Friday, September 21, 2007

Wet Feet

I was aghast to hear today's headline story from Manchester, that "Two community support officers looked on as a boy of ten drowned because they had not been trained to deal with such an emergency."

This wasn't the sea or a raging river, it was a pond and from the look of it, the lad was only feet from the edge.

It's a normal human response to attempt to save the life of another human being, particularly a child. I've been in a similar situation myself and it's not something one really thinks twice about before one gets wet.

What was, I wonder going through their minds as they watched the tragedy unfold? Perhaps neither could swim or perhaps a high-visibility set of water-wings wasn't available? Maybe we'll never know!

This is another example of our health and safety obsessed society gone mad; rather like the young man who died in the recent floods, you recall, drowning because the paramedics and police would not amputate his foot in case he contacted blood-poisoning as a consequence.

Death is, of course, the worst possible form of ill-health but "Sorry lad, health and safety regulations I'm afraid, we'll have to let you drown!"

Manchester Police commented: ""It would have been inappropriate for PCSOs, who are not trained in water rescue, to enter the pond."

What's your view?


Anonymous said...

What a weasely comment from Manchester Plods. It begs the question if they were not trained, why not? Common sense dictates you wade in as far as you can; belts,dog leads,trousers can be used inlieu of rope. Any action would have been better than inaction. Time for a review of training then? The mundane reason of course may be that they were non-swimmers or just too plain scared to get involved. This sad incident is just further evidence in the decline of what used to be British Police Forces.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the weedy PCSO lads we have here in Margate?
Short, wet behind the ears and wimpy looking.
This must be in the job description, I really wouldn't bother asking them to do anything, waste of breath.
What we need is some authoritative large well built guys who look capable of doing necessary violence if the need arises.

Michael child said...

Simon one cannot make a claim to be proud to live in a country where those people defending their pointless jobs concocting ridiculous rules and regulations has lead to a point where effectively policemen are trained not to save peoples lives.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter was taken by ambulance to Leighton Hospital, Crewe A and E two weeks ago. She was on the way home from dropping our grandaughter off at school and got her foot ripped open by roofers nails upright in the gutter. Quite a blood loss.

So we drove over to save the son in law taking time off work .. and waited in A and E.

There is an on site police station.

A lady rushed in and told reception that an elderly lady was stuck in the road outside unable to get her husbands wheelchair up the kerb.

I heard the porter say he was not trained for wheelchairs, he disappeared, and so I sauntered out. I got the wheelchair up the kerb and into A and E ... just in time for the old guy to tell me that they wanted the car park area not A and E at all. I thought to make his day we should inspect the display whi9ch tells the waiting room that their expected wait will be 2.5 hours. That brightened him up. Then I took him to the machine in the corridor in which you put your parket ticket and pay (otherwise your trip to the car park is a waste of time as you won't get the barrier to open).. he had already had treatment at outpatients quarter of a mile away but the nearest car park with a space was A and E.

So I whistled him out to the car park his wife clutching the paid car park ticket... and waited whilst his wife fetched out their car.

As they drove off the porter re-appeared.

I do a bit of collecting for a charity shop. One week I donated a stepper (electronic programmes pulse monitor etc etc) and a trampette. The shop put them in the skip. Health and safety can't sell sports goods.

One week I collected a donated attache cased set of catering knives. About 150 quids worth new.

Charity shop can't sell them. Knives. So I got a donation from and gave them to a lad who started a catering course at college in september.

Health and safety madness.

Yet if a backup[ genny on a hospital fails (and a child in post op ICU dies when power to life support is cut) the Health and safetry Executive say "These are not designated reportable incidents under the Act so it is not our concern".

And when I asked Tony Blair to amend the Health and safety at Work Act he asked John Reid to respond ...

Perhaps children playing conkers is more the sort of red hot health and safety issue they prefer to wrestle with ?

I think the police response re training for PCSOs is unlawful by the way.

The Court in 1783 made it clear that a duty under the Crown can be charged by whomsoever and in whatsoever way. The greatest right under Queens Peace is the Right to Life. They had a Common Law duty, criminally answerable to the Queen, to attempt a rescue.

But there again what of Kent Police armed support officers who stayed back whilst a shot woman bled to death because they feared that she was being held captive by a known marksman who possessed a Kent Police issued firearms cert.

Constables sworn to the Queen to protect life who put their own safety above the rights to life of a wounded citizen.

Constables who, by rights, by their actions of cowardice unswore their oaths and should have left the police in disgrace.

ZumiWeb said...

Well I hate to let the truth get in the way of a good story, but the latest report from today's inquest says that when the PCSO's arrived there was no sign of the child. Jumping in to a lake with no idea of where to search isn't quite the same as watching a boy drown, and it may not be the most heroic response, but it becomes a bit more understandable. Especially as presumably the fishermen who had already done their bit hadn't been able to grab the child, and they were right there already and had seen where he was. And it was the police trying to give his CPR when he was recovered. Still a horribly sad story, but less clear-cut and perhaps less worthy of the knee-jerk responses...

DrMoores said...

Thank you for the clarification. I was reacting to the reporting in the papers and on the BBC news.

These suggested that the PCSO's were on the scene first and it was only when the policeman arrived, that he went into the water.

Anyway and with some experience of such matters, a boy that age is potentially recoverable in the right circumstances, cold water and the mammalian diving reflex, which remains strong in children. The record, in Canada, was I believe 45 minutes submerged in cold water.

What is really tragic is that he wasn't puled out and resucitation attempted more quickly than apparently it was

Anonymous said...

In response to 1.13 pm - "What we need is some authoritative large well built guys who look capable of doing necessary violence if the need arises." Is this somment acceptable since we now live in an age when 'knocking the fatty' seems to be the norm ?!
If the 'plastic policemen' had been slightly overweight, big and burly, do you think they would have been recruited in the first place ? I suspect the very reason why recruits are wimpish looking and weedy is because they aren't up to much else other than being plastic police.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Zumiweb for straigntening out some facts. Let me add too that very recently there was a Police television programme on with Police in Grimsby called to the water feature outside the town centre nightclubs. A lad had gone under. The Police were refusing to go in as they did not know where in the water the guy was. The Fire Service turned up and went in with life jackets and a long pole with a hook on. They eventually found the guy and dragged him out (he was dead-unusual for that to be shown on British TV). The Firemen had quite a lot of difficulty in their life preservers as the water is deep so a Copper in a shirt and trousers would have even more difficulty. Two members of public had dived in but found nothing. As for the guy 1:13 on here making references 'wet behind the ears' weedy looking' get a life you fool.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.41 - how does the last line of your post fit in with this site's much publicised polite usage policy?
And obviously you've never seen the Margate community support officers!

Anonymous said...

As sad as this case is I did not jump to the BBC conclusion that the PCSO were incompetent bunglers. My original thought was why did the parents, or more likely parent in the singular, allow their 8-year-old daughter to visit the pond without supervision?

As in many of these cases we tend to jump to conclusions before having a full grasp of the facts. Or more accurately the media gives us the facts as they see it, or which fit their agenda.

DrMoores said...

Keep the conversation polite please.. no personal remarks!!

7:08 Makes an excellent point. What were two young children doing swimming unattended? However, when you see the grieving parents on TV, I think one can understand why. From personal experience of a similar situation, I share their sorrow but the real blame for this tragedy lies with their own parental neglect.

Anonymous said...

My forst thought was "anyone would have gone in to try and find him.
My second thought was "this is the result of a police force augmented with inadequately trained, stop-gap, low budget placebo officers"