Personalities are selected through a vetting process to match up to a specific job description, attitude and capability. They are put through paces, educated, corrected and evaluated to see if they have what it takes to qualify. Or not.
There are definite draws to the various water rescue disciplines from a variety of agency personnel from military to lifesaving. Certain personality types are easier to lead into excellence, while others may be less mature, or disciplined. Most of that is from peer influence and personal influences of upbringing, values, culture and spiritual commitments.
Some rescue minded persons are motivated to excel for personal gain, team effort, community support, private psychological drive and stacking up a value to the worth behind effort and the altruistic or personal rewards.
Experience and perspective come into play with the hours in the field, research and study, practice and industriousness. A conscientious person will pay attention to fulfillment of the mission full circle. Industrious people work very hard and can be irritated with the unproductive team members.
Sharing the labor load of the rescue scene is a conscientious person is going to work really hard, put in very long hours and be the last to leave. Persons who are orderly like to have everything in order and are always cleaning up behind everyone else, usually women tend to fill that role.
Sometimes they are over concerned about details and they may be disappointed in the personalities who are productive because they may be making more of a mess. Know how to orchestrate agreeable persons and disagreeable persons to try to balance out the complexities of teamwork.
Personal traits are a big source of conflict in teams. This can relate to mission work in tension, conflict and friction.
Knowing the various personalities it is imperative to place tested persons who thrived in the specific roles needed. For instance: It is important for an RWC Operator to be comfortable in the water they work in. If they are not comfortable, it may be time to replace this operator and bring them to shore support.
How do you identify a mishap or rate accidents? Moderate to significant or got lucky?
Oftentimes after reviewing serious mishaps that I know were preventable, I have to say, how could this department not recognize the potential for harm?
It usually comes down to a lack of boating knowledge. They may have knowledge that is excellent in other stages of rescue, but when it comes to operating or implementing a power water craft program, they have assessed a casual program when in fact this is a high risk marine operation.
Who are your Subject Matter Experts? How were they tested and selected? What world experience do they have that is recent within the past 30 days and 30 years?
Oftentimes when I review a program, the organization was not prepared to have a marine unit. They lacked knowledge of the craft, maintenance schedules and budget. But mainly they lacked follow through after training to ensure their program was sustainable.
Acquiring a certificate will not protect you. The entire program needs to be reviewed annually. All mishaps must be reviewed and adjusted. Outside sources should be sought for additional knowledge based on modernizing any loopholes. Personal Protective Equipment has to be effective and replaced as needed along with RWC accessory devices.
Boating rules and regulations are constantly broken by public safety agencies using Rescue Water Craft. Lifejackets are not worn, rules of the road and not utilized, boating basics are not incorporated properly. Most of this is because training programs are outdated and incomplete.
Who is the program instructor and who backs their certification. Did your department determine if their certification was current and verifiable? Who wrote their training program, what type of craft and program management needs were resourced? How was this data entered and how is the program monitored and by whom?
How are the operators evaluated and why is their certification not revoked from a mishap and they get rolled back to training? How is the discipline process protected for teams, and who is the person monitoring and enforcing the program?