Volunteering for Crew Duties

Hello, Ray Fox here and I’m the Crew Controller for VMR Bribie Island.
Seems like you want to be a crew member on our rescue boats which is fantastic. I do, though, need to provide you information that you must understand before we start the process. You can speak with me on 0438 011 934 or you can click here to contact me.

Best Regards, Ray

Requirements of Crew Members

Prospective crew members are required to meet certain standards in relation to health, fitness and aptitude before being accepted as trainees – these standards are necessary to ensure the safety of the applicant, as well as that of the other crew members, the public and Unit’s vessels. Conditions may be arduous and searching may continue for long periods at night and in bad weather. Applicants who suffer from motion sickness, bad backs or similar, or who are not confident in unstable situations, should carefully consider whether they can meet the standards needed. A crew Job Description is attached and will assist applicants in understanding the requirements.

Crew members are expected to attend the majority of their rostered days and to attend the training courses provided for crews and other members from time to time. Training courses involve all the skills required to operate as a competent crew member and are supplemented by practical training provided by Senior Coxwains. Training is modular and covers:

  • Marine Communication and terminology (includes radio licence)
  • Safety and Standard Operating Procedures
  • Weather and Tides
  • First Aid (includes EAR and CPR)
  • Navigation
  • Vessel Handling, Maintenance and Basic Seamanship
  • Management
  • Unit Resource Control in SAR operations

It will generally take at least two years to complete the full range of training courses. Crew members are also expected to assist in fundraising activities.

Crew Structures

Active members become SES members and are covered under the SES Insurance and Workcover scheme, while on duty. Primary emphasis is placed on safety, with safety of crew members and the public being the first priority in all we do.

New crew members will, on completion of the acceptance process, be assigned to a crew and will be classed as trainees for a period of six rostered duties (approximately six months). During this period, trainees are encouraged to complete as much training as possible. At the completion of the period, at the discretion of the Officer in Charge (OIC) the trainee will attain full “Crew” status.

Crew members who have completed required training modules, and have passed a holistic assessment, will be classed as Competent Crew and will become eligible to apply for assessment for positions of higher responsibility – Coxswain and Skipper.

Appointment to the position of Coxswain at VMR Bribie Island requires that candidates have the modules for Competent Crew and some elements of the management module, have sufficient experience in simulated and actual rescue work, and successfully complete an assessment process as laid down in VMR Bribie Island Standard Operating Procedures. The Skipper – Inshore Waters licence allows the Coxswain to command a Rescue Vessel in protected and semi-smooth waters in daylight only.

Appointment as Skipper (VMRAQ Skipper – Offshore Waters) requires further formal qualifications and a further rigorous assessment which includes offshore, rough water and night assessment plus multi-vessel search control. A Skipper is licensed to command a Rescue Vessel, day and night, up to 50 miles offshore. Officer in Charge is a VMR Bribie Island appointment designating a Skipper who has control of a Crew, covering all vessels, on a rostered cycle.

Duty Roster

Basic crew duty involves a rostered Saturday or Sunday, every four weeks. Duty hours are from 0700 to 1700, although hours may extend if an incident is in progress. Crew members must attend a majority of rostered days or risk being removed from the roster.

Crew members, who live within 20 minutes of the base, are also required to be available for call out. This involves being rostered for call out in accordance with the member’s availability.

Members who live beyond 20 minutes from the base may be accepted for crew duty but this is determined primarily on the member’s willingness to contribute in other ways and is by negotiation. VMR Bribie Island is no longer able to accept requests for rostered day duty on weekends only.

How to Apply

If you have any questions, please contact me, Ray Fox, on 0438 011 934 or click here to send me an email. If you wish to apply, please download and complete the application form.

Download the Application for Crew Duty Form 1366442569 pdf

Complete and forward it to:-

The Crew Controller
VMR Bribie Island
PO Box 85

or drop it in at the base or scan and email to me.

At the earliest opportunity you will be contacted for an orientation meeting to confirm your application and further explain the process. Thank you for your interest – Crew Duty is a rewarding undertaking which both assists the community and considerably improves the knowledge and experience of crew members in a safe and structured way.

Job Description - CREW MMBER #JD-02-00

Boat crews may be required to carry out any or all of the following duties in a manner which will not endanger themselves, any other crew person, or any member of the public, in any way whatsoever. Crew members must be:-

  1. Capable of lifting, pulling and throwing ropes.
  2. Able to work confidently on wet and unstable decks as required and transfer to small tenders as required.
  3. Able to swim.
  4. Able to be involved in long and arduous searches in both daylight and darkness for extended periods, often in rough, wet and cold conditions.
  5. Able to work effectively in a team situation.
  6. Able to understand, accept and act on instructions as required.
  7. Familiar (after training) with the operation of VMR Bribie Island Rescue vessels and all associated equipment, including electronic navigation aids, outboard and fire-pump motors, and small inflatable tenders.
  8. Able to assist in the delivery of primary First Aid including resuscitation techniques for prolonged periods in extreme conditions (e.g. CPR and EAR).
  9. Able to remain effective in high-stress situations (e.g. death or serious injury on Medivac operations).
  10. Able to assist in the transfer of injured patients (Vessel to Vessel or Vessel to Shore).
  11. Medically fit to be the holder of an “A” class drivers licence as well as a “Recreational Boat Licence”.
  12. Willing to attend training courses from time to time as well as available for rostered duties.