SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND
ISSUE 5 | SPRING 2014
PATROL SEASON KICKS OFF The ‘red and yellow’ army of surf lifesavers return to the beach
AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Queensland lifesavers recognised for their outstanding service
QUEENSLAND LIFEGUARDS Australian Lifeguard Service moves from strength to strength
WELCOME Welcome to the fifth edition of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) quarterly publication, Beyond Patrol. It continues to be an exciting time for our organisation and its members, particularly with the peak summer months now just around the corner. On Saturday 20 September we saw more than 8,000 active patrolling members across the state dust off their caps and unfurl the red and yellow flags for the start of the 2014/15 patrol season. Across the summer months and beyond, this ‘red and yellow army’ will spend more than 350,000 volunteer hours watching over and protecting beachgoers across Queensland’s coastline. It is a remarkable effort and a testament to their dedication, training and commitment to beach safety at all levels. Our volunteer members come from all walks of life but, regardless of age, gender or location, they all stand united by a
passion for the ocean and a commitment to our vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters.’ On a personal note, I recently had the pleasure of seeing two long-standing surf lifesavers awarded SLSQ Life Membership. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dave McLean (Marcoola) and Mike Stevens (Ellis Beach), and thank them for their many years of service. With almost eight decades of experience between them, their commitment to the lifesaving movement is both inspiring and unwavering. Our members have also been achieving positive results on the global stage, with many recently making the trek to Montpellier, France, to compete in the RESCUE 2014 Lifesaving World Championships. It was a successful event for local lifesavers, with the Australian national team finishing a close second behind New Zealand, and the youth team comfortably taking out their division.
Congratulations are extended to all athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers who represented their clubs, state and country with pride and distinction. This particular edition of Beyond Patrol provides a wonderful snapshot of the work that our lifeguards and surf lifesavers are doing, both on and off the beach, to safeguard swimmers across the state. There’s no doubt our goal to eliminate drownings is ambitious, and we don’t shy away from that. We remain more committed than ever to expanding our services and leaving no stone unturned as we work towards achieving this ultimate vision. Yours in lifesaving,
John Brennan OAM CEO, Surf Life Saving Queensland
BEYOND PATROL STAFF AND CONTRIBUTERS Writers/Editors: Cameron Ward, Saira Manns Designers: Chloe Koklas, Hannah West
2 | ISSUE 5
PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS OF SLSQ LAUNCHED IN BRISBANE The Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) was officially launched on Monday 8 September 2014 in front of a packed house of dignitaries at Parliament House.
“Each year SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers perform a vital community service along the state’s coastline, watching over millions of beachgoers and saving thousands of lives in the process.
The Parliamentary Friends of SLSQ was formed as a bi-partisan group for all members of Parliament to support, promote and actively engage with the state’s peak authority on beach and coastal safety.
“We welcome this announcement and look forward to working closely with our Parliamentary Friends to promote SLSQ’s role on the beach and out in the community as we strive to achieve our overall vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’,” he said.
Moving forward the group will be cochaired by Michael Hart MP, State Member for Burleigh, and Fiona Simpson MP, State Member for Maroochydore and Speaker of the Queensland Parliament. SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan applauded the initiative, and said he was looking forward to working directly with members of Parliament to save lives on Queensland beaches and waterways.
State Member for Burleigh, Michael Hart MP, said he was pleased to help launch the initiative. “From Coolangatta to the Cape, more than 30,000 members of the surf lifesaving community volunteered their time in the last patrolling season alone,” he said. “As a patrolling surf lifesaver at Pacific SLSC, I know the hard work and dedication it takes to keep our beaches safe, which will
include roughly 350,000 patrol hours in the upcoming Queensland season,” he said. State Member for Maroochydore and Speaker of the Queensland Parliament Fiona Simpson said the Parliamentary Friends of SLSQ would support the lifesaving movement in Queensland and its vision moving forward. “I value the great community service these wonderful volunteers provide to keep our beaches safe. The Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving Queensland group will allow us to be even more intentional as to how we can continue to support them,” she said. Last year SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers collectively spent 354,246 hours on patrol, and combined with lifeguards to perform 494,710 preventative actions, 12,990 first aid treatments and, most importantly, save 3,536 lives.
