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Reach and Rescue Director Jo Taylor Receives MBE in 2020 New Year Honours

Reach and Rescue are thrilled to announce that Director Jo Taylor has been awarded

an MBE in recognition of her services to safeguarding in the Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours.

Reach and Rescue's innovative water rescue equipment – co-developed between Jo and Sean Burke together with UK Fire and Rescue Services – remains the only one of its kind worldwide.

The equipment is saving lives in 48 countries by enabling emergency services, search and rescue teams, charities and members of the public to conduct swift, directionally accurate rescues by retrieving casualties from safe distances.

Without Reach and Rescue’s comprehensive range of long-reach telescopic rescue poles, now up to 20m in length, these individuals would need to enter into the water in an attempt to save those in danger putting themselves at extreme risk. To date, Reach and Rescue's equipment has prevented the deaths of 50+ people during potentially life-threatening situations, including professional and volunteer lifesavers.

Commenting on Jo’s MBE, Reach and Rescue Marketing Manager Stuart Glover says: “The whole team at Reach and Rescue are delighted that Jo’s outstanding achievements have been recognised. She has built Reach and Rescue into an organisation that is known worldwide for its quality equipment and expertise.”

“Reach and Rescue’s revolutionary equipment has undergone widespread innovation since its inception but, most importantly, Jo’s commitment to safeguarding the lives of those who find themselves in peril has never wavered. The actual number of lives she’s potentially saved through operatives using Reach and Rescue equipment to avoid entering danger themselves is immeasurable.”

Jo’s collaborative focus towards ensuring organisations work together to deliver positive change resulted in Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and Bedfordshire and Luton Councils coming together to install Reach and Rescue’s Portsafe public access rescue systems across local public waterways. The system saved a member of the public from drowning just two days after installation.

Jo also led the joining up of the Canal & River Trust and regional Fire Services to

install Portsafes in over 50 UK locations including 20 at high-risk locations across reservoirs in Greater Manchester.

Reach and Rescue provides a wealth of support and services to multiple charities; Jo was instrumental in Reach and Rescue becoming official Water Safety Partners with leading drowning prevention charity the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK). Through the donation of a lifesaving Portsafe, the partnership is proving to be a vital step towards reducing the rate of accidental drowning occurring in the UK each year.

Jo’s 1-2-1 work with volunteer search and rescue outfit Watersafe UK has revolutionised how they undertake water rescues. Using Reach and Rescue equipment has enabled them to save 12 lives during the last year alone.

Reach and Rescue has also developed a bespoke solution for the RSPCA

that prevents their animal rescue teams from entering hazardous areas. Every animal collection volunteer – 550 in total – now carry a specialist Reach and Rescue Animal Rescue Kit, which is used daily to rescue animals trapped in impossible to reach areas.

RSPCA Superintendent Tim Minty is in charge of equipping the inspectorate

for animal rescues. He says of the Reach and Rescue poles: “These poles have been incredible – our teams are absolutely pleased with them. We’ve completed some really good rescues and the beauty is this has kept us safer as a team.” He concludes: “[the poles are] better for animal welfare.”

Reach and Rescue are no strangers to recognition: from awards for Product Innovation and Overall Winner at Venturefest NORTH to high commendation in the coveted

European Commercial Marine (ECMA) Innovation Showcase, Jo and her team have amassed quite the collection of accolades over the last 10 years.

Jo firmly believes that her recognition in the Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours is the top accolade so far: “It’s been a long and amazing journey to get to this point with Reach and Rescue. I have learnt so much from the passionate people that work in the industry. I will keep learning and innovating new equipment to make a positive difference.”

“I am very proud to receive this award. My gratitude extends to the team at Reach and Rescue who have supported me over the past few years as together we grow the business.”

In a continuation of her safeguarding, Jo has formed De-Wipe. A company as revolutionary as Reach and Rescue in its own right, De-Wipe is leading the charge in tackling the global issue of cancer amongst firefighters by developing the UK’s only biodegradable after fire decontamination wipe scientifically proven to remove greater than 99% of the most dangerous, carcinogenic pollutants produced in fire – thus, reducing the risk of occupational cancer.

Tel: +44 (0) 3301 595088


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