Life-saving innovators’ Royal seal of approval

A Wigan-based firm which has enjoyed global success manufacturing life-saving kit for emergency teams has received one of business’s highest honours.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:24 pm
Life-saving Reach and Rescue equipment in use

Reach and Rescue supplies equipment to 999 services, search and rescue teams and a multitude of global industries including maritime, military and construction and is now celebrating a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

It is the UK’s most prestigious accolade and gives a Royal endorsement to outstanding achievement.

The Marus Bridge-headquartered company receives the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its long-reach telescopic water rescue pole – an invention which celebrated a decade of saving lives in 2020.

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The pole is the only one of its kind worldwide. It enables emergency services, search and rescue teams and members of the public to conduct swift, directionally accurate rescues by retrieving casualties from safe distances. The pole minimises the danger posed to the rescuer while also boosting casualty survival chances.

The pole was developed in response to UK Fire and Rescue Services’ need for effective water rescue equipment designed to keep their operatives safe.

Prior to the pole’s introduction, rescuers would dive into water when attempting to save a life in danger, thereby putting themselves at extreme risk. To date, Reach and Rescue’s long-reach telescopic water rescue pole has prevented the deaths of more than 50 people in life-threatening situations. Testament to the pole’s success, it is currently adopted by 80 per cent of UK Fire and Rescue Services and is supplied to over 50 countries worldwide.

Director Jo Taylor said: “Creating innovative and bespoke rescue equipment designed to keep operatives safe is at the heart of what we do.

“Our passion is taking an idea and transforming it via our state-of-the-art design process into a product that overcomes the real-world challenges faced by rescuers every day. That’s innovation.

“Our ethos is the same today as it was a decade ago: address the needs of our customers. They’re on the frontline; they encounter new, unique and sometimes dangerous situations every day. Through open dialogue with our customers, we can address their issues and develop new solutions which ultimately alleviate the dangers they face.”

As the company continues to broaden its range, so too do the skills of its workforce.

Production manager Gavin Winstanley said: “Due to the lifesaving application of our products, it’s incredibly important that our rescue poles are manufactured to the highest possible standards and quality by our skilled and talented production team.”

Reach and Rescue marketing manager Stuart Glover says: “with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise being an internationally recognised accolade, the marketing potential for us is phenomenal. Moreover though, it’s the sense of pride that comes with such a grand award, essentially affirming that what you’re doing is saving lives. That’s most important.”

Kane Shaw, an apprentice in the production department, said: “How many apprentices out there can say that the work they do actually saves people’s lives? It’s amazing.”

Sales manager Victoria Owen said: “The Royal seal of approval will undoubtedly reinforce the confidence our international customers have in the quality of our rescue equipment.”

Reach and Rescue’s innovation is available for public use as well. Its life-saving public-access water rescue system – the Portsafe – features the pole securely stored with an emergency throwline board.

Numerous systems are located at high-risk public waterways across the UK.

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