“The surf lifesaving movement has a long and proud history in Queensland, and right across Australia for that matter,” Mr Brennan said.
The Parliamentary Friends of SLSQ was formed as a bipartisan group for all members of Parliament to support, promote and actively engage with the state’s peak authority on beach and coastal safety. Premier Campbell Newman with lifesavers Caitlin and Tom
BEYOND PATROL | 3
CLAMPING DOWN ON CROCODILE MANAGEMENT Each and every year, millions of people from all over the world flock to Queensland for its coastal lifestyle and beautiful beaches. But while Queensland is home to kilometres of unrivalled coastline, it is also home to a range of unique, and potentially dangerous, marine creatures. This is particularly pertinent to our surf lifesavers and lifeguards in the north, with the same beaches they patrol also serving as the natural habitat for a number of these native creatures, including marine stingers and crocodiles. The process of managing and responding to the threat of crocodiles is a daily challenge for lifesavers on North Queensland beaches. It’s an ongoing process that sees them work closely with local councils and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to protect swimmers and ensure their time at the beach is as safe as possible. Lifesavers are constantly on alert, with extensive safety measures in place to ensure quick response and reporting.
Estuarine crocodiles are known to live between Gladstone and Cape York Peninsula, and throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria. Although most commonly seen in tidal reaches of rivers, they also live in freshwater lagoons, rivers, and swamps hundreds of kilometres inland from the coast. They can even be found along beaches and around offshore islands in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait. SLSQ’s role in crocodile management
There are two species of crocodile which exist in northern Australia – the estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni). Freshwater crocodiles are most common in the inland waterways of northern Australia. In Queensland, they are found in the rivers and swamps of Cape York Peninsula, areas bordering the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north-west, while east coast populations exist in the upper Herbert River, the Burdekin River catchment and the Ross River.
4 | ISSUE 5
Once a sighting is confirmed, lifeguards and/or lifesavers will immediately request that all swimmers vacate the water and remain clear, before closing the beach to the public until such a time that the crocodile is either no longer present or deemed a risk to the bathing public.
As the state’s peak authority on coastal safety, SLSQ plays a key role in estuarine crocodile management, working in consultation with regional councils, government departments and external agencies to protect beachgoers from these potentially dangerous marine creatures.
During this time, SLSQ will work closely with representatives from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services to record as much information about the crocodile as possible, while also liaising with beachgoers to communicate these processes and keep them out of harm’s way.
At a government level, SLSQ is proactively engaged through its seat on the North Queensland Community Advisory Group for Crocodile Management. This sees SLSQ representatives having a direct input into the Queensland Government’s policy and strategic approach to crocodiles.
SLSQ officials are also active at a local government level, with the organisation having signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Cairns Regional Council, Townsville Regional Council and Hinchinbrook Shire Council.
North Queensland crocodiles Like all marine creatures, crocodiles are a natural part of the aquatic environment and, while attacks on humans are rare, they remain a genuine threat to residents and tourists alike. With that in mind, there’s a lot of work carried out by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) behind the scenes to better educate and protect swimmers, while reducing the risk of an attack.
The priority is public safety and there is a strong focus on adopting preventative and proactive approaches to ensure maximum protection.
On the ground, SLSQ’s lifesavers and lifeguards also play an equally important and, at times, hands-on role when it comes to monitoring beaches for crocodile activity and responding accordingly in the event of a sighting. Given the nature of their jobs, surf lifesavers and lifeguards will often be the first line of defence when it comes to protecting members of the public. It’s an important responsibility and one that SLSQ certainly takes seriously. With that in mind, SLSQ has developed state-wide policies and procedures which aim to protect both swimmers and crocodiles, and minimise the risk of an attack. Amongst other things, these policies outline what actions lifesavers and lifeguards should take after a reported crocodile sighting, when and how they will close a beach, and what steps should be taken immediately after an attack.
