RNLI volunteers to train alongside US counterparts

Sloane Phillips, left, tending to a victim in a flood rescue exercise
Sloane Phillips, left, tending to a victim in a flood rescue exercise

A GROUP of volunteers from Hastings RNLI will be training alongside firefighters in the USA as part of a major flood rescue exercise.

The lifeboatmen will be going to Charlotte in North Carolina with other crews from RNLI stations around the UK.

The team of volunteers are flying out on Sunday (September 29) to train with Charlotte Fire Department.

The exercise will be testing the RNLI’s deployment process and logistics, equipment and working overseas.

One of the RNLI Flood Rescue Team members who are taking part in the exercise is Sloane Phillips, who is a volunteer crew member at Hastings Lifeboat Station. Sloane joined the Flood Rescue Team in 2008 and is also the team’s paramedic. She volunteers alongside Martin Phillips, who is also a volunteer crew member and full-time fleet staff coxswain for the RNLI.

She said: “It’s exciting to be able to train alongside other emergency services and share expertise. Training is such an important part of what we do, and we’re lucky that the RNLI invests heavily in this and the right equipment so that we can react to an emergency flooding situation should it occur.”

The cost of organising the exercise is being borne by Charlotte Fire Department and North Carolina Emergency Department.

Robin Goodlad, flood response manager at the RNLI and volunteer crew member at Aberdovey, said: “The opportunity to train alongside these globally-respected organisations that have had experience at numerous major flood events will be of huge benefit to us. Similarly, we will bring our 190 years of water rescue expertise to share with our US counterparts.”