Creator of revolutionary first aid training for RNLI volunteers is recognised in New Year Honours

Paul Savage_RNLI Nigel Millard_low res

Paul Savage
Photo: Nigel Millard | RNLI

Paul Savage, the RNLI’s Clinical Operations Manager, has been instrumental in developing a bespoke casualty care course for the RNLI’s 4500 volunteers. It is so simple it has proved revolutionary not only for the charity, but also for other emergency services who are now adopting the same approach.

Paul has been recognised for his work with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2014.

What separates the methodology from any that has gone before it is its simplicity; a process that relies on check cards as opposed to memory, meaning crew members and lifeguards can quickly assess casualties and provide the most appropriate treatment. And because RNLI crew members come from all walks of life – from builders to tree surgeons – the training does not rely on a medical background.

The training is reinforced by treatment cards, manuals, scenario training cards and e-books, all designed by Paul, and approved by the College of Paramedics and the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh).

As Paul says, “It’s about equipping people with the skills and the confidence to treat casualties, whether that’s in their role as a volunteer crew member on a lifeboat or patrolling the beach as a lifeguard. Increasingly we’ve known lifeguards and crew witness various medical incidents away from their RNLI role and have been able to stabilise the casualty until an ambulance arrives, all thanks to their training. It just goes to show that these are skills for life.

“I am incredibly proud of all of our lifeboat crew and lifeguards – treating people in the hostile environment in which we work is incredibly difficult and they a very good job.”

Paul Boissier, the RNLI’s Chief Executive, says, “I have no doubt that this training has helped save many more lives, and it’s brilliant that Paul’s work has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. We’re very proud.”

For more information on the RNLI please visit the RNLI website.