Hitchin firefighters in water training to save lives
PUBLISHED: 07:03 23 February 2017
Six firefighters from Hitchin Fire Station took part in a training day at a former water park which played host to the London 2012 Olympics.
The station, which is a first responder rescue station for water emergencies, is fully equipped with rafts and dry suits for brave firefighters ready to plunge into fast-running water to save lives.
To aid their water rescue capabilities they visited Lee Valley White Water Centre and its Olympic-standard course, which now also provides a base to help to save lives.
Garry Keats, who is the fire service technical rescue instructor at the Stevenage’s Longfield training and development centre, explained: “It’s part of our ongoing training with firefighters having to maintain their skills.
“When adverse wet weather strikes people may try to drive their cars across fords – which is a very dangerous thing to do.
“If a car is stuck on a river bed it could tip up if it gets stuck on silt. We show firefighters how to effect a rescue with throwlines – floating ropes. Once a car is moving in water it makes it very difficult to perform a rescue. As little as six inches of water can move a car.
“The feedback was good from the firefighters. They enjoyed the day and understood the issues around saving lives in water.”