During the summer of 2021, in Brittany, thanks to the intervention of lifeguard swimmers, only 26 of the 87 accidental drownings
were followed by death.
On Saturday July 9, 2022, Grands Sables beach, in Clohars-Carnoët (29), lifeguard swimmers had nothing to do with the rescue of a septuagenarian. It was 6 p.m. when three retirees heard the cries of distress from a man swimming not far from them. He is taken ill. They will manage to keep his head above water and bring him back to shore. Saved, this 74-year-old man will be placed under surveillance at the Scorff hospital in Lorient. The beach of Grands Sables, usually supervised, is no longer. Due to the lack of a sufficient number of lifeguard swimmers, the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service of Finistère (Sdis 29), was unable, this summer, to honor the agreement which had linked it to Quimperlé Community since 2015.
“Mass lack of lifeguards at the national level”
This year, the Sdis 29 hired 122 rescue swimmers as seasonal volunteer firefighters (SPV) to ensure the safety of the beaches. They were 148 in 2021. Twenty-eight aid stations were opened, compared to 33 last year. Five beaches were to pass to the ace but the SNSM was able to take over on two positions. Finally, only three swimming spots – Les Grands Sables in Clohars Carnoët therefore, Treustel in L’Ile Tudy and Sainte-Anne in Saint-Pol-de-Léon – are left unsupervised. The harm is less in view of the inventory. “There is a big lack of lifeguards at the national level, lamented, at the start of the season, Lieutenant Timothée Richard, head of the specialized units office at Sdis 29.
“Will we be able to meet the demands for the summer of 2023? »
To encourage vocations, Sdis 29 is considering a new recruitment doctrine. “I set up a working group, so as to identify leads”, explains Marguerite Lamour, president of Sdis 29. She points to the attractiveness of the remuneration: “We are on a little less than 1,400 €. We cannot blame a young person for giving right to a request where he will earn a better salary”. She wonders: “Shouldn’t we, the departmental community, financially help young people to train? “. Anyway, “out of respect for the mayors, we must tell them, as soon as possible, if we will be able to fulfill this service next summer”. It announces decisions for the end of the year.
Nine Costa Rican municipalities at the foot of the wall
In the Côtes-d’Armor, the Sdis 22 made its decision at the end of 2020: it ended the service it had been providing since 1998. It was notified to the nine municipalities concerned during 2021. At the foot of the wall, Binic and Plérin, for example, called on Kreiz Breizh rescue and first aid. Pléneuf-Val-André has signed with Penthièvre Rescue and First Aid Association (Pass 22). This same July 9, 2022, when a septuagenarian was rescued in Clohars-Carnoët, their rescuers were unfortunately unable to resuscitate an 11-year-old girl, taken unwell, outside the surveillance perimeter, and taken out of the water by his father.
The better equipped Sdis 56
In Morbihan, Sdis 56 is better off: It was able to honor the agreement that bound it to eight municipalities. “We have around 180 seasonal volunteer firefighters who come to reinforce our rescue centres. Of this number, 80 are dedicated to first aid stations, ”explains Anne-Hélène Dréano. She notes that a number of these SPVs are “only a month old,” where previously they would have worked the entire summer season.
“Young people want to enjoy their lives”
This is where the shoe pinches, according to Guillaume Turpin, deputy inspector of the SNSM. The association, the main training organization for lifeguard swimmers in France, is a service provider for 150 coastal communities. In Brittany, in extremis, “the few missing rescuers for the month of August have been found”, welcomes Guillaume Turpin. “It’s not that we have fewer lifeguards than last year, but many don’t want to do a full season anymore. In fact, to honor the same number of positions, a larger number of lifeguards is needed. It is a generational fact, as we also see in the hotel and catering industry. Today, we have young people who want to enjoy their lives and take a vacation. »
* During the summer of 2021, in France, 250 accidental drownings were followed by deaths, out of a total of 1,180 according to Santé Publique France.
letelegramme Fr Trans