On Sunday 05 February Station 5 held it’s first of three “Induction Days” for 2011. Induction days are designed to introduce members of the public wishing to volunteer at the station to a small taste of what is expected of them as trainees. New recruits are put through their paces in a very safe and controlled environment and assessed by senior crew and coxswains who gauge their skills, teamwork, attitude and personalities. Due to the increased interest from the public wishing to volunteer at the station a decision was made last year (2010) to hold a recruiting process whereby individuals would report to the station on a predetermined date and given tasks by which they could be assessed and selected. Regrettably the station is not always in the position to accommodate a large number of new volunteers and a selection system seemed the fairest method of reducing the numbers.
The advantages of this method soon became apparent namely reducing the number of volunteers who may not “stay the distance” thus eliminating the investment in their training prior to their realisation that Sea Rescue is different to their expectations. Additionally, and far more advantageous, new recruits start their voluntary careers as a group, equal in experience and moving forward feeding off each other and competing to sign off tasks and build hours. In short, a team effort is established at day one.
February 2011 Induction Day resulted in the highest subscription of perspective members totalling 45 by the due date. The waiting period combined with a 06h00 start reduced the numbers to just 18 reporting to the station and taking part in the assigned tasks. The recruits were split up into three teams with each team assigned different tasks aided by current station crew. Tasks included a 1km run followed by rope work, a stretcher rigging and swim exercise and donning a lifejacket, entering the water from a short height and adoption in-water survival techniques. Finally all recruits received a general base safety briefing and a short maintenance exercise by greasing cables. Lastly, equipment was washed and stowed and the recruits joined the crew for a social and braai.