Birmingham & Midland Marine Services’ training centre in Staffordshire specialises in providing occupational water-based training to Industry in three main areas: ‘Occupational Water Safety & Rescue’, ‘Powered Safety & Rescue boat’ and ‘Commercial Workboat’ training. These courses are accredited by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Outreach Rescue, Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), Royal Yachting Association and the Canal & River Trust.

Tailored to be ‘suitable and relevant’ for the Rail, Civil Engineering, Construction, Maintenance, Utilities, and Environmental sectors, courses cover both practical theoretical content in order to prepare candidates for working in, what can be, a potentially ‘hostile’ environment.
Many compliance and health & safety managers are still unaware of the requirement for employers 'should the risk of accidental immersion have been shown in the risk assessment' to have provided water safety awareness, Aquatic Personal Protective Equipment (APPE) and rescue equipment training, under the 'Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

Clients arriving for training with their own lifejackets, issued to them by 'work' far too regularly have not been shown how to wear them correctly, what to check, and many lifejackets are found that wouldn't activate in the case of immersion, in many instances candidates ‘Personal Floatation Devices’ (PFD’s) are missing vital components and are ‘out of date’.

Rescue ‘throw-bags’ are becoming more common and candidates are encouraged to get their ‘issued’ throw-bag out of the van and actually try it out in practice. Over half of the kit deployed fails to function due to lack of basic checks and the operatives not being aware of how to utilise the equipment correctly.
Issuing Aquatic Personal Protection Equipment and Rescue Equipment without providing the operative with a grounded knowledge of how to operate it correctly shouldn’t be acceptable. It is evident that there is much confusion, industry-wide, about what type of APPE / PFD’s (Personal Floatation Devices) to choose for a particular environment and, in the case of ‘lifejackets’ which type of ‘firing-mechanism’ suits the role of the operative.

Reflecting HSE, CDM Regs 2015 and DEFRA ‘Flood Rescue Concept of Operations’ requirements the current portfolio of water safety courses include:
• Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK): 'National Water Safety Management Programme'
• Outreach Rescue: 'Water Safety / Rescue Awareness'
• Outreach Rescue: ‘Water Rescue First Responder' DEFRA compliant courses at a higher level for bank rescue teams, HART Paramedics, Fire and Rescue Personnel

The above courses all entail the candidate being able to demonstrate successfully both ‘co-worker’ and ‘self-rescue’ from the water; ‘still water’ and ‘river’ venues available.
Powerboat operator training for those in the inland waterways / open water, in-house rescue teams – ensuring that boat crews have comprehensive skills, ensuring their clients' safety.

• Royal Yachting Association: ‘Powerboat Level 2’ – The pre-requisite for specialist rescue boat training
• Outreach Rescue: 'Powered Boat for Rescue Response' (restricted): Non-coastal and non-tidal waters

Based at their second training centre, a stately home and grounds with a sixty-acre, private lake plus venues including the canal network, navigable and ‘non-navigable’ rivers, this ‘Rescue Boat’ course ticks boxes for both industry and the emergency services working in land-locked locations.

Professional Skipper training for displacement workboats is also available by appointment. (Royal Yachting Association, Maritime & Coastguard Agency – ‘towing & pushing’, ‘workboat’ and ‘passenger operations’ entitlements)

Both the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) 'National Water Safety Management Programme' and the Outreach Rescue ‘Water Safety / Rescue Awareness’ courses are one-day in duration. Prices start from as little as £150.00 (plus access fees and APPE hire if applicable) and are either Health & Safety Executive endorsed / DEFRA and CDM Regs '15 compliant. Bespoke courses by arrangement.