Friday, 24 April 2009

Get out of jail free card

In the centre of each crewmember's windscreen is a small sticker showing an RNLI flag and the words: Lifeboat Crew. We all like our window stickers. They are a badge of honour for many of us and a symbol of what we are and what we value. However, and I get asked this about once a month, they are categorically not any kind of 'Get out of Jail Free' card or indeed a licence to speed when on a shout/park wherever one wants to/drive on the pavement/leave a shop without paying!

And that is the point of this post. I just wanted to broadcast the answer widely as I get asked it so often. We are not entitled to do anything while in our cars on the way to a shout other than follow the highway code to the letter of the law. That's not to say that we all get it right all of the time, we don' has been known for the adrenaline to get the better of someones judgement. However, the management of our station take a very dim view of any transgressions. We are of course very visible and easy to spot (yep, you got it, the window stickers do have a function) and you can guarantee that if one of our crew has done something daft, Neil (LOM), will know about it before the boat returns. And, as people who know him will testify, he's not afraid to let people know what's on his mind in these situations!

Of course, the time is approaching when our small town will be so clogged with holiday makers and day trippers that going anywhere quickly by car becomes out of the question. At these times our crew will arrive at the boathouse by bike, scooter, running, lift-sharing, sail boat, kayak and powerboat. I keep hoping that one day I will get a crew sticker for my shout-bike...


CG said...

At least this year the lifeboat crew won't be battling with the coasties to make it down Peveril Point Road!

MarkUK said...

Much sympathy with the plight of the lifeboat crews.

I'm a Community First Responder, a volunteer with the ambulance service, and we're in the same position.

The one and only difference is that I can park where I like provided it's safe when I'm on a call. I'll get a ticket, but can usually get it quashed.

Again, we have to drive to the Highway Code. I'm not particularly bothered about not being allowed to drive fast (I'm in my own car after all) but some kind of blue light wouldn't half help in traffic.