Our volunteers continues to develop to recognised standards of training with an agreed dedication of our Atlantic 21 Lifeboat for daytime operations in February 2015. This service was enhanced to an emergency response for the River Lagan and Belfast Harbour, 24/7, 365 on March 2015. All operations will meet the requirements laid down in the Maritime & Coastguard Agency's Rescue Boat Code of Practice whilst volunteer Rescue Swimmers will develop their skills under the Royal Life Saving Society framework.
Lagan Search and Rescue (LSAR) continues to develop our Kayak Rescue Corps. Both sides of the Lagan Weir will have bankside response from our Land Search Team, including Rapid Bike Deployment Team. All LSAR operations will be supplemented by our Emergency Medical Response Team who will provide immediate casualty care when required.
LIFEBOAT CREW (BELFAST LIFEBOAT)
LSAR volunteers who express Rescue Boat Crew as their preferred Discipline, will undergo an internal assessment for suitability upon completion of their SARTech validation. Upon acceptance to this Discipline, volunteers will progress through accredited RYA Powerboat courses. Rescue Boat Crew who attain RYA Powerboat Level 2 certification will also gain Safety Boat endorsement which covers approved techniques for rescue.
For operations offshore and under the jurisdiction of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Rescue Boat crew will also undertake both the Commercial endorsement and their RYA Short Range Radio certificate which is recognised by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
Each LSAR operational volunteer will have completed our foundation training as a Search Technician (SARTech) as this is the basic understanding for nationally approved response to land search of missing persons. SARTech training competencies include an overview of the UK SAR Framework, Missing Persons (MISPER) Behaviour, Search Techniques, Water Awareness (Level 1),
Emergency Life Support, Scenes of Crime & Preservation of Scene, Land Navigation and Radio Communications.
All volunteers will also attend Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and undertake a validation exercise before they achieve Operational status.
Lagan Search & Rescue is taking the lead in development of a dedicated Rescue Swimmer Corps, trained and equipped to professional standards. All LSAR Rescue Swimmers will undertake an internal programme of development which will include pool, beach and river swimming and use of Mask, Fins & Snorkle (MFS).
Entry to this Discipline demands enhanced fitness levels and all volunteers must undertake a timed swim of 400 meters which MUST be completed in 8 minutes. This is a prerequisite for advancement and for entry to the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) National Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NBLQ).
All volunteers for Lagan Search & Rescue will undertake both Emergency Life Support and Automated External Defibrillator training as competencies within Search & Rescue Technician (SARTech) foundation training. All volunteers will be eligible for Operational First Aid training and this will be mandatory for all entering this Discipline.
Following successful assessment of the volunteers competency and suitability, enhanced skills can then be undertaken. This would include carry sheet, BVM, GCS, fracture packs & casualty straps, collar and board, extrication techniques and scene management.
KAYAK RESCUE CORPS
Lagan Search and Rescue continues to develop our Kayak Rescue Corps that will provide a search & rescue platform for Belfast.