SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND
ISSUE 8 | 2015
AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Queensland’s top surf lifesavers honoured
STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-20 Strategic Plan signals the launch of a new era
SURF EDUCATION Record growth for SLSQ’s educational programs
WELCOME On behalf of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), I would like to welcome you to the latest edition of our quarterly publication, Beyond Patrol. The past few months have continued to be an extraordinarily busy time for our organisation. While the cooler temperatures have naturally led to a drop off in the number of Queensland beachgoers, that doesn’t mean our efforts to save lives have diminished. In fact, across the winter months, a tremendous amount of planning and preparation has taken place behind the scenes to ensure that our staff and members are well-positioned with the necessary structures and resources in place come the peak summer patrol period. With the 2014/15 season officially coming to a close, it provides a wonderful opportunity for SLSQ to reflect on its achievements across the past 12 months. Last year alone our professional lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers combined to perform 648,831
preventative actions, 19,105 first aid treatments and save 3,648 lives. In addition, our community awareness team directly educated 601,693 about beach safety, an increase of 59 per cent when compared to the previous season. These are remarkable figures and, if nothing else, continue to reaffirm the crucial role our staff and members play along Queensland’s coastline each and every year. Off the beach, our organisation has been just as busy. Recently, we honoured some of the state’s top surf lifesavers at SLSQ’s 2014/15 Awards of Excellence Gala, while Queensland athletes competed with distinction at the Australian Pool Rescue Championships on the Gold Coast. SLSQ also recently held its 85th Annual General Meeting, resulting in a number of key changes to our governing board. Outgoing Deputy President Barry Woodger
and long-time board member David McLean have been replaced by Mark Fife OAM and Tanya O’Shea respectively. On behalf of SLSQ and its members, I wish to thank Barry and David for their outstanding commitment, contribution and tireless efforts during their tenure on the Board. I also extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Mark and Tanya. As we look forward to the peak summer months, we remain more committed than ever to protecting beachgoers and eliminating drownings across the state. Yours in lifesaving,
John Brennan OAM CEO, Surf Life Saving Queensland
Surf Life Saving Queensland 18 Manning Street, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101 t. 07 3846 8000 | w. lifesaving.com.au BEYOND PATROL STAFF AND CONTRIBUTERS Writers/Editors: Cameron Ward, Saira Manns Designers: Chloe Koklas, Hannah West
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2015-20 STRATEGIC PLAN SIGNALS LAUNCH OF A NEW ERA FOR SLSQ Since its inception more than a century ago, the surf lifesaving movement in Queensland has provided a vital service to the community. The first official rescue was recorded on a Queensland beach in 1909 and, since then, more than 125,000 lives have been directly saved by SLSQ’s red and yellow army of volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards. From these humble beginnings, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has developed into an innovative and groundbreaking organisation encompassing 58 clubs and more than 30,000 highly skilled men and women across the state. It is an organisation steeped in history and, recently, SLSQ launched an exciting new era with the release of a five-year strategic plan, running through to the end of 2020. The result of extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholder groups, the strategic plan is designed to build on SLSQ’s history of success and lay a core foundation for sustained growth and development in all regions across the state.
The plan will also see SLSQ adopt, and move forward with, an updated overarching vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’. Importantly, SLSQ has already started to implement this vision, ahead of the peak summer months and the launch of SLSQ’s volunteer patrol season. Chief executive officer John Brennan OAM said the 2015-2020 strategic plan sought to reflect the organization’s recent growth and expansion, while also aiming to solidify SLSQ’s position as the state’s peak authority on coastal and aquatic safety. “The surf lifesaving movement has a long and proud history in Queensland, dating all the way back to the early 1900s when the first recorded rescue was performed off the coast of Greenmount Beach using a traditional belt and reel,” Mr Brennan said. “Over the years our services have expanded and our technology has evolved, but one thing that will never change is our unwavering commitment to saving lives and protecting Queensland swimmers.
core focus and vision, but it’s important to recognise that this now comprises just one arm of our wide-reaching and increasingly diverse organization. “Our new vision and strategic plan captures this development and helps ensure that, in addition to protecting Queensland beachgoers, we’re also in a strong position to prevent drownings in other bodies of water including rivers, dams, public pools and flood waters,” he said. Mr Brennan said SLSQ would strive to continue to set the benchmark in lifesaving service provision, rescue practices, emergency care, training and education as it sought to make public waterways safer for everyone. “We saw first hand during the 2011 floods across Brisbane what a key role we can play away from the beach in disasters and times of need, and we’ll continue to explore how our skills and expertise can benefit all Queenslanders, both on and off the beach.”
