Water rescue course for Ministry of Internal Affairs’ police academies

PhD, Associate Professor A.A. Tretyakov1
PhD, Associate Professor V.V. Drogomeretsky1
M.S. Filatov1
M.S. Koreneva1
1Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod

Keywords: cadets, physical training, service-specific swimming skills, water rescue, swimming

Background The physical education service at the police academies is designed to give cadets good knowledge and practical service-specific skills (running, storming of buildings, obstacle runs, forced detention etc.) in the regular and self-reliant off-class trainings. The police service is generally designed to protect and assist citizens whose life is in danger. In the last few years the national statistics has reported a growth in the water accidents [1] due to the people visiting the banks of rivers, lakes and other water reservoirs for rest, with some people falling in water accidentally when stumbling or tripping during social events [2, 3].
The police service is movement-intensive, particularly in operations with chase, arrest and escort of an offender. However, rescue actions on water or arrests in water are particularly challenging and unsafe for life and health of the police personnel. That is the reason why such actions need to be well trained, and the standard physical education curricula need to be complemented by the relevant training courses.
The regular training service will include the service-specific swimming elements to equip the service personnel with the relevant competences and skills [4, 5]. The service-specific swimming course will be designed to master the specific swimming styles, ways to help the tired and drowning people and cope with water obstacles; effectively swim in different situations, and give the first aid to the victims on the way to hospital [1, 6]. These knowledge and skills shall be ranked among the key competences of the police personnel.
Objective of the study was to test benefits of a new water rescue with service-specific swimming  course for cadets of the national police academies.
Methods and structure of the study. The study was run in the academic education process, with the 4-year cadets (n=10) sampled for the model testing experiment. Prior to the model design and testing stage, we run a questionnaire survey (using the survey form designed and tested by the I.D. Putilin Belgorod YI Physical Education Department team) to rate the background service-specific swimming knowledge on a sample of 100 cadets.
The service-specific swimming mastering model was tested in the academic swimming pool. The service-specific swimming course included 12 sessions, with the swimming practices taking 1 hour at most and followed by hygienic procedures. The cadets’ progress was tested by practical service-specific swimming, rescue and first aid competence and skills tests.
Results and discussion. The prior questionnaire survey found poor knowledge of the service-specific swimming basics and poor swimming skills, with one of three cadets able at most to keep on water albeit virtually unfit for fast swimming; and one of four unsure in the own ability to help a drowning individual. Interviews to probe knowledge of the rescue techniques found the sample being poorly competent in these issues. Regretfully, many had no idea how to hold a drowning person, how to prevent/ control captures etc. Knowledge of the first aid basics, however, was relatively good – probably due to the academic curricula including the First Preclinical Aid course.
Based on findings of the above survey, we designed the service-specific swimming training model for the cadets based on the classical swimming styles. Since every service-specific action on water requires excellent swimming skills, the model was preceded by a few classical swimming basics mastering sessions for the cadets to qualify at least for the junior classes. The service-specific swimming course was designed on a ‘simple to complex’ basis as follows: dressed and equipped swimming styles mastering phase; followed by the rescue basics mastering sessions (in shallow water, in deep water with a dummy, in deep water with a live partner); drowning person control/ counter-capture course; and the first preclinical aid on ground. The trainees (n=10) progress was rated by the practical service-specific swimming, rescue and first aid skills tests. The pre- versus post experimental test data were significantly different in every test. Given in Table 1 hereunder are the service-specific swimming skills test data. The sample was tested for the classical freestyle and breaststroke skills – which were tested to drastically improve in the practical service-specific swimming course.

Table 1. Pre- versus post-experimental service-specific swimming skills test data

Stage

Tests

50m freestyle, s

50m breaststroke, s

Pre- experimental

33,1±1,15

44,3±3,63

Post- experimental

31,8±1,23

42,4±2,89

р

+

+

The pre-experimental test data listed in Table 2 demonstrate that cadets could not cope with the tests before the service-specific swimming course. They were totally unfit, among other things, for the rescue (water carrying) service and the counter-capture actions in water. Practical service-specific swimming trainings gave the relevant knowledge and skills to the cadets in the water rescue, capture control and first preclinical aid domains. As demonstrated by the pre- versus post-experimental test data (Table 2), the service-specific swimming course complementing the standard academic physical education curriculum was found beneficial in every rescue service component, with the sample tested with meaningful progress in every test.

Table 2. Pre- versus post-experimental service-specific swimming, counter-capture and rescue skills test data

Stage

Tests

50m dressed breaststroke, s

25m rescue swim, s

Capture control, version 1, s

Capture control, version 2, s

Pre- exp.

142,5±23,1

69,8±8,3

10,4±1,2

9,3±1,3

Post- exp.

67,7±5,2

47,3±5,2

4,9±1,1

4,5±1,0

р

+

+

+

+

 

Conclusion. The proposed water rescue with the service-specific swimming course was found beneficial as verified by the sample progress in the knowledge and practical skills. The water rescue course was tested to effectively complement the valid training curricula of the police academies under the Ministry of Internal Affairs to facilitate the service missions and improve the personnel safety standards. The pre- versus post-experimental test data showed the service-specific swimming course of 12 sessions complementing the standard academic physical education curriculum being beneficial in every rescue service component, with the sample tested to make significant progress in every test.

The study was run under Project #18-313-00124 ‘Studies of the success and failure avoidance motivations versus the integrated health test data in the Belgorod academic education system’ sponsored by the Russian Fundamental Research Foundation (RFRF).

References

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Corresponding author: goncharuk_ya@bsu.edu.ru

Abstract
The physical education service at the police academies is designed to give cadets good knowledge and practical service-specific skills (running, buildings storming, obstacle runs, forced detention etc.) in the regular and self-reliant off-class trainings. The article analyzes benefits a new water rescue course for the police academies under the Ministry of Internal Affairs; provides a theoretical basis and considers the demand for the course; and describes the new course design and content. Theoretical knowledgebase and practical skills of the cadets were probed by a questionnaire survey and tests. The proposed water rescue course was found beneficial as verified by the sample progress in the knowledge and practical skills. The water rescue course was tested to effectively complement the valid training curricula of the police academies under the Ministry of Internal Affairs to facilitate the service missions and improve the personnel safety standards.