Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Fit for purpose

This looks like a medieval instrument of torture. It's not. It is in fact a rather cleverly designed machine which allows some one's ability to pull a piece of rope to be tested.Why would you want to test this? Well, it is deemed, by the powers that be in the RNLI, to be a representative task that a lifeboat crewmember could be expected to perform while serving on a lifeboat. And so, it has been included in the newly introduced fitness test which all crewmembers must now pass.

Tonight we gathered at the station to take this test for the first time. The idea behind it is, I think (and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong), simply to make sure that crewmembers have a basic level of physical fitness to allow them to proceed to sea in a lifeboat and perform any tasks which might be expected of them. Makes sense. It has also allowed the RNLI to do away with a compulsory retirement age. Now, once a crewmember has reached a certain age, they take this test every year and can remain on the crew beyond the previous age limit of 55 (provided they pass). This is excellent for the RNLI because it means that they can retain their most experienced crew beyond what was previously an essentially arbitrary retirement age. What sensible and pragmatic thinking!So, for my sins, I had to undertake the test. To be honest it was all a bit of a laugh. The final exercise was the rope pulling thing and naturally we all became a bit competitive with this. Of course I couldn't possibly be so indiscreet as to say who got the best time. So, I simply want to say......well done you plucky losers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You nearly got the retirement age thing right :o) Once a crew member reaches the curent retirement age (45 for ILB, 55 for ALB) they are now given the option to extend by upto 5 years. If they choose to then they must pass an annual medical and fitness test. DT