“Preventing drownings along the state’s coastline has been, and always will be, our
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SURF EDUCATION TEAM MAKES WAVES ACROSS THE STATE The past 12 months has seen Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) achieve a major organisational milestone, having educated more than 600,000 people across the state about surf and aquatic safety. From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015, SLSQ’s community awareness team directly engaged with, and educated, a total of 601,693 people, providing them with the knowledge and skills to keep themselves and others safe on their next trip to the beach. Importantly, this represents an impressive 59% increase in engagement when compared to the corresponding period of time last year, and marks the first time in its history that SLSQ has educated in excess of 600,000 people from the general public during a reporting year. SLSQ community awareness manager Helen Hallett said the organisation invested a considerable amount of time and resources into community awareness each year, on the back of a strong belief that an educated beachgoer was far less likely to end up in trouble while in the water. “Community awareness and education continues to be a huge focus area for SLSQ; in fact, most people probably don’t actually realise the amount of work that we do away from the red and yellow flags to help keep people safe on the beach and in the water,” Mrs Hallett said. “There’s a great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes to support the on-beach efforts of our volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards as we work towards achieving our overall goal of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’. “The idea is to educate people about water safety before they even step foot on the beach. We want to give people the skills, knowledge and awareness to make educated choices about their safety and, ultimately, reduce the risk of beachgoers putting themselves and possibly others at risk.
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“To surpass half-a-million people across the past 12 months, educating more than 600,000 potential beachgoers, is a tremendous result for our organisation. There’s no doubt it’s a lot of work for our volunteers and staff but, if their efforts help save the lives of just one or two people in the process, then it’s more than worth it,” she said. While many of SLSQ’s community and public awareness initiatives are designed to educate all members of the community, Mrs Hallett said there were also a series of programs which have been tailored towards specific, high-risk, groups of people.
international and domestic tourists who may not be familiar with Queensland’s coastal conditions. “To counter that, we introduced a program at the Gold Coast Airport where surf lifesavers greet tourists as they exit their flights and provide them with vital surf safety information. This ensures they have information on how to stay safe on the beach before they’ve even left their airport. “We also regularly hold surf safety sessions at universities, office workplaces, indigenous community centres and multicultural festivals to further spread the beach safety message,” she said. Key education programs:
“Community awareness and education continues to be a huge focus area for SLSQ; in fact, most people probably don’t actually realise the amount of work that we do away from the red and yellow flags to help keep people safe on the beach and in the water.” “Our research continues to demonstrate that there are certain demographical groups of people who are more at risk of drowning or sustaining an injury at the beach than others, so they’re obviously a priority and key focus area for us,” she said. “Generally speaking, these groups include males aged between 18 to 25 years, rural populations, international tourists and people from multicultural backgrounds. With that in mind, we’ve tailored a number of programs which are specifically designed to educate and reduce drowning figures amongst these groups of people. “For example, historically, there has been a high rate of fatalities and injuries amongst
• On The Same Wave – an educational initiative which sees SLSQ engage with migrants, refugees and other people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, providing them with surf safety information in their primary language. The program reaches more than 150,000 people each year. • Q ueensland Health Beach Safe Schools – developed to educate primary students about surf and water safety, dangerous marine creatures and the importance of sun safety, this program reached more than 54,000 children last season alone. • B reaka Beach to Bush – designed to reduce the rate of drowning incidents among children from regional and rural areas, this initiative saw trained surf lifesavers visit rural and remote locations to educate almost 5,000 school children last year. • Gold Coast Beach Safe – this airport welcoming service sees surf lifesavers provide information to tourists and visitors as soon as they step off the plan, including a free map listing every patrolled beach. Last year more than 137,000 people received surf safety information through this initiative.