The MOUs touch on a variety of preventative and reactive measures, encompassing education, training, beach signage, and crocodile relocation and protection, among other things. The collaborative partnership seeks to balance community safety and conservation, while using a strategic approach for managing these potentially dangerous creatures. Away from the beach SLSQ also focuses on increasing community awareness, with lifesavers delivering crocodile safety messages through a range of educational initiatives including school talks and the annual Breaka Beach to Bush program. In central and North Queensland, SLSQ works with local councils to place yellow warning signs at access points to waterways where crocodiles have been sighted.
CROCODILE SAFETY TIPS • Obey crocodile warning signs;
• Always supervise children;
• N ever swim in water where crocodiles have recently been sighted;
• N ever provoke, harass or feed crocodiles;
• N ever stand at the water’s edge or on an overhanging log - stand a few metres back for fishing or cast netting;
• N ever leave food scraps, fish frames or bait at the water’s edge, near a camp site or boat ramp, as this may attract crocodiles to the area;
• A sk surf lifesavers and lifeguards for advice before entering the water; and • I mmediately report any crocodile sightings to the relevant authorities.
VOLUNTEERS REWARDED AT SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND’S NIGHT OF NIGHTS The annual Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) Awards of Excellence Gala Ball was recently held in Brisbane to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our members throughout the 2013/14 season. The awards seek to recognise exceptional commitment to lifesaving, surf sports and youth development, as well as members of the community who have worked with surf life saving to improve beach safety and awareness. SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan commended all recipients on their involvement across all areas of the movement. “This is the one time of the year when we all come together and celebrate the fantastic work we [SLSQ] have achieved over the past 12 months,” Mr Brennan said. “We appreciate every member’s involvement but the award winners tonight have gone above and beyond to keep Queensland beaches safe.”
6 | ISSUE 5
Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) club captain and director of lifesaving Daniel Capps was named Surf Lifesaver of the Year.
Mr Brennan paid tribute to both gentlemen, saying the awards reflected their commitment to the lifesaving movement.
Dan has played an integral role in the extension of patrolling services at Noosa Main and West Beaches, and assisted local clubs including Sunshine Beach and Peregian Beach SLSCs. He performed a staggering 120 hours on patrol last season, and has lead the club to an overall membership increase of more than 40 per cent in the past two years.
“These awards are the top honours for the lifesaving movement in Queensland and, on behalf of SLSQ, I extend my congratulations to Rob and Dan for being recognised with such prestigious accolades. They are a credit to not only their clubs but also SLSQ as a whole,” Mr Brennan said.
Dicky Beach SLSC member Robert Campbell took out two of SLSQ’s highest honours, named Volunteer of the Year as well as the Clive Hammond OAM Gold Medallist. Rob has dedicated himself to surf lifesaving over the past 15 years and has made exceptional contributions to the organisation at Club, Branch, State and National level, particularly in the realm of youth development and membership sustainability.
“Their dedication to the movement and tireless work to assist members is something SLSQ is very grateful for. Rob and Dan’s efforts across all areas of surf life saving, including training, communications and patrolling, shows they are worthy recipients of these prestigious awards.”
