Brain Food: How does she manage? - RNLI station manager - Janet Kelly - Tower Pier, London

When did you become a manager?

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

In 1979 when I became a police sergeant. I joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in September 2001.

What does management mean to you?

It means bringing together the wonderful full-time and volunteer crews into a professional and efficient lifeboat team that can act under stressful circumstances and save lives. I manage everything, including the boat, the 48 crew, the lifeboat station and our relationship with the coastguard and the police. I have the ultimate duty of launching the lifeboat and making sure there are always three qualified crew on board. If I'm here, I'll monitor a call. If it's a difficult one - involving a medical trauma or even someone who is not alive - I have to make sure the crew are not affected and give them support. This is the RNLI's busiest station: we've had 60 calls for the lifeboat so far this year. Nearly half are people threatening to jump from a bridge, but there are also boats on fire or drunks who decide to go for a swim, or boats broken down. We're very relaxed down here, but when the bells go it's all action stations. Someone's getting the information, others are getting the boat ready for the helmsman. We go within 90 seconds of getting the call.

What do you love/hate about your job?

I love the people. We've all got different backgrounds, but we've all got one goal. I hate the commuting to work.

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