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Water Rescue manikins help Surf Life Saving GB to prove that rescue workers are fit for the job!

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We began developing water rescue manikins more than 20 years ago and are proud to have worked with experts in the industry to make sure that we can provide teams with the very best tools for their training.

Our Man Overboard manikin is a popular choice with all kinds of water rescue teams, from civil defence and the armed forces, to volunteer SAR teams, the RNLI….and Surf Life Saving teams!

We have a great relationship with Surf Life Saving, having worked with the Australian arm of the charity to design and develop our Surf Rescue Manikin.

In 2018, we also named Surf Life Saving GB (SLSGB) as one of our Volunteer Heroes, which is our social commitment project aimed at helping volunteer rescue teams. We donated 2 Man Overboard and 1 Surf Rescue manikins to the charity.

SLSGB is a charity with 10,000 members, who have been providing beach lifeguard training and patrolling the coast of the UK for more than 60 years. It is also the awarding body for the highest standard of Beach Lifeguard qualification in the country, which are recognised internationally.

We are always keen to learn about how our manikins are used in training, and were interested to learn that as well as general man overboard or search and rescue scenarios, the donated manikins had proven to be a useful tool for assessing the fitness of trainees with SLSGB.


Adrian Mayhew, National Operations & Safety at SLSGB said,

“We know from our research that being relatively strong for the operations of lifeguards, boat operators and flood operators is important.

We also know that around 45kg represents the 50th percentile rate of British male and females and so being able to lift a dummy proves that our lifeguards are able to be more prepared for the real situation.

It also allows us to show evidence in complying in the MCA Rescue boat code (sec 28) which asks of safety boat crews to be fit enough for rescue and to launch and retrieve boats.

For me, overseeing our lifesaving and flood patrols, being operationally fit while using “dead weights” means our volunteers are ready for the real call should it ever happen. Ruth Lee provides this opportunity.  Thanks to the support of Ruth Lee our volunteers can train appropriately and safely.”


How Ruth Lee Manikins helped during COVID-19 (Update for 2021)

In 2020, the global pandemic meant that many life-saving teams had to put their face-to-face training on hold to look after their own safety. As restrictions eased and social distancing became the norm, many teams realised they could continue training safely by reducing the amount of human contact. This is where our manikins came in! 


Adrian has proved us with this update;

"When Covid started, we had to look at our standards and to see how we could comply to ensure that our volunteers were safe during a global pandemic, and at the same time show operational competency either through rescue or first aid. Working with our technical group and clinical advisory group we were the first to have developed an award that was safe, in line with government advice, and would not compromise the physicality of our lifeguard award, which is the highest award in the UK. Thanks to Ruth Lee who stepped in to assist by offering support to our clubs to help ensure that our volunteers were ready.

In 2020, our volunteers assisted the public over 3000 times. It is expected that 2021 will be another tough year, with many rescues in 2020 happening in the evenings! By ensuring we could maintain the international lifeguard standard set by the International Life Saving Federation, we can be sure that our volunteers are ready."  


Find out more about SLSGB HERE and have a flick through their photos for training inspiration!

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