Health and Safety Causes Another Needless Death

I was profoundly shocked to read today that a British fireman refused to go in a pond three feet deep (90cm) to rescue a drowning man because he was only trained to go into water ankle deep! His excuse; Health and Safety Regulations!

R.I.P Simon Burgess - A Life Needlessly Lost

Simon Burgess aged 41 appeared regularly at the model boating lake in Walpole Park, Gosport, England to feed the swans that gathered there. On the day in question he apparently fell into the water suffering from an epileptic fit. He was seen by a 53 year-old woman who called 999 (the UK emergency number), and when firemen arrived at the scene Mr. Burgess was floating face down in the lake.

After the Recovery

On arrival, they refused to enter the water to rescue the poor man because in accordance with Health and Safety Regulations (HSR), they were not trained to go into water above ankle deep. According to the pathologist, Mr. Burgess could very well have been resuscitated at this point. For the man to be rescued from the three foot deep lake a specialist team was required that had been trained to enter water chest deep. At this point a policeman tried to enter the water to get the man out but was restrained and told it was against the HSR. Needless to say, by the time these idiots had got their act together the poor man was dead. Personally, even though I am 69 years old, I would have gone in and rescued the poor man, and to hell with firemen and their H&S Regulations!

Gosport Fire Station - Hang Your Heads In Shame

When interviewed later, Tony Nicholls, a watch manager at Gosport fire station who was first to arrive stated: “The officers were trained to go into ankle deep water, which is level one, so we waited for level two officers, who can go into chest high water. One of the police officers told me he would like to go in the water and I advised him in the strongest terms not to.” Tim Spencer-Peet, Mr Nicholls’s superior said he fully concurred with the action taken by his men. Now if this isn’t a scandal of the highest order I don’t know what is. I can well imagine that pretty soon firemen will refuse to attend a fire because H&S says they may have a traffic accident whilst underway to the fire!

Back When Firemen Were Real Heroes!

But for now we have to accept that once again, a life is needlessly lost because of the stupidity of the current H&S regulations. It is beyond doubt that we have reached a point where the government needs to get these laws into perspective, and stop all this nonsense before people like the fire brigade become totally out of touch with reality. I am pretty sure that many of the dead heroes from yesteryear must be turning in their grave at the sheer cowardice of today’s emergency services. Many of them died in acts of unsurpassable bravery to help people trapped in burning buildings. All members of the Gosport Fire Brigade should hang their heads in shame! 


2 Responses to “Health and Safety Causes Another Needless Death”

  1. wow…. that’s the most idiotic thing I have ever stumbled upon! We need REAL heroes back, not the cowards today’s society seems to breed…


    • Hi Tamar,
      Oh how true that is, but I fear nothing will be achieved until the government puts a stop to all this nonsense.
      Best Regards,


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