Hospital medics and RNLI volunteers join forces for lifesaving training exercise

Medics and RNLI volunteers joined forces to take part in a training exercise aimed at saving lives at sea.

Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 12:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 12:10 pm
Hartlepool RNLI volunteers pictured on the all weather lifeboat and in the water during the training exercise. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins.
Hartlepool RNLI volunteers pictured on the all weather lifeboat and in the water during the training exercise. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins.

The operation saw medical students based at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, share their skills with the volunteer crew members at Hartlepool RNLI.

A two-hour exercise saw a range of medical situations covered aboard the all-weather lifeboat, including dealing with the treatment of hypothermia, cardiac arrests and the effects of sea sickness.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members Stephen Clyburn and Richard Shaw (right) dealing with one of the casualties on the all weather lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Tom Colins.

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Both medics and RNLI officials say nthey operation was a huge success and will be an invaluable experience.

Andy Simpson, consultant in emergency medicine at the University Hospital of North Tees, and Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat medical advisor, said: “The exercise has tested both the students and RNLI volunteers’ first-aid skills across a whole range of issues whilst working at sea and has been a valuable experience for the students.”

Hartlepool RNLI second deputy coxswain and station mechanic Garry Waugh said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the medical students and I am sure the volunteer crew members have learnt a lot from them today.

“We train continuously for a variety of scenarios and today’s training exercise was invaluable.”

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members Stephen Clyburn and Richard Shaw (right) dealing with one of the casualties on the all weather lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Tom Colins.

As a charity the RNLI is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services.

Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives.

Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew.

Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.