A well-attended IMRF Quadrennial General Meeting (QGM) took place on 3-4 June, in Bremerhaven, Germany, after the close of the 2015 World Maritime Rescue Congress. Michael Vlasto was in the chair.
In his report Michael noted the IMRF’s successes over the last four years, including significant increases in membership and improvements in communications and our international reputation and presence; the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC); and successful progress on IMRF projects – for example, on SAR development in North and West Africa; Mass Rescue Operations, the Rescue Boat Guidelines, and the European Crew Exchange programme.
But Michael also spoke about the challenges the IMRF faces. He pointed out that the IMRF’s ability to progress an increasing number of opportunities for global SAR development has been limited by the resources available to us. CEO Bruce Reid supported this in making his financial report: there had been significant organisational change and progress over the quadrennium, but this came at a cost. The focus is now on increasing IMRF income, to enable us to do the work required of us.
In other business, the QGM agreed to a revision of the IMRF’s constitution – a revision primarily required by changes to the UK legislation under which we work, but which also created a new membership class of ‘Individual Supporter’ (see ‘Join us!’) and improved the way in which IMRF Trustees are appointed. The revised constitution may be found on the IMRF website. Michael and Bruce also discussed the revised strategic plan developed by the outgoing Board: more on this in the October edition of LIFE LINE.
In accordance with our constitution – old and new – a new Board of Trustees was elected, to guide the IMRF through the next quadrennium. Five members of the old Board – Rolf Westerström, Song Jiahui, Hamish McDonald, Brooke Archbold and Michael himself – had retired. They were thanked and applauded by the membership, and received certificates acknowledging their new status as Honorary Members of the IMRF. Thank you, gentlemen!
The full minutes of the QGM are available on the website.