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POLICE PARTNERSHIP TAKES SLSQ TO NEW HEIGHTS On the evening of 21 August 2014, two offenders forced their way into a home in the Brisbane suburb of Heathwood, 21km outside the city centre, assaulting the occupant before fleeing the site with computer equipment. Responding to the victim’s triple-zero call, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) tasked one of its dedicated police helicopters – Polair 2 – which had recently been launched from its base at Archerfield Airport. Employing state-of-the-art electro-optics, the twin-engine BO-105 successfully located the suspects fleeing through nearby bushland, before guiding police officers to their location where they were swiftly apprehended. Since its official launch in 2012, the QPS’ helicopter service has proven to be a valuable tool in preventing, detecting and solving crime across the state, while also providing crucial support to front-line officers on the ground. While the state’s two police helicopters – Polair 1 and 2 – have fast become an iconic and regular sight across the south east skyline, behind the scenes, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has been playing a key role when it comes to delivering this crucial service to the community. Back in 2012, following an extensive selection process, SLSQ was successful in its bid to supply helicopter services to the QPS. It was an historic moment for SLSQ and one that would see the organisation purchase a dedicated helicopter (Polair 1) to be based at its Carrara hangar on the Gold Coast for the sole use of police operations. Since then the partnership has expanded to include the operation of a second SLSQ helicopter for aerial policing duties in Brisbane, based at Archerfield Airport (Polair 2). The Polair service flies for approximately 40 hours each week, with flights a combination of regular proactive patrols and reactive missions in response to calls for assistance. Each flight is crewed by two of QPS’ tactical flight officers and one of SLSQ’s experienced pilots.
One of the men responsible for taking charge of the aircrafts is the chief pilot of SLSQ’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, Paul Gibson. Mr Gibson, who boasts almost three decades of aviation industry experience, said the partnership between SLSQ and the QPS was one built on shared objectives and success. “As an organisation, the QPS is still relatively young when it comes to helicopter patrols and that’s an area where SLSQ has been able to assist,” he said. “For almost four decades now SLSQ has provided an important aerial service to the Queensland community through our Westpac helicopters. During this time, our operations have expanded significantly, to the point where crews are not only performing regular coastal patrols, but they’re also tasked to assist with search and rescue missions away from the beach.”
“As far as SLSQ and the QPS go, both organisations are committed to protecting and serving members of the community, so there are a lot of synergies there.” Mr Gibson is currently one of eight SLSQ pilots assigned to fly the Polair helicopters and described it as challenging, but rewarding, work. “At the end of the day it’s still flying a helicopter, but it’s a different style of flying compared to what we would normally do for beach patrols. You’re still working closely with a team of crewmembers but, instead of surf lifesavers and lifeguards, they just happen to be police officers,” he said. “Given the nature of the operations, you need to have a genuine appreciation and understanding of the tactical scenarios unfolding below. There’s a lot of planning and preparation involved, but you also need to think quickly and react accordingly.
For example, if an offender quickly changes position and moves to the other side of a house or building, you may need to accelerate the helicopter’s orbit to ensure they remain in sight. “There’s no doubt it can be challenging and demanding work at times, but the opportunity to work closely with the QPS to achieve results and deliver a safer Queensland is something that I’m certainly proud and privileged to be a part of. “The experience our pilots gain from flying the Polair helicopters also delivers a raft of other benefits back through to SLSQ and the WLRHS. For example, the majority of QPS taskings occur at night, adding to our pilots’ experience with night vision goggles, which are also used by SLSQ for search and rescue missions after dark,” he said. SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill, who was part of the team responsible for spearheading the organisation’s bid for the Polair contract, said the partnership was a tangible demonstration of Surf Life Saving’s ability to adapt its expertise to off-beach scenarios. “We knew we had a lot to offer in terms of aviation experience and community safety and, when the opportunity to tender for the police contract came up, we were ready and waiting to put our best case forward,” Mr Hill said. “It makes a lot of sense for us to work together in this space. There are a lot of similarities with SLSQ and QPS, with both committed to delivering a safer state, and this provides the community with a costeffective option to roll out aerial policing across South East Queensland. “Our core business is, and will always be, protecting beachgoers and saving lives along the state’s coastline, but this provides us with a key opportunity to expand our reach and provide an even greater service to the Queensland community,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Paul Sadler/Australian Avitation
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QUEENSLAND’S TOP LIFESAVERS RECOGNISED AT SLSQ’S AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Some of the state’s top surf lifesavers and lifeguards gathered in Brisbane on Saturday 28 August for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) annual Awards of Excellence Gala.
the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Earlier this year he was also recognised as the WLRHS Crewperson of the Year for the third consecutive year.
