Lifeboat team doesn’t let lockdown stop it from training new recruits
PUBLISHED: 16:53 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:53 20 August 2020
Submitted - April 2012
A North Norfolk lifeboat station hasn’t let lockdown stop it from continuing to train new recruits in vital life saving and rescue skills.
From the moment volunteers sign up with RNLI Cromer, the priority is normally to get them down to the lifeboat station for a formal induction, and an a introduction to key skills they’ll need to be part of the team.
But for the eight volunteers who signed up to become lifeboat crew and volunteers in February, coronavirus has meant this has not been possible.
Instead, the new volunteers have had to get to grips with online theoretical training and taking part in two-hour weekly video calls covering the basics of what happens on a shout, different crew members’ responsibilities and sea survival.
They have also learnt about the different types of PPE crew members use in different locations, fire safety, hazardous materials, sea survival and what happens when a lifeboat is launched and recovered.
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Roger Sutton, a crew member with RNLI Cromer said moving training which would normally be done in person to online had been a challenge for all involved.
He said: “It’s been quite different because normally we would try and get people into the lifeboat station as quickly as possible.
“All most all of the training involves looking at stuff in the boat house, there’s lots of health and safety, PPE etc.
“So all of that particular aspect is missing and so we’re trying to replicate that on online.”
Mr Sutton said it would be up to the RNLI to decide when in person training would be able to commence but despite the challenges the new recruits had faced he and the existing crew had impressed by their perseverance.
He said: “The group we’ve got this year have been great, they have obviously been pretty committed through the whole thing.
“We had the boats out in recent weeks and they’ve all come down to watch that happening. It’s really great, we’re really impressed by how they have been sticking it out this long and some of the training we have to give them is pretty dull stuff.”
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