More Shrewsbury workers learn life-saving skills after river tragedies

More workers in a town have been learning life-saving training after two tragic river deaths.

Shrewsbury Town Council staff took part in river safety training
Shrewsbury Town Council staff took part in river safety training

Shrewsbury Town Council workers have followed in the footsteps of pub and shop staff in town to ensure Shrewsbury is full of people with knowledge if someone gets into trouble and needs to be rescued.

The training comes after a spate of serious river incidents, including the deaths of 31-year-old Toby Jones and Nathan Fleetwood, 21. Several people have also been rescued in recent months.

It is understood that council workers were involved in the rescue of a man from the River Severn in Shrewsbury on Tuesday this week. The 64-year-old is still in hospital in a critical condition.

Members of the council's operational staff took part in the RNLI Waterside Responder training at the fire station in Castlefields last Friday.

Helen Ball, town clerk for the council, said: “A lot of our land in Shrewsbury is adjacent to the river and it made sense to have our operational staff undergo training to use the vital life-saving throw lines which are placed at intervals along the riverside.

“This type of training will give our staff the extra confidence to use the throw lines should they find themselves in those circumstances.”

Assistant Chief Fire officer Dan Quinn said: "We have been unfortunate enough to see some tragedies in the water in Shropshire this year and so training sessions like this are incredibly important. It was great to see more than 20 of Shrewsbury Town Council's operatives attending the throwline training last week. These are the people who are out in the community and may well be able to help if someone is in trouble.

"The session was really well received, and it was great to see the operatives get involved with both the theory and practical elements. The town council staff are around the areas on a daily basis and, like us, have the chance to have conversations and share knowledge on things like water safety. We welcome more opportunities to work with our partners in the future to keep Shropshire safe.

“It is great to see people enjoying themselves around the water, but we want them to be doing it safely.”

If you see someone in difficulty in the water, do not enter it yourself, call 999 and ask for the fire service. If you happen to end up in the water unexpectedly then remember to float on your back and make a star shape for approximately 60 seconds until you have acclimatised to the water and can get your breathing under control.

More throw line courses have been organised for businesses by Shrewsbury BID and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

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