The pinnacle of recognition for surf life saving’s voluntary services in Queensland, the Awards of Excellence sought to celebrate the fantastic achievements of its membership throughout the 2014/15 season, and was attended by almost 400 members from Port Douglas to Rainbow Bay.
Meanwhile, lifesaving veteran and longtime Sunshine Beach member Warick Redwood was recognised as SLSQ’s Volunteer of the Year for 2014/15.
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan said the Awards of Excellence was an opportunity for the whole organisation to recognise the achievements of some of its most giving members. “Each and every year our volunteer members invest countless hours of their own time to protect and serve the Queensland community and help make this great state of ours safer for all,” he said. “This is the one time of the year when we all come together and celebrate the fantastic work that our movement and its members have achieved over the past 12 months. “While all of our members do great work on the beach and out in the community, these awards provide an opportunity for those who have gone above and beyond to keep Queensland beaches safe to be recognised in front of their colleagues and peers,” he said. Each year the Awards of Excellence recognise exceptional commitment to lifesaving, surf sports and youth development, as well as members of the community who have worked with SLSQ to improve beach safety and awareness. Gold Coast lifesaver and Pacific SLSC club captain Clayton Webster took out one of the night’s highest accolades, recognised as Queensland’s Surf Lifesaver of the Year for 2014/15. Since joining Pacific SLSC in 2000,Clayton has amassed more than 3,000 volunteer hours on patrol at an average of more than 200 hours per season. He currently holds 58 proficient Surf Life Saving awards and, in addition to regular beach patrols, is also heavily involved as a crewmember of
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A member of Pacific SLSC for the past 23 years, Warick has dedicated himself to surf lifesaving and made exceptional contributions to the movement at a club, branch and state level. During his time at Pacific, he has created and developed the largest contingent of youth and cadet members, and has coordinated multiple education and training courses to establish the highest number of patrolling members and member awards since the club’s inception. History was also created on the evening when Etty Bay SLSC club captain Jesse Witt became the youngest recipient of SLSQ’s Clive Hammond OAM Gold Medal, in recognition of his significant contributions to his club and surf lifesaving in North Queensland. At just 19 years of age, Jesse has already developed into a valued and respected member of the organisation, holding a range of positions at Etty Bay including first aid officer, age manager and Bronze Medallion training officer. Mr Brennan paid tribute to the three gentlemen, saying the awards were a reflection of their outstanding commitment and contribution to their clubs and the wider surf lifesaving movement in Queensland. “These awards are some of the highest honours that we can bestow on our volunteer members and, on behalf of SLSQ, I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to Clayton, Warick and Jesse for being recognised with such prestigious accolades,” he said. “Their dedication to the surf lifesaving movement and their passion for coastal safety at all levels across the past 12 months, and their entire lifesaving careers,
has been nothing short of outstanding. They are fantastic ambassadors for their clubs, their states and this fantastic movement of ours. “I also extend my congratulations to all winners and nominees from across the night. As a volunteer organisation, we’re only as strong as our members and the Awards of Excellence was a great opportunity to recognise and reward some of our dedicated volunteers,” he said. Surf Life Saving Awards • Clive Hammond OAM Gold Medal – Jesse Witt, Etty Bay • Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Clayton Webster, Pacific • Lifeguard of the Year – Jorge McCulloch, Townsville • Volunteer of the Year – Warick Redwood, Sunshine Beach • Club of the Year – Mermaid Beach AEME • Trainer of the Year – Annabel Grant, Cairns • Assessor of the Year – Malcolm Coyle, Dicky Beach Youth Awards • U14 Breaka Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Harry Graham, Redcliffe Peninsula • U18 Junior Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Lachlan Parker, Townsville Picnic Bay • 18-25 Young Surf Lifesaver of the Year – Courtney Taylor, Currumbin • Youth Development Club of the Year – Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC • Andy Frizzell OAM OBE Award for Services to Junior Activities – Fiona Grant, Cairns Sports Awards • The President’s Cup – Alexandra Headland • Athlete of the Year – Elizabeth Pluimers, North Burleigh • Junior Athlete of the Year – Hayden Cotter, Mooloolaba • Masters Athlete of the Year – Lee Vrolyks, Northcliffe • Team of the Year – Alexandra Headland Open Patrol Competition Team
