DEFRA 2 First Responder

DEFRA 2 First Responder


DEFRA 1 is required to attend this course as it draws heavily from this prior knowledge. This is a 2 day course which aims to give you the tools to recognise and address the hazards of working on or around water as well as incident management. It looks at team organisation and situation management assisting swift water technicians. As well as hydrology and characteristics of a number of water scenarios such as Tidal courses and fast flowing rivers. participants should leave the course with a good understanding of equipment and techniques that can be used and implemented in avoidance and cure of water safety incidents as well as a solid understanding of movement in and around shallow water. The course is split into 2 sections – a morning classroom session followed by an afternoon practical session on both days working on individual and group rescue skills. 


  • Ideal for staff involved with ground works on or around rivers or canals.
  • Those involved in the maintenance / repair of water based structures, for example bridges, locks, sluice gates.
  • Working on or around boats, barges, dredging.
  • Event organiser
  • First Responders
  • Uniformed Services
  • Park Wardens or River Workers
  • Although primarily aimed at the corporate market, this course is also ideal for individuals or clubs involved with water activities, like rowing, canoeing etc.

 Course Content

The course syllabus shown below, consists of several core elements which are fundamental to the overall course integrity, however if needed, the programme can be modified in order to make it more applicable to your working environment. 


  • Legislation and responsibilities
  • Paperwork and risk assessments
  • Rescue Role
  • Working as part of a team
  • Emergency procedures & casualty care
  • Understanding tides and weather and there effects
  • Assessing and protecting a work area
  • Personal equipment
  • Buoyancy Aids & Lifejackets
  • Rescue equipment and hierarchy
  • Locks and sluices
  • Water hydrology, features and hazards
  • Immersion injuries 


  • Throw bag practice
  • Flat water rescues, water to bank, water to boat (casualty conscious / unconscious)
  • Self Rescue
  • Wading
  • White water skills and rescues
  • Scenarios
  • Leadership
  • Organisation

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