Today marks the beginning of the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA) Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week!
The campaign, ‘Be Water Aware’, will raise awareness all week long of the dangers of being near water. They’ve targeted specific groups, such as runners and walkers, due to finding that 44% of people that drown in the UK had no intention of actually being in water. We sometimes always focus our attention on activities in and on the water yet the data for the UK shows that people doing every day activities construe a large percentage of their annual drowning victims.
Universal data classification and collection is of the utmost importance in the drowning prevention fight. Dozens of countries have little to no drowning data. This targeted campaign is a testament to how proper data collection can turn the tide against drowning.
The UK recently created and launched the UK’s first Drowning Prevention Strategy, supported by the World Health Organization. The Drowning Prevention Strategy was developed by several associations that make up the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF). Their goal is simple: reduce the number of drownings in the UK by 50% by 2026.
Dawn Whittaker, the CFOA lead for Drowning Prevention and Water Safety, said:
“Fire Services frequently have large bodies of water in their communities – in rivers, canals, reservoirs, dis-used quarry sites or indeed on the coast – which form an important part of their community risk assessments.”
Fire and rescue services, 52 in total, will be participating in organized events, providing water safety information to local communities throughout the week.
Feel free to share these fantastic water safety posters!