L-R: Ralph Devlin QC, Jesse Witt, QPS Commissioner Ian Stewart
• Team Manager of the Year – Stephen Fry, Northcliffe • Coach of the Year – Brett Robinson, Currumbin • Rookie Coach of the Year – Johanna Redwood, Sunshine Beach • Official of the Year – Graham Rice, Kurrawa • Rookie Official of the Year – Claudia Gall, Sarina & Simon Johnstone, Point Lookout
Lifesaving Excellence Awards • Jack Dearlove MBE Medal for Lifesaving Excellence: Outstanding Rescue – Geoff Maxwell, Melissa Weber & Jon Wall • Jack McMaster AM DFC Medal for Lifesaving Excellence: Outstanding Leadership – Redland City Council • Prof. Tess Crammond AO OBE Medal for Lifesaving Excellence: Outstanding Rescue and Resuscitation • Peter LaGros, Steve Pickett & Scott Burgess
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM, Ralph Devlin QC
• Reece Muir, Sam Cartwright, Mat Baldock & Shae Harry • Donald & Alison McKill, Amelia Lorentson, Adam Quinn, Craig Moore, Gemma Ellis-Moore, Rob Neely & Ian Widdicombe (Noosa Heads) • Kyle Wegner, Jim Ham, Daniel Mole, Scott L’Barrow & Joseph Curtin
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EVERYDAY LIFESAVERS TRAINED BY SLSQ’S ACADEMY Every year thousands of lives are saved along the state’s coastline thanks to the efforts of Queensland’s volunteer surf lifesavers and lifeguards. However, away from the beach, Surf Life Saving Queensland is just as active in saving lives, albeit through educating and training members of the public.
Academy course a genuine life saver
The Australian Lifesaving Academy Queensland is the training arm of SLSQ, delivering vital emergency care training, including first aid and CPR courses, to the community. Its purpose is to bring more than a century of lifesaving experience from the beach to the home, school or workplace; because we don’t believe the skills needed to save a life should be restricted to the surf.
Incredibly, it was just one week after they had completed a refresher course through the Academy as part of SLSQ’s Memorandum of Understanding with Clubs Queensland.
It has been a year of milestones for SLSQ’s training arm, with the Academy recording significant growth and development across all areas of operation. In 2014/15 the Academy’s sales increased a remarkable 268 per cent, from $220,000 to $590,000, while the number of people it directly trained in first aid and CPR across the year also increased significantly, from 5,983 to 12,783.
Two Sunshine Coast residents recently used their first aid and CPR skills to save an elderly lady from a near-death experience at Coolum Beach, but it didn’t happen in the surf – it happened in the surf club restaurant.
In August 2015, Coolum Beach restaurant supervisor Melissa Burford was alerted to a woman in distress, choking on a small piece of food and requiring urgent assistance. She immediately dialled triple zero and ran in to assist, along with bar and restaurant manager Keith Jackson. “She was caved over, very distressed and struggling to breathe. I’m no lifesaver but I went into lifesaver mode because I had
some idea of what to do because of the training we have at the club,” Keith told the Sunshine Coast Daily after the incident. Luckily, their first aid and CPR training ensured they were able to respond appropriately. Emergencies and accidents can happen at any time, and having the appropriate skills and knowledge to respond swiftly in those first crucial minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death. There’s no doubt the calm response and quick thinking of Coolum Beach staff, coupled with the knowledge and skills gained through their first aid certifications, saved the woman’s life. “You do whatever you can do in those situations. I’m thinking now thank God for that training, or this could have ended very differently,” Keith said.
This strong growth has also been reflected internally, with the number of full-time staff members increasing from two in June 2014 to eight in July 2015, including the appointment of a Business Development Executive, Chief Trainer and State Education Supervisor. Significant advancements towards establishing the Academy as an industry leader in the delivery of emergency care training was evidenced by agreements and partnerships made over the past 12 months, including Memorandums of Understanding with Clubs Queensland, the Pharmacy Guild of Queensland and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (south-western region). Importantly, all trainers and assessors of ALAQ are qualified surf lifesavers and all profits are invested directly back into supporting beach safety initiatives across the state.
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For more information on the Academy, please visit alaq.com.au.
