The role of the ERRV is very much the same as that of any emergency service. The crews are there to do something that everyone hopes will never be needed. So, like any emergency team, ERRV crews have to be specially trained and well practiced in the specific skills they may need.
Each ERRV has specialist areas built into the accommodation to provide medical care for those offshore workers recovered from the water, injured or uninjured, and a helicopter winching zone to allow helicopters to take those most seriously injured onshore for intensive care..
Normally each ERRV has a crew of 12 on board in order to be able to launch two Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) together. From these there must be at least one person trained in Advance Medical Aid to look after the injured, two FRC Coxwains and four FRC Boatmen.
Each ERRV spends up to 28 days "on station" before returning to its home port to crew change and store the vessel. While the ERRV is "off station" another one will stand in for it so that there is never a time when the rescue arrangements are not available. Crew members work offshore for twenty eight days and then have twenty eight days off.
Qualifications and Training
All Members of the crew receive training appropriate to their role in accordance with the Statutory Requirements laid down in STCW 95, as a qualifying standard, and with any additional industry requirements laid down by COGENT/OPITO and which comply with the principals of the Mutual Recognition Document (MCA/MNTB/2002).
Further specialist training is required by crew members in doing their particular jobs. This covers FRC Boatmen and Coxwains, Daughter Craft Coxwains, Advanced Medical Aid and Command and Control for Masters and Mates.
A programme of ongoing, onboard training in all aspects of rescue and recovery is run every time crew are on station. This is mainly made up of scenario based exercises but also includes video based medical training.
All crew members must undergo medical examinations to MCA standards but at frequencies of every 2 years up to the age of 50, from age 51 to 60 annually, and over 60, every 6 months. The age limit for crew members is normally 65.