Heroic firefighters praised for rescuing woman from Leighton-Linslade's River Ouzel

Heroic firefighters rescued a woman from Leighton-Linslade's River Ouzel yesterday morning.

By News Reporter
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 2:18 pm

Fire engines raced across town after 7am when the station received a call about a female in danger.

Crews were able to get her out of the water using a special stretcher, before handing her to the paramedics for treatment.

Praising the firefighters, Mayor Councillor Farzana Kharawala posted on Facebook: "Hope the person is OK. Thank you for all that you do in our community."

Community heroes. Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Leighton Buzzard Community Fire Station posted on socal media: "Shortly after 7 o’clock this morning, both fire engines from Leighton Buzzard were mobilised to reports of a person in the River Ouzel in Linslade.

"Four firefighters wearing water rescue suits worked together to rescue the person using a scoop stretcher.

"They were then handed over to the ambulance service to receive further medical care."

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) recently supported the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFFC) Be Water Campaign, by raising awareness on water safety and helping reduce the risk of accidental drowning.

The rescue. Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

There were 254 accidental drownings in the UK in 2020 and nearly 50 per cent didn't intend to enter the water.

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Stacey Moore, area community safety officer, said: “With the weather warming up we start to see more people enjoying our local rivers, canals, lakes and taking trips to the coast, the water can seem inviting to cool off but there may be many hidden dangers, such as submerged structures, deep and extremely cold water that can cause cold water shock.

“It is important to remember to keep everyone safe, the majority of people that end up drowning across the country each year never intended to enter the water in the first place. With paddleboards and kayaks more readily available, we have seen an uptake in their use across Bedfordshire. Please consider if you are a beginner to ensure you have the correct equipment, including a buoyancy aid and the means for calling for help in an emergency, and consider taking some tuition on your chosen craft.

“Remember to Call 999 in an emergency. For inland water ask for Fire Service. In Coastal areas or Estuaries ask for the coastguard”

If ever in difficulty in the water, BFRS advises: "Don’t panic, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back in the water and float on your back until the effects of cold-water shock pass. Then you can call for help or swim to safety."

From June 18 to 25, BFRS will also be supporting Drowning Prevention Week.