RNLI Cromer holds induction during lockdown
RNLI Cromer held a volunteers open day on 16 February 2020, aimed at encouraging people to find out more about a range of opportunities at the station.
This was successful and several people indicated an interest in becoming part of the crew as well as helping in the RNLI shop and with visits.
In normal circumstances joining a Lifeboat crew would mean being invited to the station at the earliest opportunity for a formal induction. This is where fundamental information about first-aid, fire safety, hazardous materials, PPE and operational dangers would be explained together with their responsibility as volunteers and the RNLI commitment to them. After this the trainees would begin more formal training and assessments leading to them within a few weeks starting to take part in some operational activities.
In the current situation this has not been possible for the 8 new trainees who joined earlier in the year to train as lifeboat crew, as the station has been closed except for emergency launches since lockdown. It is to their credit that they all agreed to begin their time with the RNLI entirely online with 2 hour video conferenced training sessions every Tuesday night. For some the brush with technology has been challenging but nearly 4 months later they are still eager to get into the station and start training for real.
At the moment all their training is theoretical but hopefully they have a good grounding in the basic things we need from them and will perform well in the training when it starts for real. They’ve covered what actually happens on a ‘shout’, roles and responsibilities of other crew members and station staff, PPE in different locations and scenarios, fire safety, hazardous materials, sea survival together with launch and recovery procedures. They have also completed a number of online courses in their own time and we’re as keen as they are to get into the station and put some of this into practice.
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.