First aid training is one of the requirements for all our sea rescue crew to complete before they become operational. These level 3 courses take 30 to 40 hours to complete, which includes the training, exam and evaluation by instructors. The exams also need to be rewritten every two years, so, all in all, the First-Aid portfolio is a huge part of our training.
Our crews are all unpaid volunteers – and so are our first aid trainers. One of these people is John Brown. A former crewman from Station 3 Table Bay, John, has been the NSRI First Aid Training co-ordinator for many years. He works closely with Barbara and Alec McNamara (Station 5 Durban) who run the first aid training in KZN.
It is no small matter to become a first aid trainer, especially as our crews are trained to Level 3. The lecturers put hours into their own training and many more hours making sure that each one of our operational crewmen are up to scratch in their ability to deal with a patient.
Many of our volunteers have careers in the Medical Services and are qualified to present courses in their regions.
We are deeply indebted to Anton Conradie of Netcare911 for Wilderness training, Pieter Zaaiman for Mossel Bay, Dr Maarsingh for Knysna, Dr John Donald, Dr Johan Van Vuuren and Dr Sam Botha for Plettenberg Bay, Joretha Steyn and Mary-Anne Victor for Port Alfred, Dr Stiffy Du Toit for Hermanus, Andre Van Rooyen and Stuart Seini for Melkbosstrand, Robin Brown for St Francis, Ian Klopper for Kommetjie, Darren Zimmerman for Simons Town and Gordons Bay, Adrian Trollip of Dynamic Ambulance Service in East London, Martin Kruger of Dikalakala in Hartbeespoort Dam and Kathy Bodmer of PEC for Hout Bay.
If first aid training was out-sourced … the bill to NSRI for 2010 alone would have been in excess of R250 000. With our trainers working for free all we need to pay for are the manuals, training aids and travel expenses.
This kind of giving is exactly why Sea Rescue works so well. Its all about people caring for people and giving without expecting anything in return.