RESCUES from Monmouth­shire County Council swimming pools will be made even swifter with the introduction of new equipment.

Cllr Bob Greenland, Cabinet member with responsibility for leisure (Con, Wolvesnewton) said: “This is a newly-introduced innovation to enhance safety. Pool extraction boards are similar to spinal boards and, complete with neck braces, allow for swift extraction from swimming pools, requiring fewer people than previously while causing less stress to the casualty.

“We regard safety in swimming pools as paramount and take every precaution to ensure that accidents are kept to an absolute mini­mum. Consequently, serious incidents occur very rarely, but when they do we must be prepared to act swiftly and professionally.  I therefore welcome this training and the introduction of the pool extraction board to each of our pools.”

The 14 trainers and assessors will instruct over 50 staff holding the Royal Lifesaving Society’s National Pool Lifeguard Qualification to operate the pool extraction board.  The council is one of the first local authorities in the UK to provide this training and boards will be made available within Monmouthshire’s four leisure centres early next year.