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and Robert Campbell, Dicky Beach SLSC
Nicholas Crow, Kurrawa SLSC
Robert Campbell – Clive Hammond OAM Gold Medal and Volunteer of the Year
2014 U14 Breaka Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year
Surf Life Saving Awards • C live Hammond Gold Medal – Robert Campbell (Dicky Beach)
• S urf Lifesaver of the Year – Daniel Capps (Noosa Heads)
• L ifeguard of the Year – Timothy Wilson (South East Queensland) • V olunteer of the Year – Robert Campbell (Dicky Beach) • Club of the Year – Mermaid Beach AEME • T rainer of the Year – Gary Williams (Ellis Beach) • A ssessor of the Year – Michael Stevens (Ellis Beach) • C ommunity Education Program of the Year – Noosa Heads Lifesaving Excellence Awards • O utstanding Rescue – Emily Schofield (Surfers Paradise) • O utstanding Rescue – Steve Wieland, Gary Wilkie, Justin Fay, Steve Dunn, Corey
Stone, Chris Schultz & Chris Howell (Maroochydore) Outstanding Rescue – Joel Di Trapani & Scott Stephenson (Point Lookout) Outstanding Resuscitation and Rescue – Sandra Middleton & Eve West (Point Lookout) Outstanding Rescue – Scott Dineen (Surfers Paradise) Outstanding Rescue – Zoe Jolley (Tannum Sands)
Youth Awards • U14 Breaka Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Nicholas Crow (Kurrawa) • U18 Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Christie Short (Northcliffe) • 18-25 Young Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Shannon Morgan (Townsville Picnic Bay) • Youth Development Club of the Year – Noosa Heads • Andy Frizzell OAM, OBE Award for Services to Junior Activities – Kevin Schofield (Pacific)
Sports Awards • The Presidents Cup – Alexandra Headland • R ookie Official of the Year – Robyn Groom (Moore Park) • O fficial of the Year – Bronwyn Champness (Alexandra Headland) • C oach of the Year – Brett Robinson (Currumbin) • R ookie Coach of the Year – Julie Arbeithuber (Eimeo) • T eam Manager of the Year – Marsha Maynard (Currumbin) & Leigh Hartland (Mooloolaba) • A thlete of the Year – Shannon Eckstein (Northcliffe) • J unior Athlete of the Year – Jarrod Shute (Northcliffe) • M asters Athlete of the Year – Kylie Zikarsky (Alexandra Headland) • T eam of the Year – The Tugun Hunters (Tugun)
Daniel Capps, Noosa Heads SLSC
Zoe Jolley, Tannum Sands SLSC
2014 Surf Lifesaver of the Year
Lifesaving Excellence Award – Outstanding Rescue
BEYOND PATROL | 7
8 | ISSUE 5
THE ‘RED AND YELLOW ARMY’ MARCHES BACK ONTO OUR BEACHES FOR SUMMER The weather’s warming up and the peak summer months are just around the corner, which means it’s time for Queensland’s army of surf lifesavers to dust off their red and yellow caps and clock on for another season of beach patrols. A wave of 8,000-plus volunteer surf lifesavers from across Queensland returned to the state’s beaches on Saturday 20 September, when SLSQ officially kicked off its 2014/15 patrol season. The summer season will see surf lifesavers from Forrest Beach to Rainbow Bay raise the red and yellow flags on Queensland beaches every weekend and public holiday through to April 2015. Lifesavers in North Queensland will continue with their regular patrols through to November before taking a well-earned break. SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill is expecting large crowds of beachgoers this
summer and, with that in mind, he urged swimmers to take care and put safety first when venturing into the ocean.
well so everyone enjoys the water safely, and remembers their trip to the beach for all the right reasons,” he said.
“The summer months are obviously a great time to head down to the beach with family and friends, but it’s important that people don’t lose sight of their own personal safety in the process,” Mr Hill said.
Last season proved to be a busy one for SLSQ’s volunteer members, with lifesavers spending more than 350,000 hours on patrol. During this time they performed 3,373 first aid treatments, 118,786 preventative actions and – most importantly – directly saved the lives of 2,137 swimmers who found themselves in trouble and out of their depth in the ocean.
“When the sun’s out and the beaches are busy, it’s really important that people follow the advice of lifesavers and lifeguards, and only swim at patrolled beaches and between the red and yellow flags. “Just one silly mistake, or moment of madness, can have tragic and long-term consequences, not only for the individuals involved, but also for their family and friends as well.
Tragically, despite these efforts, there were still seven preventable beach-related drownings recorded across the state. While this decreased from nine during the previous year, Mr Hill said it was still far too many.
