Technical rescue conference



Alex Hanson (Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service)

Alex Hanson 




Alex joined Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade in 1989. In 1995, he moved to Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, serving in operational, training and managerial roles.


In November 2005, Alex joined Devon Fire and Rescue Service, and after combination with Somerset, now serves as an Area Manager, currently responsible for Commerical Services.


Alex is vice chair of the Chief Fire Officer's Association Water Rescue Group, and is a Subject Matter Advisor for flooding. He was involved in the South West flood events of July, November and December 2012, at tactical and strategic levels.


He co-delivers on the module 5 Management of Water and Flood Incidents course.


He is married with 2 children, and his interests include rugby, snowboarding and sailing.


Shannon Crofton (NSW State Emergency Services, Australia)

 Shannon Crofton

Talk title:

Tactical Flood Management - New South Wales and Queensland Floods 2011

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Shannon Crofton has been a volunteer member and Flood Rescue Officer of the New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) for the past 23 years. The NSW SES has over 10,000 members both paid and volunteer, 400 flood rescue boats, covers over 800,000 sq km and 7 million people.

Shannon is a former paramedic and, for the past 16 years, has been a member of Fire and Rescue NSW. Here his positions include fire-fighter, Urban Search and Rescue Instructor and Aviation Officer. His work has taken him to New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Indonesia and the Philippines.


He is an expert in the field of flood rescue and is a member of both the FRNSW swiftwater committee and NSW SES Flood Rescue Working Group.

He has won numerous awards, including the Commissioner's Commendation for Outstanding Service in the Field of Flood Rescue, the Higgins and Langley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Flood Rescue, the FRNSW Unit Commendation, National Medal, and the NSW SES Commissioner's Commendation for Courage and Royal Humane Society Commendation for Bravery.


Peter Glerum (Project Leader for WaterSave, Netherlands)

Peter Glerum

European Flood Response Modules - The WaterSave Project

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Bio: Peter Glerum is a private consultant for international disaster management.


He started his career as operational fire officer in the regional fire brigade of the Hague. He worked there in several functions, mainly focussed on training and planning for disaster response.


In 2004, he joined the National Operations Centre of the Netherlands, where he helped to establish the centre and worked there as head of the advisory section to deliver operational advice on a national level. He helped prepare for large-scale disasters in the Netherlands, including coordinating the national response plan on flooding.


In 2009, Peter fulfilled the role of project manager of the EU Floodex exercise, which exercised the incoming international assistance during a large-scale flooding in the Netherlands.


In 2010-2011, Peter was project manager of the EU-funded project WaterSave, which established an international deployable flood rescue module.


Peter now mainly works for the EU instrument for pre-assessing assistance in the Balkan area.


Tim Rogers (Charlotte Fire Department)

Tim Rogers

Talk title:

Institutional Degradation of Technical Rescue Programs - Lessons Learned While Trying to Rescue Everybody, Everywhere, Using Everything!

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Battalion Chief Tim Rogers is a 31- year veteran of the Charlotte Fire Department, currently assigned to Battalion 5 of the Operations Division.

Chief Rogers is an Instructor Trainer for Rescue 3 International, coordinator of his department’s flood response and notification programme, as well as serving as a member of the city and county Flood Information Notification System leadership committee. He serves as the Technician Group Leader and training coordinator for the North Carolina Emergency Management’s Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team and swiftwater boat operations program. He is on the board of directors for the Helicopter Rescue and Response Association. He is a 4-time winner of the Higgins and Langley Memorial for Outstanding Achievement in Swiftwater Rescue, in 1998, 2002 and 2005 and 2008, including for his work with the UK CFOA. For his work with Rescue 3 International and Rescue 3 Europe, Tim has received their respective Lifetime Achievement Awards.


He was a founding member and chairperson of North Carolina Emergency Management’s Technical Rescue Task Force that identified and developed team typing models and resources for disaster response. Tim is currently a faculty member of North Carolina Emergency Management’s five day Managing Flood Emergencies programme for emergency management personnel and emergency services responders. He has also been a deployment team leader during significant flood/disaster events in North Carolina, including Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Isabel. He was an Operations Manager for over 15 years during significant floods that affected Charlotte, and was the team leader for helicopter rescue technicians during Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, Ophelia, Hanna, and Irene.


