Although South Somerset is landlocked, that didn’t stop council staff getting up to their waists in water recently.

South Somerset District Council looks after many areas of water including Chard Reservoir, Yeovil Country Park, ditches and other water courses. Also as in 2013, staff worked in flood waters delivering sandbags and providing on the ground help and advice to flood affected communities.

To ensure the council is properly equipped to work in water safely, there has been two days of Working in Water training for the Countryside and Streetscene staff delivered by the Royal Life Saving Society UK.

The training involved some theory but was mainly practical with staff putting on their waders and life jackets and getting into the waters of Ninesprings and Sutton Bingham Reservoir, by kind permission of Wessex Water.

Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, Portfolio Holder for Streetscene Services, whose staff have been taking part in the training said, “Ensuring the safety of our staff in and around water is a high priority for the District Council. This training will help them to feel more confident in difficult situations, such as delivering sandbags in floods. For the Countryside Team who manage Yeovil Country Park and Chard Reservoir, this training is really important. The knowledge gained from the course will ensure that they can help members of the public should they get into tricky situations at the sites”.

Cliff Nelson, Head of Water Safety Management, at the Royal Life Saving Society UK commented “following on from the extensive flooding in the Somerset area, South Somerset District Council has taken a very positive step forward in providing the best training for their officers working in and around flood water.  This will enable them to provide support to the community in the knowledge that they have been trained in flood safety skills, which could potentially be lifesaving”. 

The Occupational Flood Safety training complies with DEFRA standards and is part of the National Water Safety Management Programme which has been endorsed by the HSE. For further information about the Royal Life Saving Society, telephone 0300 323 0096 or visit

For further information about the Royal Life Saving Society, tel. 0300 323 0096, or visit

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For more information contact:

Martin Hacker, Communications Officer

Tel: 01935 462130

Issued by:

South Somerset District Council Communications Team

Tel: 01935 462130