STAFF from York bars got potentially life-saving training by learning how to help rescue people from York’s rivers.

The Waterside Community Responder scheme was launched in York after the RNLI joined forces with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and York Rescue Boat.

The York Water Safety Forum has adopted RNLI’s initiative following a summer in which five people lost their lives in York’s two rivers and several more were rescued by emergency services in just six months.

Yesterday, staff from the Revolution bar and Yates, situated next to the River Ouse, were among those who received training on the dangers that cold water poses to their customers, and how to rescue people safely.



They learnt what to do when people get into distress in or near the water and how to use a throw bag by hurling it into the Ouse.

Jodie Forsyth, sales manager at Revolution, attended the training and said: “It’s been really useful and I think it’s something we can pass down to other staff members. It means that if the worst happens or we do see something happen we’re equipped and ready to do those first bits and try and help save someone’s life.”

She added: “I think it’s really important we receive this training because in a way we’re on the front line."

Staff from RNLI, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and York Rescue Boat all helped provide the training.

Station manager Bob Hoskins, from the fire service, added: “We’re not asking people to dive in the water and be heroes or anything like that, it’s using simple throw line techniques to assist the people, keep them above water until rescue boats can be brought on to carry out full rescues. It could absolutely save lives." Businesses that wish to receive the training should contact the fire service or York Rescue Boat.

Each business that takes part in the training will be provided with a throw bag, containing a 20-metre floating line used to pull a casualty to safety, along with a booklet containing water safety advice, and a keyring with contact numbers for emergency services.