Roy Harold MBE (CFOA Water Rescue Lead)

Roy Harold 

Talk title:

Update on CFOA Water Rescue Group & Implementation of the Defra Flood Rescue Concept of Operations

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Roy has over 20 years' fire and rescue service experience, in London Fire Brigade, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and HM Fire Services Inspectorate, where he was a member of the Integrated Risk Management support team. He recently joined Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service as Assistant Chief Fire Officer. Roy is Vice-Chair of the Chief Fire Officers Association Inland Water Strategy Group and is a member of the National Flood Support Team. He was joint author of the Fire Service Manual 'Safe Work at Height' and has contributed to a range of national and international publications, including Government White Papers and EU flood management guidance. During the 2007 floods, Roy was seconded to a number of fire services to provide strategic and tactical support. In 2008, Roy was a member of the joint UK/US strategic flood management workshop and was an invited evaluator for the 2009 EU Exercise Floodex. He was project lead for evaluation on EU Exercise Orion in 2010, the largest civil protection exercise held in Europe. Roy was awarded an MBE in 2006, for his work on fire service modernisation and national contingency planning.


Professor David Kay (Aberystwyth University)

David Kay 

Talk title:

EU Water Quality Standards and Relevance for Inland Water Rescue Training and Operations
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David Kay is Professor of Environment and Health at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He has acted as consultant and/or advisor on water quality and standards for recreational and drinking water to WHO, EU, USEPA, NERC, EPSRC, DEFRA, DWI, HPa, Scottish Government, Environment Agency, SEPA and WRc.

Recently, David Kay acted as:

  • specialist advisor to the House of Lords, European Communities Select Committee enquiry into the revision of the EU Bathing Water Directive
  • consultant to EU-DGENV on revised standards for bathing waters throughout the community
  • member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to NERC on the new Environment and Human Health Initiative
  • member of the WHO technical advisory group on diffuse pollution from livestock wastes and the effects on human health (North Carolina Oct 2009)
  • advisor to the WHO on recreational water Guidelines design and water-related risk assessment (1989-date)
  • consultant to WHO on the development of global disease burden assessment in the area of water and sanitation
  • advisor to USEPA on revision of the US bathing water quality guidelines



Stuart Blatston (South Western Ambulance Service HART)

Stuart Blatston 

Talk title:

Right Care, Right Place, Right Time

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Stuart is an NHS Paramedic Officer (Hazardous Area Response Team Manager). His current role is as the head of a regional Hazard Area Response Team (Special Operations), which involves organisational, developmental and command responsibility for a specialist paramedic response unit.


Stuart's team, like all Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART), is made up of paramedics with additional skills, which enable them to provide immediate care in environments in which paramedics are not usually able to operate, due to the level and nature of the risks. Working closely with Fire, Police and other government agencies, HART units, like Stuart's, are responsible for the health management of incidents involving hazardous materials (deliberate or accidental release), firearms, public disorder, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), flooding (swiftwater) and complex rescue.


David Walker (ROSPA)

David Walker 

Talk title:

Insights from the UK Water Incident Database (WAID)

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David is the head of leisure safety policy, within the RoSPA Safety Policy Division. He provides executive support to the National Water Safety Forum, and is closely involved with the development and management of the Water Incident Database (WAID).


David has broad experience in managing and researching adventure and water based activities. He holds an honours degree in business and a HND in leisure management, along with several coaching and risk management qualifications. Prior to working with RoSPA, David worked in sports development and as a researcher.


David has co-authored several guides including the coasteering standard, public rescue equipment guide and is a contributing author to the new global handbook on drowning prevention. He is also a lead author of the UK’s first drowning prevention and water safety strategy, and the rewrite of the safety at inland waters guidance.


He is a keen mountain biker, having spent much of his formative and university years climbing and kayaking in the Welsh hills, or on Peak grit.


Additional speakers on practical update days

 Loel Collins

Chris Onions - Boat on a Highline - Establishing the Load

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Chris Onions and Loel Collins - Quick Release Harness Performance

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Paul O'Sullivan - Search Content for Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician Courses

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Jon Gorman - Technical Rescue Conference and Instructor Updates

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