WATER kills more people than fire so ensuring safety
around Greater Manchester's many rivers, canals and reservoirs is
Firefighter Mark 'Huey' Eaves knows the importance of this
through his involvement with the Urban Search and Rescue and
International Search and Rescue teams and his training as a diver
and diving instructor.
Mark, from Blue Watch at Stalybridge Fire Station, hosted an
educational event in the station's community room for Tameside
Council Countryside Service to ensure they are well-prepared for
being around water in their work.
The one-day course around water safety, designed and delivered
by Mark, makes people aware of the different places they may
encounter water and the dangers they face.
Mark said: "The aim is to keep people out of the water and
reinforce just how dangerous water can be - more people drown than
are killed through fire.
"Watching a rescue on the TV, you see them dive in fully
clothed, they do the rescue, get out and its all done and dusted in
no time but the reality is not like that."
Volunteer countryside rangers attended two weeks ago and, last
week, council Countryside Service staff went to spend the day at
The countryside staff and volunteers encounter a lot of water by
leading walks, taking part in conservation work and running
activities for children such as pond dipping.
The morning was spent in the community room learning the
different types of water we have around Greater Manchester and how
it can be dangerous.
Mark, who has been involved with water rescues through work and
outside the job with his diving, was able to draw on personal
experience and real-life incidents, which made the seriousness of
the subject hit home.
He reinforced that rescue work is for the fire service to do and
showed the group the firefighter kit, even allowing them to try it
on to gain an insight into the work.
The afternoon was more practical with the groups being shown
around the fire engines and getting to handle the ropes and other
equipment that crews would use in a water rescue.