Meet Your Coastguard Humber (again): International Control Room Week special series

Meet Your Coastguard Humber (again): International Control Room Week special series

Part Four of a series of Meet Your Coastguard specials from our operations rooms for International Control Room Week, as we return to Humber MRCC to introduce you to Team Leader Jolene.
Jolene in white shirt HM Coastguard uniform in office looking off camera to right

HM Coastguard operations room staff are always on the end of a maritime distress call, ready to respond to whatever the emergency, with the two words that bring such relief to those in trouble at the coast: “Coastguard Rescue”.

Whether they are responding to 999 calls from the public or answering Mayday calls on Channel 16, the highly-trained staff are always prepared to coordinate a rescue.

 

Humber Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) – A Team Leader

We introduced you to Senior Maritime Operations Officer Dave at Humber on Monday, Norman at Belfast on Tuesday and Gregg in Milford yesterday; we are back in Humber today to tell you more about experienced Team Leader Jolene.

Jolene in white shirt HM Coastguard uniform in front of bank of computer monitors
Jolene at work at Humber MRCC last year
Credit: Lee Brown Leebrown-photography.com

 

Name: Jolene

Job title: Team Leader and SMC

Role: June 2013 as a Watch Officer

 

 

Why (and when) did you join HM Coastguard? 

I started at Humber in June 2013 as a Watch Officer. After working at sea, I wanted a job shoreside where I could use my existing maritime skills and learn more. 

 

What do you enjoy most about being a member of the team? 

Whether it’s within the ops room environment or the wider SAR team, each and every incident we strive to do our very best and often when someone is at their worst.

Whether it’s for someone 100 miles offshore during a medical incident, reuniting parents with kids or rescuing people down cliffs, to go home and know we’ve made that difference is what the job’s about. 

 

What new skills have you learned in your role? 

The personal skills ranging from experience of dealing with first informants and casualties – which takes a lot of communication skills – to managing people within a team, have been huge for me. But also having to adapt yourself and your delivery to suit the individuals. I feel there’s never quite an end to that learning, you’re never ‘I’m done, I’ve achieved that’, it’s more you’re constantly developing in that area. 

But I’ve also learned a lot of technical skills over the years, I have acquired search planning and map work plus maintained existing skills in areas such as GMDSS, navigation and knowledge on counter pollution and maritime safety. 

It’s not a new skill, but to engage in and see the development of my own team in these areas has been a real treasure. 

 

What is the most unusual incident you have responded to? 

A crocodile in a pond.

That one stands out to me, even if I seem to get my fair share of unusual. It was some time ago now, but the phone rang and it was a member of the public – they had dialled 999 and asked for the Coastguard, as they were genuinely concerned.

I did initially think ‘someone’s pulling my leg here’ but it was quickly obvious that it was a genuine call.

 

What is the most challenging part of your role? 

During difficult jobs, you can end up with a sense of ‘what can we do now’ when you are close to exhausting all options and so it’s a huge benefit to be able to share thoughts, experience and explore ideas within your team and the SAR assets on the job. 

 

Are you a lover of the sea? Why? 

Absolutely – from a navigating perspective, there is something awe-striking about being on the sea along with the forces and elements that come with it. 

Although I’m no longer at sea regularly, I still love the sight of the coast and it’s an ever-changing picture come day, night and season. 

 

 

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