Stay Safe and Prepared This Winter: WYFRS Launches Winter Water Safety Campaign

Winter is just around the corner, and with it comes a unique set of water-related risks. We at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) are excited to launch our winter water safety campaign. Our mission is clear: to keep you and your loved ones safe by making sure you know the risks and how to respond in a water emergency. 

Iced water

Here's some friendly advice to keep you and your family and friends safe:  

  • When it comes to your beloved pets and icy conditions, remember never to attempt a rescue on the ice. It's not only for your safety but also for your pet's. If your furry friend gets in a tricky situation on ice, reach out to the experts at 999. They have the right gear to ensure a safe rescue.  
  • When you're walking near water, especially in icy weather, it's a good idea to keep a bit of distance from the edge because accidents can happen more easily than you might expect.  
  • Teaching your children not to venture onto the ice is important; they need to understand the risks associated with frozen water. It's essential to be aware of the potential dangers of cold water because knowing these risks can help you all.  
  • In case you spot someone in need of help in the water, don't hesitate to call 999.  
  • Quick reporting is the key to a successful rescue. To make it easier for rescuers to find you, consider being prepared and having the What3Words app handy; you can Download it here for added safety. 

Kirklees District Manager, Christopher Bell, emphasises how What3Words reallyhelps in an emergency; "The What3Words app is an invaluable tool for emergency responders. It helps us pinpoint your exact location, making our response faster and more accurate, which could be a matter of life and death this winter. Using this app should make you feel safer whilst helping us to find incidents quicker, especially in remote locations.” 

Our campaign launch coincides with a recent heroic incident in Leeds that highlighted the importance of water safety measures. An everyday hero used a throwline to rescue a woman from a canal, proving the critical role of throwlines in water rescue operations. This incident highlights how everyone can help with water safety. Between November 2022 – March 2023, we attended 11 water rescues; we are committed to continue reducing this number. 

At WYFRS, we're dedicated to reducing water-related incidents and drownings across West Yorkshire. We want to ensure your safety so you can enjoy the season to the fullest. Together, let's make sure that this winter is as safe as it is fun! #WinterWaterSafety