Most LIFE LINE readers will be aware of the key projects the IMRF are working on. One of these is looking at how we can share the excellent Water Safety Education programmes which many of our Members have developed with the wider maritime SAR community.
The steering group headed by Ann Laing (IMRF Executive Officer) met in Dublin during March to advance the project. Attending the meeting were John Leech (Irish Water Safety), Romano Grandi (National Rescue Society of Italy), Tony Wafer (RNLI UK) and Kristin Dagbjartur (ICE-SAR, Iceland).
As this was the initial meeting of the group, IMRF CEO Bruce Reid also attended. Bruce set the scene, which started discussion and debate among the attendees as they drilled into the topic and identified the best way forward.
At first sight this seems a straightforward project. Many IMRF Members run successful programmes and are happy to make the material available to others.
However the amount of material available, the diversity of the topics and the number of variables to consider make the challenge quite daunting.
So the pathway agreed was to take some small bites out of the larger project, using the IMRF website to start building the library of links and interest among the wider Membership. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time...
This will give those Members who are looking for assistance in this area a single point of contact where they can review programmes and link directly to the organisations who own them.
While doing this there are some key issues to be resolved, particularly around the protection of the property and the best way to work within copyright laws.
We also need to establish some quality control for the material to ensure we are directing Members to programmes that are already proven; and we will be building the 'backend system' to manage contacts with those interested and the library of knowledge available through the site.
There will be more information available in due course, so keep an eye on the website, or click on the 'expression of interest' form on the education page in the site so that we can send you updates via email.
Bruce Reid commented: "The day in Dublin has helped advance this project and it was fitting that a clearer idea of the IMRF role in the education space came through from the discussions.
This was articulated by the group as the vision of supporting IMRF Members to 'end preventable loss of life and encourage personal responsibility on the water'."