Welcome to the August 2013 Issue of At the Ready. About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water (1). At some point, no matter where you work or live, you will respond to an incident that involves water. These can arise from natural occurrences including rain, hurricanes, and floods, as well as from human-initiated incidents such as boating emergencies or accidental pool drownings.
These are not rare emergencies. A CDC report states, “From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. (2)”
This issue addresses responders and water, and the awareness of danger that is necessary to keep your agency personnel safe. Articles on Swift Water Rescue Training, the inland Water Safety Patrol, and the US Water Rescue Dive Team examine responses in, on, and under the water. People do not have gills. We must not let our human and professional instinct to help overcome the inherent dangers of water rescue. If your agency does not have an organic water rescue team, learn where the closest one is, and know the dangers before getting in the water.
As always, be At the Ready.
With warmest regards,