Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers undertake intensive casualty care training
The public perception of lifeboat rescues is probably first the launching of the boat and then the safe return of the casualty to shore.
But the process is much more complex than this: for example, crew members have to undertake intensive training to enable them to give the correct and most effective medical assistance until the casualty can be handed over to paramedics or doctors in hospital.
The crew at Rye Harbour embarked this week on a three-day Cascare course, run by RNLI trainers Trevor Stevens and Sean Knights, which focused on effective hands-on treatment rather than complex theory or diagnosis and provided crew with the skills to treat casualties with confidence. Trevor and Sean are part of a bigger team of eleven Casualty Care Trainers responsible for RNLI training.
During the training each participant had to pass practical and written test scenarios to demonstrate his or her individual skill. At the end of the course everyone took part in final practical scenarios where teams of casualty carers treated multiple casualties. The course aims to improve first aid knowledge beyond the basic and to instil confidence in dealing with pre-hospital care situations.
Trevor explained: ‘ We provide a bespoke training programme which involves the use of check cards which is the envy of all the emergency services. This course is a unique way to offer the chance to ordinary people to deliver an extraordinary outcome.’
Casualty care is a crucial link in the search and rescue chain of survival that allows lifeboat crews to save lives at sea. Casualties have to be treated and kept alive often in a sometimes unforgiving and hostile environment until the casualty can be handed into the care of the emergency services colleagues.
Brendan Towner, trainee crew member, took the course and summed up afterwards, ’It was good for me to take this intensive training as I have not experienced a full life-saving course before. It gave me the confidence to deal with a variety of the scenarios that I may well encounter on a shout. The course was well-delivered and the day was a good team-building experience. Rye Harbour RNLI is really buzzing at the moment with new recruits who want to become as well-trained as possible. Paul Bolton, LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager) is being very supportive and is encouraging us all to train to the highest level.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.