07.12.2014 Dr. Chris Brooks - Honorary Member of the IASST

The Directors of IASST are pleased to announce Dr. Chris Brooks' as an Honorary Member of the IASST.  Dr. Brooks recently attended the Seminar Days 27-28 October 2014 hosted by Survival Systems Limited at the 65th Meeting & Seminar held in Halifax where he was granted this well deserved position.

Dr. Chris Brooks is a physician, scientist, and inventor. He was born in Cheshire in the UK and graduated from Manchester University in 1964, whereupon he joined the Royal Navy. He then became the first medical officer in the new Polaris nuclear submarine HMS Renown. Following three years at sea, he became a busy family practitioner in Nottingham before emigrating to Carlyle, Saskatchewan, Canada and then joining the Canadian Navy. He was posted to Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, Nova Scotia. Here he spent considerable time suspended over the Atlantic Ocean from the end of the hoist of the Sea King helicopter rescuing injured fishermen from stern trawlers. This is where he developed his interest in survival equipment and a healthy respect for Sea King aircrew. As a result, he was posted for 14 years to the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine in Toronto where he implemented an underwater breathing apparatus for helicopter crews, and designed the new Canadian Air Force pneumatic lifejacket and a ship abandonment suit for the Navy. For this contribution to saving lives he was appointed to the Order of Military Merit. 

He has published or presented over 75 papers on various human factors aspects of survival suits, helicopter ditchings, life rafts, marine survival and drowning. He has written the only English textbook on lifejackets and two other textbooks; one on surviving a helicopter ditching and one on emergency breathing systems for helicopter underwater escape. For his contribution to improving safety conditions for all those who fly offshore, he was presented with the Sir James Martin gold medal by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1998. In both 2000 and 2002, he received the Joe Haley award for the best paper published in the Aerospace Medical Journal in the area of rotary wing aviation medicine. He co-shares five patents on helicopter escape exits. 

Dr. Brooks has a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in Occupational Medicine and holds a Diploma in Aviation Medicine from Farnborough. He held the position of Director, Research and Development, for Survival Systems Limited from 1998 to 2009 and is still an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University in the Faculty of Health and Human Performance. He continues to provide consultant advice on all aspects of aviation and marine survival to Survival Systems Ltd. 

His wife Elaine and best friend of 53 years comes from the Rossendale Forest in the UK, and they have two sons. One is a Queens University Mechanical Engineer with an MSc. in Human Engineering from Loughborough University. Their other son is a physician from the University of Western Ontario with an FRCP in infectious diseases. James, this son is the sixthteenth physician in the family and the second of the fourth generation. Chris and Elaine have seven grandchildren. 

Dr. Brooks continues to practice as a consultant in aviation and occupational medicine, recently assisting the Transportation Safety Board of Canada with the S92 ditching off Newfoundland, and the Transport Canada Marine Safety Branch, researching the problems with the design of infant life jackets. More recently, he was appointed by the Privy Council to be a federal medical judge as a member of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.