I haven’t done a blog for a while as I’ve just been so busy. Keeping up with operational duties and stuff inside the office is a juggling act at the best of times. Also it’s not always right for me to tweet or blog about jobs that we do -either out of sensitivity for family and friends or for confidentiality issues if it’s a crime job.
This week started off with us being called out to recover the body of a man who had drowned and it reminded me how tragic it is when we go to find a family’s loved one.
About this time last year I did a blog called Early Festive Greetings. My Mum (who used to read my blogs at the time) rang me up and told me it was miserable. No one likes to be told off by their Mum at aged 35 so I read it back to myself and decided actually she was right. I suppose any excuse that I may have is that at this time of year I become more reflective, the amount of body recoveries we do usually increases and this makes me a bit sad and eager to continue to do what I can to reduce such incidents.
I know I’m a small person - both in stature and significance (in the grand scheme of things!) but I’m a trier and I’m stubborn and this means I have not stopped thinking about and doing what I can to make some changes.
In 2009 I started a project about body recoveries from water which is still ongoing. This was aimed at identifying where bodies may end up if we know an entry point. It deals with the variables of the person themselves (like age, weight, height and clothing) and also the water conditions (flow, depth, temperature, obstructions etc..). The main aim is to reduce search time and get the body back for the next of kin as soon as possible but as I designed the form I entered some data fields which could be used to try and prevent incidents occurring in the future. I didn’t know quite how I would turn this data into public safety information at the time so it was a stroke of luck when some years later I had a chance telephone conversation with Kirsten (see The Start of Something Good?) who is a contributor on the National Water Safety Forum.
Since my recent initial meeting with Kirsten and the other agencies who contribute, I have given over all my data (collected so far) for entry onto the Water Incident Database and have established that I may be able to have access to the Database to add further incidents as they occur. I have been able to get an invitation to a National Police Dive and Marine meeting and I presented an argument there for the police nationally contributing to the Database and Forum (if they do not already do so), which will mean greater liaison and contributions from all concerned.
I’m excited to see how this all turns out. As usual I am full of optimism and am buoyed by meeting a bunch of people who want the same thing. Miserable blogs may not work at preventing accidents but there is always another way and I look forward to seeing how it all pans out…