You’ve probably noticed our mantra here at RosterBot is Take the Work out of Play, well this month’s RosterBot Team of the Month is actually working to make sure you can play.
Every year, Mike Cotter and Andrei Bredin, the managers of Jericho Rescue Team, rescue over 200 people from the waters of English Bay and the mouth of the Port of Vancouver.
Mike and Andrei, along with a crew of volunteers from Vancouver’s own version of Baywatch. The group spends their days patrolling the busy beach front and beyond in their RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat for landlubbers) on the lookout for mariners in trouble, but are also responsible for ensuring over 100 water-based events go smoothly, sending everyone home safely at the end of the day.
Organizing a group like the Jericho Rescue Team is no small feat either. The JRT are an integral part of maintaining the safe and fun environment at the busiest of beaches in Vancouver, where everyone from paddle-boarders to swimmers to sailors depend upon someone looking over them (especially so with the recent closures of the Canadian Coast Guard outposts).
When we at RosterBot discovered such an important part of the Vancouver outdoor scene was involved in our program we had to reach out and learn more.
Lucky for us, Andrei and Mike were more than happy to show us around, and even let us take the boat out of a spin!
RosterBot: What exactly does the Jericho Rescue Team do? What’s a typical day like for your group?
Mike Cotter (General Manager Jericho Sailing Centre): We are associated with the Jericho Sailing Centre and we are the Jericho Rescue team. Our primary purpose is to pick up when things go wrong. Along without our team of volunteers we ensure everyone enjoying the water playground is able to do so safely. We rescue on average about 200 people in trouble a year, but another important part of our job is giving people the safety training and tips prior to entering the water so they hopefully don’t need our help at all!
Andrei Bredin (Assistant General Manager Jericho Sailing Centre): It depends on the day really, but we are here from 8:30 AM until the last boat is off the water. We will keep ready for anything that happen, from windsurfers who come into trouble to family vessels taking on water all the way to supporting any of the dozens of tankers anchored in English Bay here. There’s really no typical day.
Mike: We also work in support for many events which are hosted throughout the area. The Bay Challenge, with swimmers going from Point Atkinson in West Vancouver to Kits Beach is an example of an event we would be involved in. Another important part of the year for us is the Fireworks in the summer. Those are our biggest nights and usually some of the most dangerous times on the water.
Our biggest event of the year is called the Day of the Longboat, when hundreds of paddlers take to the water on a 2KM course which we help with. But there are hundreds of events we are on the water for each year.
RosterBot: We have to admit, we don’t have many (if any) teams that are similar to yours. How do you organize your group?
Andrei: Our team is a little different each day as we are a large group of volunteers, along with organizers like Mike and myself who are here most days.
Depending on the day we have different numbers of people working. Each boat has different requirements. You need a certified captain, along with up to 3-4 other members in the boat to help.
RosterBot: So how do you utilize RosterBot for your group?
Andrei: For me, organizing stuff using RosterBot has made my job a whole lot easier. We used to just use a Google Spreadsheet, just organizing our group manually. It was time-consuming but using RosterBot, it’s a lot easier.
Now with RosterBot I just need to input the event dates which we know of and our team can go ahead and book their days well in advance.
As you can imagine, we need to be organized and know who’s going to be working each day. It’s important to be right and not having to spend all day scheduling our team has been great.
RosterBot: You mentioned there are Captains and other positions on your team, have you used the Position Assistant for this?
Andrei: You know what, we have! Like I mentioned, we require a Captain, or Skipper, who must have Level 3-4 certificates so we’ve created positions for Skipper. Outside of that we have various positions from Trainee to Staff members. It’s been an especially helpful feature when we are looking to get a team gathered quickly, which happens from time to time, like when the weather changes rapidly.
We would like to thank Mike, Andrei and everyone at the Jericho Sailing Centre and Jericho Rescue Team for a great day on the water. And if you are out on the waters of Vancouver this year, keep an eye out for the JRT, they’re a super friendly bunch!
If you would like to participate, or nominate a team for RosterBot’s Team of the Month, we want to hear from you!