games."

Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said: "We have recently enhanced the water rescue

training for all Hertfordshire firefighters and it's important they get to practice a range of

techniques in a realistic setting.

"The London 2012 Olympic Games will be an exciting time for Hertfordshire and lots of

measures are being put in place to ensure they run smoothly. It is our job to plan for all

eventualities and the water rescue exercise was the first in a whole series. If the worst

does happen, we'll be on hand and ready to respond."


Posted September 6th, 2011 at 1430 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: