Widnes firefighters hope to make a big splash with their water safety talks for school children

Swift water rescue trained firefighters will be giving water safety advice to Widnes schoolchildrenWidnes firefighters have organised a series of talks to educate school children about the importance of staying safe in and around water.

Inspired by the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign, crews from Widnes Fire Station will be delivering drowning prevention advice to youngsters at Kingsway Leisure Centre from Tuesday 14 May to Monday 20 May.

Children from six Widnes schools - Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Primary, Widnes Academy, Simms Cross Primary School, St Basil’s Catholic Primary School, St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School and St Bede’s Catholic Junior School - will learn about the dangers of water and what to do in an emergency situation.

Widnes Fire Station Manager Stuart Devereux said: “Preventing accidents is a huge part of our role at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“More than 250 people accidentally drowned in the UK in 2017, and last year a girl sadly died in Halton whilst swimming with friends.

“The NFCC’s Be Water Aware campaign has been highlighting the risk of accidental drowning nationally and over a seven-day period my Widnes firefighters will be giving important water safety advice to schoolchildren from across the town so that they have a greater awareness of the dangers of swimming/playing in open water.

“We hope the children enjoy the talks and that the things they learn ensure that they stay safe whenever they are in and around water.”

The following easy to remember ‘SAFE’ message will be delivered by swift water rescue trained firefighters to the children:

  • Spot: Spot the dangers

  • Advice: Take advice

  • Friends: Go with a friend

  • Emergency: Learn what to do in an emergency

Station Manager Devereux added: “We will be demonstrating how to stay safe around water, through having the appropriate safety equipment, reading warning signs and having a responsible and capable adult nearby.

“We will also teach the children what to shout to a person struggling in water and how to reach out to that person without putting themselves in danger.

“During the week we will be showing the children all of the water safety equipment that firefighters use to keep themselves safe at water incidents, including dry suits, buoyancy aids, water helmets and throw lines, and talking to them about the benefits of each piece of kit.

“In addition, there will be a chance for the children to look at some of the equipment in fire engines that crews use to rescue casualties.

“There will even be an opportunity for the children to board one of our water rescue rafts in the swimming pool at Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes.”

Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, added: “We want children and everyone else to enjoy spending time in and around water, but we want them to do it safely.

“Firefighters and other emergency services risk their own safety to rescue people who get into difficulties on our waterways, so it is important that people take extra care and that everyone is kept safe.”

Date published: Fri, 10 May 2019 16:39:24 GMT

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Swift water rescue trained firefighters will be giving water safety advice to Widnes schoolchildren