Published 5 December 2014

The new Pool Extraction Board (PXB) testing has now been completed. The RLSS UK/IQL UK have been working in partnership with Ferno to create a new board that specifically addresses the needs of lifeguards and leisure centres. The new design supports significantly faster rescue times, offers improved safety and reduces demands on staff.

The innovation requires just two trained users to carry out a pool rescue for deck level pools as opposed to the traditional four. This means fewer lifeguards are drawn into a rescue, enabling them to continue to monitor other pool users and perform other key roles in a rescue situation. A rescue using the new Pool Extraction Board can be accomplished in as little as 90 seconds.

Alex Blackwell, Programme Manager for IQL UK, said: “The new pool extraction board marks a significant development in the rescue of casualties with or without a suspected spinal injury from swimming pools. Thanks to another successful collaboration between RLSS UK and Ferno, we have developed a revolutionary product that is designed to work around existing pool lifeguard techniques for seamless training and integration through the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification 8th Edition.”

The design of PXB is simple yet extremely versatile as it can be used with or without a freeboard and in any depth of water. The board is fitted with cutting-edge Ferno CHI Immobiliser head blocks, used in ambulances and hospitals, to ensure head and neck stabilisation and therefore reducing the risk of injury during rescue. The new board can also accommodate heavier or pregnant casualties, eliminating the need for an assisted lift.

The procedure for executing a rescue with the RLSS UK/Ferno board is simple and quick. The casualty can be strapped in and stabilised whilst still in water then lifted out of the pool by the two trained rescuers (deck level pools). Throughout the rescue, correct buoyancy is maintained through the board’s rotational hollow moulding, constructed with the highest quality materials, which can support a maximum load of 182kg.

For operators mindful of managing costs, the new board reduces the need for additional staffing. Expenditure on replacement straps can also be avoided thanks to more robust, longer-lasting materials used for the restraints.

Developed by an eight-strong team of engineers, researchers and designers, the new board has been rigorously tested in both shallow and deep pools to ensure it meets stringent safety standards. In addition, support for the PXB has been provided by medical experts.

Now that the testing has been completed IQL UK will be arranging the roll out of training for Trainer Assessors and National Trainer Assessors and it is envisaged that the PXB will be ready for purchase in April 2015. More news about the roll out programme will be given in the New Year.