lifeboat stations have the same basic team of individuals who between them keep the
service running at local level known as The Branch. These posts are completely unpaid,
surprising perhaps when you consider that the launching authorities can be wakened in the
middle of the night and expected to make instant responsible decisions or the Lifeboat
Medical Advisor can be called on at any time to attend at a medical emergency.
Branch officials include the Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) (formerly known as and
still often referred to as the Honorary Secretary or Hon Sec), Chairman, Deputy Launching
Authorities (DLA's), Lifeboat Medical Advisor (LMA), Lifeboat Press Officer (LPO) and
Treasurer. Apart from handling all administrative matters for the station the LOM is our
principle Launching Authority. If the Coastguard want us to launch they first page the LOM
and request his approval to launch our lifeboat. In his absence the LOM passes on that
responsibility to one of the DLA's.