Last Sunday’s training was an extension of our missing person search and rescue training, with a scenario of a ‘reported casualty’ around the Cliff End area of the beach.

The team responded as this a ‘real-time’ exercise, and attended the location to administer first aid and to retrieve the casualty to the safety of the boat house where, in a real-life situation, an ambulance would have been waiting. As this training aimed to be as close to real life as possible, the scenario anticipated that an ambulance wouldn’t attend for at least forty minutes, so it was a chance to refresh our recent first aid training, with a focus on stabilising the ‘casualty’ in the interim.

All aspects of search, rescue, first aid and shore protocol came into play for base and rescue crews. As it was extremely windy, with a high and rolling tide (as captured in the above photo, the boat wasn’t launched. Instead, the team walked along to Cliff End, which is something which would also happen if this was a real-life call to the Cliff End area.

In the event, our ‘casualty’ was assessed for injury, with protocol for suspected head and neck injury in place. Several members of the team were involved in moving the casualty onto the stretcher and then removing the casualty from the beach.

Once back at base, the scenario was then repeated during the debrief so that learning points arising from the training could be reinforced. This particularly applied to the stretcher use as many of our trainees had not yet been involved in using the stretcher for casualty retrieval and the actual practice of getting a person off the beach, via the rocks is something which takes some getting used to.

As well as the actual physical stretcher retrieval training, it was vital to put our first aid training into practice so that we can be as rescue-ready as possible at any time of the year. And with all of that in mind, this kind of training will be ongoing as we move into 2019.

So if you’d like to get involved, by joining us as a volunteer – for base, boat or admin and committee roles – please contact us.