Drowning prevention event at Ryan Centre

Members of the fast water rescue unit of the Scottish Rire and Rescue, based in Newton Stewart, demonstrating the recovery of a casualty from the water
Members of the fast water rescue unit of the Scottish Rire and Rescue, based in Newton Stewart, demonstrating the recovery of a casualty from the water

Drowning Prevention Day took place at pools in Galloway, including Stranraer’s Ryan Centre, last Friday with a water safety event for all S2 students.

The day was organised by Tina Milligan from the Ryan Centre and involved staff from the centre and partners from the police, fire service, RNLI, coastguard, RLSS and British Red Cross. The event was also supported by Stranraer Academy and Wigtown West Safety Forum.

The day began in the Theatre and the children were shown a video regarding peer pressure around water and showing off to impress. They were also spoken too about how to play responsibly in and around water. The next stage was the swimming pool where the students were shown ways of getting a casualty out of the water by using ropes, poles, balls, empty plastic bottles, clothing and anything else that could aide a casualty to the side. The Fire Service also showed the students their techniques for rescuing both a conscious and unconscious casualty. The students enjoyed this part a great deal and there was much laughter when some of them got splashed when the Fire Officer dived into the pool with all his equipment on. 

The next stage was CPR delivered by the British Red Cross and the Fire Service. All students had the opportunity to test what they had learned on the resuscitation manikins and some showed of their skills very well. The students were also shown how to put a casualty into the recovery position until help arrived. The British Red Cross also did a demonstration on using an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). 

The centre’s Tina Milligan said “This day is all about giving the young people the information they need on how to deal with an emergency situation involving water; hopefully none of them will ever have to use what they have learned but the skills passed onto them by all the partners involved will hopefully come back to them if they find themselves in this type of situation. The support from all the emergency services is vital to the work we do in increasing knowledge of water safety education and, ultimately, helping to reduce the number of people drowning”.