Published 17 July 2014

Lifeguards across the UK will have the chance to get their hands on the latest lifesaving technology with the announcement of the newly designed Pool Extraction Board from the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and Ferno.

Industry specialist, Ferno, has developed the ground-breaking new board, set to be launched at this year’s Leisure Industry Week in September, in collaboration with RLSS UK. It specifically addresses the needs of lifeguards and leisure centres. The new design allows significantly faster rescue times, offers improved safety and reduces demands on staff.

The innovation only requires two trained users to carry out a pool rescue as opposed to the traditional four. This means less 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, RLSS UK’s trading subsidiary, 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 (NPLQ).”

The design of the RLSS UK / Ferno Pool Extraction Board 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 the innovative Ferno Combi Head Immobiliser (CHI) (head blocks), already proven for use 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 quick and easy. The casualty can be strapped in and stabilised whilst still in the water and then lifted out of the pool by a single member of staff in the water and a single member of staff at the poolside. Throughout the rescue, correct buoyancy is maintained by the board’s rotational hollow moulding, constructed with the same materials as the Aquaboard, which can support a maximum load of 182kg.

Michael Thornton, Product Manager at Ferno (UK) Ltd, said: “We were approached by the RLSS UK to see whether we could develop a new rescue board to use in conjunction with the innovative new procedures that the organisation had developed for simpler, faster but more effective extraction of casualties from the pool. Working closely with Alex Blackwell and his team, not only were we able to develop a product that fulfils these requirements, but it also gave real insight into the truly important role that RLSS UK and its dedicated lifeguards carry out nationally on a daily basis in saving lives at water-based incidents and striving to improve casualty outcome on a continual basis.

“Together we believe we have developed a new system of pool extraction that will save even more lives and that will also protect the lifeguards from potential injury when carrying out their important duties.”

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 and has a range of further design benefits.

Tara Dillon, Executive Director of IQL UK, said: “This year’s Leisure Industry Week show provides the ideal opportunity to introduce the new pool extraction board to the UK health and fitness market and outline the numerous benefits to operators. We continually strive to support the leisure industry with the highest standard of qualifications and the new board reflects our dedication to the needs of leisure providers.”

Come to the RLSS UK/IQL UK Leisure Industry Week stand W630 to get a close-up look at the board, speak to its developers and find out more. Leisure Industry Week is held at the NEC between 30th September – 2nd October 2014. The board is set to be sold by Lifesavers Direct at