“This summer, we’re really encouraging all beachgoers to take care of themselves, but also look out for their family and friends as
“It’s obviously pleasing to see a downward trend, and that’s a genuine testament to the efforts of our volunteer lifesavers, Ü
BEYOND PATROL | 9
professional lifeguards and beachgoers alike,” he said. “However, as far as we’re concerned, even one drowning is one too many. Our overarching goal as an organisation is to achieve ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’ and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to strive towards. “Everything we do as an organisation – right from the boardroom to our administration staff and through to our volunteers on the beach – is focused solely on saving lives and protecting swimmers,” Mr Hill said. Importantly, SLSQ’s operations support will also be out in force across the summer months, ensuring our reach extends far beyond the red and yellow flagged areas. Over the next six months, SLSQ’s regular beach patrols will be supported by a variety of additional services and equipment, including rescue water crafts and jet rescue boats for in-water patrolling, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, increased beach surveillance through our network of coastal cameras, and a dawn patrol service which continues to operate 365 days of the year on the Gold Coast. Digital radio upgrade Surf lifesavers across South East Queensland will move into the new season with advanced and upgraded communications technology, after a transition to digital radios was successfully completed during the winter months. The substantial operation, which began with narrowbanding almost three years ago, has seen SLSQ upgrade more than 250 radios along with all repeater sites from Hervey Bay to Rainbow Bay. The digital technology will be rolled out across the rest of the state throughout the next 18 months. Mr Hill said the transition to digital radio technology would provide enormous benefits to surf lifesavers across South East Queensland’s coastline.
10 | ISSUE 5
“It’s a significant upgrade and certainly a boost to our internal communications capacity. Digital radio technology will provide lifesavers with enhanced radio clarity, better coverage, greater reception and increased security. Importantly, there’s also GPS tracking which has the added benefit of increasing member safety,” he said. Surf safety camera network This season, surf lifesavers will once again have an additional lifesaving weapon up their sleeves with cutting-edge technology allowing for 24-hour, round-the-clock surveillance at selected beaches and ‘hot spots’ across the state. More than 25 cameras are now positioned at various locations along Queensland’s coastline, significantly improving the surveillance capacities of surf lifesavers and providing them with direct access to a live stream of information on surf conditions, wave height and beach usage.
This season, surf lifesavers will once again have an additional lifesaving weapon up their sleeves with cutting-edge technology allowing for 24-hour, round-theclock surveillance at selected beaches and ‘hot spots’ across the state.
“One of the flow-on benefits of the cameras is they also provide us with an invaluable opportunity to review footage and assess the performance of lifesavers during peak periods, patrols and rescues as part of our commitment to continuous improvement across all areas of our operations,” he said. Two new coastal cameras were installed last season, one adjacent to Sea World Resort and the second at Tallebudgera Creek. Moving forward, three additional cameras will be installed across Wide Bay Capricorn this year at Palmers Creek, Mon Repos and Elliott River Mouth. Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service Our ‘eye in the sky’, SLSQ’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service will once again be a regular sight along South East Queensland’s coastline this summer, protecting beachgoers and providing vital support to our lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach. Across the peak summer months the helicopter will conduct surf patrols each weekend on the Gold Coast, South and North Stradbroke Islands, Moreton Island, Bribie Island and the Sunshine Coast. Daily patrols will also be conducted throughout school holiday periods. Importantly, the helicopter will remain active and on-call 365 days per year to respond to major incidents along with search and rescue taskings. Emergency Response Groups
Mr Hill said the advanced technology was proving to be a vital tool for lifesavers as they seek to improve safety and prevent drownings on Queensland beaches. “Obviously we’d love to have lifesavers in all places at once but that’s simply not possible. The cameras have been strategically positioned to monitor activity on high-risk beaches, both in and out of the flagged areas, and enable much faster response times to any emergency situations that may arise,” he said.
SLSQ’s emergency response groups (ERGs) continue to grow from strength to strength and remain a key focus area moving into the new season. The ERGs are designed to be an after-hours callout service to support other emergency agencies through the provision of skills and equipment during times of need. Importantly, SLSQ now has ERGs established and operating in all regions across Queensland.
OUR EMILY IS PRIDE OF AUSTRALIA Surf lifesavers across the state put their bodies on the line to serve and protect Queensland beachgoers. Often facing unruly, treacherous surf conditions, it takes a great deal of courage to perform a surf rescue whilst battling crashing waves, rip currents and strong sweeps. It takes an even greater deal of courage to perform 25 rescues in one day. At just 16 years of age, Emily Schofield from Surfers Paradise SLSC is a shining example of the courageous spirit of Surf Life Saving. In recognition of her outstanding actions on a busy December day last year, Emily has been announced as a national finalist in the 2014 Pride of Australia awards for the Outstanding Bravery Medal. The award category seeks to recognise an Australian, or group of Australians, who, through their act or acts of bravery, helped save or attempted to save a life.
