We just had a fantastic weekend (13-14 January 2018) of medical exercises under the knowledgeable and watchful eye of Paul Savage OBE. Paul is Chairman of UKSAR Medical Group and MD of Saviour Medical Ltd, and for 6 years was Clinical Lead and Clinical Operations Manager for the RNLI. He also devised the medical check cards and the Saviour stretcher that our crew use.
Paul now concentrates his medical teaching from his own company, but still finds time to volunteer as a member of Tower Lifeboat Station on the Thames, the busiest lifeboat station in the UK.
Paul agreed to come to St Abbs for the weekend to put our crew through their paces, seeing first hand what they have learned and passing on tips and observations based on his vast experience of lifeboat medicine and volunteering for other SAR organisations including the Coastguard.
Over the course of the 2 days Paul devised various casualty scenarios based around the incidents we normally encounter here.
During the weekend our crew had to deal with a mother and daughter who had fallen on rocks and badly injured themselves, a cardiac arrest on the Harbour and a creel fisherman with a traumatic chest injury. They also had to treat and extract a couple of walkers who had fallen and become wedged in rocks, sustaining major head trauma and multiple fractures in the process.
He also threw in a couple of “red herrings” to test our crew and keep them on their toes, for example a diver showing symptoms which turned out to be hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) which is not the usual diver-related incident we would normally deal with.
On Saturday evening Paul hosted a hugely informative lecture on drowning and hypothermia, to which we also invited our local Coastguard teams.
Our crew acquitted themselves very well over a long and testing weekend, and the regular medical exercises that Fiona, our doctor does, really showed their worth.
We would like to thank Paul of course, but also the “casualties” who gave up their weekends to help make the scenarios as realistic as possible.