Teddington lifeboat crew commended by RNLI top brass for first aid and teamwork
A volunteer helmsman and a prospective crew member of Teddington RNLI have been officially commended for their first aid skills and team work during a call to a person in distress on the River Thames towpath.
At 10am on 17 September 2015, a member of the public ran into the office of volunteer helmsman Matt Allchurch asking for a first aider as someone was suffering from a suspected heart attack on the River Thames towpath. At work with him was colleague Matt Ellins, who recently enrolled at Teddington Lifeboat Station and is a prospective crew member.
Knowing that it can be difficult for London Ambulance Service to access the towpath, Matt Allchurch contacted Teddington’s Lifeboats Operations Manager Tim Ody to request that the lifeboat launch to the casualty.
Moments later, Teddington’s D-Class was launched under the command of helmsman Matt Allchurch with Matt Ellins onboard. The crew arrived on scene to find a conscious man clearly in pain and having difficulty breathing. A member of the public had contacting the emergency services and paramedics were on their way.
The crew immediately administered oxygen and ensured that the casualty stayed warm using blankets. The crew continued with the oxygen, which had visible beneficial effect. Despite still suffering from chest pain, after a few minutes the casualty was able to state his name and age and was more alert in general.
The paramedics arrived soon arrived and the crew provided a complete handover and the casualty was transferred to hospital.
In a letter to Tim Ody, George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, wrote ‘The crew involved in this challenging service demonstrated excellent casualty care skills and team effort. I pass on my sincerest thanks to the crew and all involved at Teddington Lifeboat Station.’
Due to the nature of this particular service call, the RNLI decided to provide Teddington Lifeboat station with an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Matt Allchurch said: ‘Due to the high population density on our patch between Richmond and Hampton Court, we often respond to first aid emergencies. We are pleased to hear the RNLI’s decision to allow us to carry a defibrillator as our first aid capability will now be much more effective.’
The RNLI is a charity that relies on voluntary contributions to enable its volunteer crews to go to sea to save lives. Teddington Lifeboat Station is one of three RNLI lifeboat stations on the River Thames in London. The others are Chiswick and Tower at Waterloo Bridge. A fourth operates further west along the river at Gravesend in Kent.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.