A great opportunity has arisen to join the team at Poole Lifeboat Station as a volunteer Deputy Launch Authority (‘DLA’).
The DLA is a key individual within the management structure of a lifeboat station. They form part of the management group and fundamentally perform two key roles:
1. They act as the duty Launch Authority (the terms Deputy Launch Authority and Duty Launch Authority are interchangeable terms in many stations) generally for periods of a week at a time. This means that they are the first point of contact for the Coastguard in the event of a request to launch and so make the decision as to whether to launch and what lifeboats to launch. They then brief the helm before launching and then as soon as able respond to the station to assist as relevant. Generally DLAs are on duty one week in four and during the time they are on duty will need to be within pager range of the station.
2. At other times they will deputise for the Lifeboat Operations Manager when he/she is unavailable at internal and external meetings, in contact with various external organisations and the RNLI centrally as relevant. They will also be allocated an area of the station’s activities to manage. This they will take an active role in managing this area and then report on progress at the Operations Team Meeting monthly.
The role of a DLA is a key one and requires a degree of commitment from those that take on the role. How much time a DLA invests as a volunteer is very much a personal decision and the more time an individual has the more they can contribute to a station. As a rough guide though, managing an area ensuring those others involved at the station are on top of the elements needed to keep the station ready to respond to the demands placed on it, is likely to take at least a few hours a week. On top of this the crew will have training a few times a week and it is helpful if a DLA from the team is around for those. Proactive visits and other meetings all probably add up to a minimum of a day a week. Email, WhatsApp groups and RNLI systems can generally be accessed remotely so some of this commitment may take the form of being online from home or work.
Given the need to make decisions as to whether to launch a lifeboat it is likely you will have some form of marine background or interest. This could be as a leisure user or a commercial boater and you are going to need to have a good understanding of the local boating area. You do not though need to have any experience of search and rescue and a full program of support, training and mentoring will be put in place to ease you into the role.
The RNLI application process for this role is here – https://volunteering.rnli.org/vacancy/volunteer-deputy-launching-authority-poole-329288.html
In the first instance though you may wish to have an informal, confidential and no obligation chat with the Station’s LOM – Paul Glatzel. From this chat you can determine whether you would wish to apply.
You can contact Paul directly via email@example.com . Please allow 48 hours for Paul to see the emails and respond as the inbox is not checked daily.”