Emily has been announced as a national finalist in the 2014 Pride of Australia awards for the Outstanding Bravery Medal after rescuing 25 people in one day. Emily helped save the lives of 25 people from rough seas at Surfers Paradise late last year. The off-duty surf lifesaver, then just 15 years old, was enjoying a day at the beach when she spotted many swimmers
being swept out by a powerful rip. Emily spent four hours battling swell and tough conditions to paddle them back in on her board. “It was hard because I’d never done that many (rescues) before,” Emily said at the time.
Emily was also recently honoured by SLSQ, presented with the Medal for Lifesaving Excellence Outstanding Rescue. “I was also scared I might not get to all of them in time, but it was a flood of relief when I did.”
It’s been a big year of recognition for the young surf lifesaver, who was presented with the inaugural award for ‘Rescue of the Month’ on behalf of Surfers Paradise SLSC at a special presentation ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra earlier this year. Emily was also recently honoured by SLSQ, presented with the Jack Dearlove MBE Medal for Lifesaving Excellence Outstanding Rescue at the Awards of Excellence Gala Ball held in August. Next in line is the Pride of Australia National Medal Ceremony to be held in early December, broadcast by Network Ten.
LIFEGUARDS CONTINUE THEIR WATCH ACROSS QUEENSLAND The red and yellow is an iconic sight on Queensland beaches. While many people will instantly recognise the patrol uniform as belonging to volunteer surf lifesavers, it is sometimes vastly lesser-known that Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) also provides professional lifeguard services to local governments, land managers and private resorts around the state. Backed by more than a century of surf lifesaving experience, the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) is the largest provider of professional lifeguards in Queensland. The service encompasses 79 individual services on beaches and lagoons across the state, many of which are open every day of the year. SLSQ employs 364 lifeguards on a permanent and casual basis, a number which has more than doubled since 2010. In 2013/14, these lifeguards performed 375,924 preventative actions, 9,649 first aid treatments, and, most importantly, saved 1,399 lives. Extremely passionate about the industry, 80 per cent of ALS Queensland staff have worked as professional lifeguards for more than four years. Locations patrolled along the Queensland coastline include, but are not limited to, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Brisbane’s Southbank Parklands, as well as selected locations on the Gold Coast. Expansion of services ALS Queensland continues to be recognised as an industry leader for its professionalism, as reflected by strong growth in recent years through the extension and expansion of key service contracts. These services are set to continue across this season, according to ALS Queensland chief lifeguard Gregory Cahill. “ALS lifeguards will again return to Tallebudgera Creek, previously identified as one of the state’s top five drowning
12 | ISSUE 5
black spots, following the effective implementation of patrols during a 12-month trial in conjunction with Neptune Royal Life Saving Club, the Queensland Government and Gold Coast City Council,” Mr Cahill said. “Last year also saw the introduction of other new services on the Gold Coast, including mid-week patrols at Southport Broadwater across the peak summer months, as well as a daily patrol service at Paradise Point across the Christmas and Easter holidays.” During the first year of operation across these three Gold Coast locations, ALS Queensland lifeguards performed 8,202 preventative actions, 341 first aid treatments, and saved the lives of 240 people. Since partnering with the Sunshine Coast Council two years ago, the size of the service has almost doubled across the state. “ALS lifeguards have settled in well and had great success on the Sunshine Coast, recently taking control of mid-week rescue water craft (RWC) patrols during school holidays,” Mr Cahill said. “In their first two years of the service across the region [including Noosa], ALS lifeguards performed 89,385 preventative actions, 5,332 first aid treatments, and saved the lives of 520 people.” Further north, new services were also recently introduced at locations including Kurrimine Beach and the Cassowary Coast. Upskilling of staff A leader in the aquatic safety industry, ALS Queensland sets an international benchmark through nationally-accredited training, highly-skilled staff and detailed standard operating practices. ALS lifeguards are required to undertake regular fitness testing and professional development during the year to ensure they maintain their rescue, first aid, resuscitation and beach management capabilities.
