Published 27 May 2016 

We’ve had a new product release recently and I’d like to tell you a little bit more about it and how it all came together. I’m Alex and I’m the head of National Vocational Qualifications for IQL UK which means I am involved with writing and developing all of the new training qualifications we offer.

One of my key projects over the last three years has been the design, development and testing of the new Pool Extraction Board.

The project started in April 2013. We looked at other techniques from around the world and in particular from Canada. We found that most of the boards weren’t using the latest technology in production and that meant there were more sequences in the chain of rescue, with the need for extra lifeguards and buoyancy provided by torpedo buoys.

There are some examples available on YouTube –

Our aim was to reduce the steps in the sequence, optimise the number of lifeguards required, reduce the equipment needed to stabalise and keep the board and casualty afloat.

Throughout the project we had a group of Trainer Assessors, Paramedics and lifeguards who assisted with the development of the board combining their knowledge and expertise to create something that would really make a difference.

What’s really exciting about this new product is the innovative design and research that’s gone into producing something that is an industry leading product for emergency response and care. Working with Ferno UK, we developed a board that didn’t need additional floatation from torpedo buoys and this significantly reduces the time required to extract a casualty. Plus, the use of Velcro straps removes the need for clips and again saves time and simplifies the process. By reducing the amount of steps in the sequence this also helps the amount of training time needed to achieve the level of competence required to use the PXB.

Some of the key features of the board are-

  • Anchor mat to help stabilize and extract the casualty from the pool in deck level and pools with a freeboard
  • Antibacterial Velcro
  • Floating head blocks
  • Rotational hollow molded board to remove the need for additional floatation
  • Velcro securing straps

It’s durable too, because we’ve used the highest quality materials available throughout the production process.

In December 2014, we had a meeting with our medical advisor Dr Anthony Handley, Julian Rhodes who represents the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (ACCE) and Professor Sir Keith Porter ( .

This resulted in a pool session where Julian got into the pool with our team helping us to refine the process even further and ensuring consistency with our guidelines and the ambulance service in particular how we applied Manual Inline Stabilisation for a casualty with a suspected spinal injury.

We also made sure we followed the latest guidelines from the ‘Pre Hospital Spinal Imobilisation Consensus Paper’ – . There was excellent guidance within this paper;

  • The long spinal board is an extraction device solely. Manual in-line stabilisation is a suitable alternative to a cervical collar
  • Standing take down practice should be avoided
  • Cervical collars are not the panacea that they are often made out to be

Finally we were ready to take the pictures and videos for the training resources. We had the opportunity to film at the London Aquatic Centre where the 2012 Olympics were held. This provided a superb venue to film and showcase the PXB.

After three years it is extremely satisfying to see the interest in the product and seeing our NTA’s be updated to roll out the training amongst our team of Pool Lifeguard Trainer Assessors.

Click here to view the Pool Extraction Board promo video.

If you’d like to purchase the PXB click here to order yours.