Water rescue service agencies hold joint exercises on Speyside

A SERIES OF TRAINING EXERCISES have taken place involving Coastguard and other rescue organisations around the River Spey and wider Moray area.

The exercises are part of support for the RLSS Drowning Prevention Week, with the main event took place last night and brought together Fire Service ‘Swiftwater’ Rescue team from Elgin, HM Coastguard in the form of the search and rescue arm of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and rescue teams from Portsoy, Buckie, Lossiemouth and Burghead.

Joining them was responders from BASICS Scotland and the Sandpiper Wildcat Project – including staff from Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

Featured in the training was swift water rescue and resuscitation of victims of drowning incidents – part of the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care Scotland regional education programme. All organisations, some of which are charities, train together on a regular basis in their role saving lives in victims of cardiac arrest and include volunteers giving up their own time.

Scenarios used simulated live casualties and demonstrated rescue from the fast-flowing waters of the Spey and help all those involve understand each other’s roles a little more bringing benefits to helping victims needing resuscitation.

Training and communication with the SAS air ambulance and HM Coastguard helicopters is also a vital part of this training. The event also demonstrated the use of a mechanical cardiac compression device to enhance CPR during transfer, supported by Physio Control who loaned a Lucas III device and attended to support training on its use in the pre-hospital environment.

The training took place on the River Spey at Tamdhu, thanks to the kind permission of the Knockando Estate and around 60 people attended

HM Coastguard Senior Coastal Operations Officer Colin Wood said, ‘We know that training matters – we know that what we do saves lives and we spend a lot of time making sure all our training is up to date.

“It’s also good to train with the other organisations as the more we understand what they do, the better we will work together and ultimately that helps the people we are working to rescue.”