As well as the expansion of services, ALS Queensland has also recently had a strong focus on upskilling its staff through a variety of training and awards. Last year, five lifeguards completed a Certificate III in Aviation to qualify as helicopter rescue crewmen with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.
Backed by more than a century of surf lifesaving experience, the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) is the largest provider of professional lifeguards in Queensland. Further training and personal development of ALS Queensland staff included: • All lifeguards completed a nationally recognised unit of competency for RWC operation • E ighty lifeguards completed their Silver Medallion Advanced First Aid Certificate • S eventy lifeguards completed their Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue • T hirty lifeguards completed their Certificate III in Public Safety • S ix lifeguards completed internal audit training, delivered by SAI Global. The outstanding professionalism of ALS lifeguards is recognised annually through the Lifeguard of the Year Award, with this year’s Queensland Lifeguard of the Year awarded to Timothy Wilson for his outstanding work at Tallebudgera Creek and Stradbroke Island throughout 2013/14. Looking to the future, ALS Queensland will continue to work in cooperation and consultation with SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers to collaboratively make Queensland beaches safer as we strive to achieve our vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’.
BEYOND PATROL | 13
SURF LIFESAVING TAKES ON AN INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR The surf lifesaving movement is an integral part of Australia’s history, epitomising the lifestyle and values that are ingrained in our culture. However, while the iconic image of the Australian surf lifesaver with tanned skin and blonde hair is famous across the world, it is actually a long way from reality.
However, with continued support from the State Government, SLSQ is providing opportunities to increase its engagement with multicultural communities so people from CALD backgrounds can join the surf lifesaving movement as fully-fledged volunteer members.
“On The Same Wave provides wonderful support to people from culturally diverse backgrounds including migrants and refugees, welcoming them into the iconic lifesaving movement and equipping them with vital water safety skills at the same time,” he said.
Today, Queensland’s surf lifesavers come from all walks of life, encompassing dozens of ethnicities, cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. It’s not uncommon to visit one of our state’s beautiful beaches and find men and women on patrol from the Middle East, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.
The program is currently training a number of surf lifesavers from various culturallydiverse backgrounds who are completing their Bronze Medallion training via the popular Brisbane Lifesaving Service. Importantly, CALD members can also join in a land-based capacity and obtain qualifications in first aid and beach observation while working with trainers to further develop their in-water skills.
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan also praised the initiative, warmly welcoming the latest group of CALD recruits into the lifesaving movement.
Multiculturalism is celebrated and embraced, with the only requirements for getting involved in the lifesaving movement being a commitment to coastal safety and a desire to give back to the community. Since 2010 SLSQ has partnered with the Queensland Government to deliver the On The Same Wave (OTSW) program. To date, this program has focused heavily on educating people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) about beach safety and, last year alone, directly reached more than 45,000 people.
This new wave of multicultural volunteers will be patrolling Queensland beaches this summer, interacting with migrants and international tourists in an effort to uphold our vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’. Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes said the Queensland Government was proud of its continuing support for the program.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what your nationality of origin is, if you have a passion for the surf and an interest in giving back to the community there’ll be a place for you in the surf lifesaving family,” he said.
Proud Program Supporter
It is the generous involvement of our partners that enables us to continue to keep our beaches safe. Surf Life Saving Queensland would like to thank these organisations for their ongoing support.
SLSQ’s 2013/14 Annual Report reflects the significant growth and development our organisation has achieved across the past 12 months, both on and off the beach. As the state’s peak authority on beach and coastal safety, we remain committed expanding and improving services at all levels in a bid to eliminate the drowning cycle.
BEYOND PATROL | 15
â€œThe proceeds we generate go towards the purchase of vital lifesaving equipment and also enable the ongoing support and work our surf lifesavers do in saving lives every day.â€?
ANYONE CAN SAVE A LIFE. LEARN FIRST AID. For course bookings and enquiries, contact: 1300 766 257 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alaq.com.au
The latest edition of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s quarterly magazine, Beyond Patrol, takes you behind the scenes as we reflect on the rece...