FLOOD EVACUATION – THE PROVISION OF CASUALTY LIFEJACKETS
During the floods that brought devastation to many areas in the North of England many people were forced to leave their property due to serious flooding. This meant that numerous evacuations were carried out by various rescue organisations who were deployed in the areas worst affected by the large scale flooding that occurred at the end of 2015.
It was evident during these events that many property evacuations were carried out, without the provision of lifejackets for those vulnerable casualties being rescued and evacuated.
Although many of the evacuations carried out were in low energy water, it still presents a significant risk. The fact is that these type of operations are detailed in national guidelines, stating the requirement for casualty lifejackets to ensure the safety of the public at all times during evacuation, until they have been removed from the risk area to a safe environment. It is good to recognise that overall, rescue/evacuation operations were hugely successful; however there is still a risk that things can go wrong, which potentially could lead to complications, injury or even loss of life.
In certain situations, the most vulnerable/elderly/young are often traumatised by events, so the provision of a lifejacket can indeed provide some reassurance to those being rescued during evacuation.
The use of high visibility foam lifejackets are an ideal solution for this purpose. For someone who has never worn an inflatable lifejacket, and having never experienced an activation of one can be quite a frightening prospect.
Here are some of the advantages of High Vis foam lifejackets, over inflatable lifejackets:
- Inherent buoyancy
- No risk of activation like an inflatable lifejacket
- An inflatable if activated has to be re-armed before it can be used again
- Distinct style, and high visible colours, providing an excellent safety feature
- Different style to rescue team equipment, providing good clear identification of casualties
- Minimal maintenance or servicing
- Available in a range of sizes, even toddlers
- Cost effective option
There is no doubt that nationally, rescue organisations are better trained and equipped that ever before, but let’s not forget those who are being rescued and provide the necessary equipment to ensure their personal safety during flood evacuation.