25 Sept 2022

Saving lives: Tipperary RNLI member trains in trauma risk management

Saving lives: Tipperary RNLI member trains in trauma risk management

Lough Derg RNLI crew member Chris Parker: His training as a Trauma Risk Management practioner will support his fellow crew members

A volunteer crew member at Lough Derg RNLI Chris Parker has become a RNLI Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) practitioner.

Chris graduated as a practitioner in April.

“I am proud to be able to help fellow volunteers. Sometimes, we run towards the bad stuff, and it can take its toll. As a crew member, I want to be there for the members of the public when they are in difficulty, but as a practitioner, I want to be there for my fellow volunteer crew members in the RNLI who may be having their worst day too.”

RNLI volunteers hail from a wide variety of backgrounds and careers. Chris has a most poetic sounding job as a Cloud architect, which sees him work on major computer incidents throughout Europe.

“If a large company stops working or a cyber attack takes place, chances are I will get a phone call or an email,” he says.

Chris joined the lifeboat crew two and a half years ago, shortly after moving to the area with his family.

Now a qualified lifeboat crew member, Chris is also Lough Derg RNLI’s Health, Safety and Environmental Local Liaison.

In most instances following traumatic events, crew will resolve any negative feelings over time, but, Chris says: “TRiM is there to support our staff and volunteers from an early stage, to offer peer support. To those that require professional help, the TRiM practitioners have the knowledge and training to signpost those services and support.”

All training for frontline staff or volunteers is provided by the RNLI through its partner March on Stress.

Chris says that to retain practitioner status, he must meet professional standards through continuous training.

He says the initial two-day intensive course covered active listening skills, mentoring, education and risk assessment.

The RNLI, mindful of the potential psychological effects of attending traumatic or distressing call outs, initiated TRiM in 2016. There are 60 TRiM practitioners within the RNLI.

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