Rescue Services

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 8th March 2011.

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Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

Question S3W-40319

To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made by the Inland Water Rescue Stakeholder Group in its consideration of the recommendations in Paddy Tomkins’ report of the findings of his independent review of Scotland’s open water and flood rescue capability and when ministers will issue a formal response to the recommendations.

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

The group has met four times since it was established in May 2010 and has submitted its report to me, a copy of which is available in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Bib number 52551).

I am grateful to the group for its constructive advice and pragmatic assessment of the value of each of the 15 recommendations in Paddy Tomkins’ report and Scotland is safer because of the work already underway as a result of the report. This work will help inform future decisions about fire and rescue capability in Scotland. The Scottish Government supports the conclusions of the group that the majority of the recommendations be accepted and should be progressed by the relevant agency; which will help strengthen Scotland’s inland water rescue capability.

The recommendations which have been identified for further work include:

Exploration of the implications for Scottish stakeholders of the adoption of the Water Accidents and Incidents Database.

Discussion with relevant stakeholders about the development of inland water rescue asset registers.

Designated strategic lead for delivery of inland water safety messages across Scotland.

Implementation of these recommendations will help build on the work which has already been undertaken in the past year to promote safety messages - such as the Ready Winter pages of the Scottish Government website - and the provision of financial support to projects to improve Scotland’s resilience to flooding events, such as the development of the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service.

The full text of the Scottish Government’s response to the recommendations in Paddy Tomkins’ report is available in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Bib. number 52550).

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