It is a pity that the death of Simon Burgess, face-down in three foot of water in a pond near Gosport, has not had more coverage in Scotland, as the case has worrying echoes of Alison Hume’s 2008 death in a disused mine shaft at Galston in Ayrshire.
While the coroner in Mr Burgess’ case found that there was only a slim chance that prompt action would have saved the life of the 41-year-old epileptic, the parallels are far more significant.
In both cases, ordinary officers wanted to affect a rescue, but were prevented from doing so by managers and distant control rooms.
Complying with what are essentially health and safety procedures was given priority over actually rescuing the victim.
Taken together these cases suggest that the approach taken by our rescue services throughout Britain has fundamental flaws.
It would seem that flexibility, initiative and courage have been legislated out of the system.
Also, it appears that managers are forgetting the very reason their services exist.
The managers in our rescue services are understandably keen to comply with the law.
They will not change their behaviour until legislation requires them to prioritise rescuing members of the public over complying with inflexible procedures.
Also, new procedures must make it abundantly clear that a heightened level of risk is part of the job for our firefighters and police.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west