SLSQ PARTNERS WITH V8 SUPERCARS TEAM 18 TO DRIVE HOME THE SURF SAFETY MESSAGE Located 40km west of Brisbane’s city centre and an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast, Ipswich isn’t generally known for its association with SLSQ’s red and yellow patrol flags. However, the flags were flying both high and fast in July when SLSQ partnered with Walkinshaw Racing’s Team 18 at the 2015 V8 Ipswich SuperSprint event. The weekend’s racing saw Team 18 drive home the surf safety message – literally – with much of their car’s regular paintwork making way for a sea of red and yellow messaging in a bid to raise much-needed funds and awareness for volunteer surf lifesavers across the state. It signalled the launch of an official partnership between Team 18 and the state’s peak authority on coastal safety, with SLSQ named as the charity partners of the V8 team. SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill thanked Team 18 for its wonderful show
of support, and said it was a unique opportunity to give the iconic ‘swim between the flags’ message a high-octane makeover. “As an organisation we’re constantly looking for opportunities to save lives through education and spreading the surf safety message, and this partnership is a wonderful opportunity to do exactly that, while raising some much-needed funds in the process,” he said. “Our vision is to achieve ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’ and that’s supported by thousands of volunteer members across the state who give up their own time each year to watch over and protect beachgoers. “It’s wonderful for a group like Team 18 to not only share that passion and vision, but also come on board as ambassadors and begin to play a key role raising funds, spreading the surf safety message and, ultimately, saving lives on Queensland beaches,” he said.
The partnership will also see Team 18’s drivers wear specially-designed red and yellow uniforms at the 2015 Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercars event on 23-25 October. Team 18 owner Charlie Schwerkolt welcomed the partnership, saying it would have benefits for both organisations. “The ‘swim between the flags’ message is iconic throughout Australia, and we are very proud to promote this important message,” he said. “I love Queensland and its beaches and it’s important that we keep them safe. If we can help SLSQ achieve their goal of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’ and promote a very important message, then that is fantastic.”
Photo credit Scott Wensley
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A YEAR OF GROWTH FOR SLSQ’S AUSTRALIAN LIFEGUARD SERVICE As the professional arm of Surf Life Saving Queensland, the Australian Lifeguard Service continues to collaborate with SLSQ’s volunteer lifesavers to deliver safer beaches across the state for the benefit of the entire community and work towards the vision of zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters. ALS Queensland provides integral support to local governments, land managers and private resorts to protect swimmers at beaches and waterways along the coast and across the state, and is the largest provider of professional lifeguard services in Queensland. Operating at more than 70 locations, many of these sites are patrolled seven days a week, 365 days of the year. “It’s been a strong year of growth for the service across the state, showcasing our increasing efforts to keep beachgoers safe,” said ALSQ chief lifeguard Greg Cahill. Queensland is leading the country in professional lifeguard services. Local lifeguard Tim Wilson awarded one of the highest individual accolades at the SLSA Awards of Excellence in November 2014, where he was named Australian Lifeguard of the Year for 2013/14. A professional lifeguard with ALS for almost a decade, Tim beat five other finalists from across Australia to win the prestigious award. Recognising the importance of the lifeguards’ role, the ALS sets international benchmarks through best practice operations. This includes nationally accredited training programs and ongoing support and development of the highly skilled team members. Similarly, SLSQ’s professional lifeguards are committed to maintaining their fitness and training to ensure they provide the
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communities they serve with the very best rescue, first aid, resuscitation capabilities and beach management. “The professional development of our lifeguards also continues to further develop, with senior guards completing Advanced First Aid, Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue and Certificate III in Public Safety Courses throughout the year,” Mr Cahill said. The Year in Numbers Across the year, ALS Queensland lifeguards performed 5,756 marine sting treatments, 12,458 first aid treatments, 522,462 preventative actions and, most importantly, saved 1,435 lives. Made up of 68 permanent lifeguards, including nine supervisors, and 339 casual employees, the experience of the ALS staff is unparalleled, with the team boasting 1,445 collective years of experience between them and more than 1.3 million career patrol hours. Service Expansions During the year ALS made significant steps to improve safety along Queensland’s coastline. Some of its key achievements included an increased safety ambassador program at one of Brisbane’s most iconic attractions, increased full-time lifeguard numbers at one of the state’s ‘black-spots’, the introduction of daily patrol services at regional locations during peak periods, and a local council contract renewal of a partnership spanning more than a quarter of a century. • South Bank Parklands safety ambassador program – ALS strengthened its community interaction and increased safety at the city’s
only public lagoon through a safety ambassador program to remind and encourage parents to keep a close eye on their children while in the water. • Green Island – This tiny island off the coast of Cairns has one of the highest drowning rates in Queensland. The employment of a third full-time permanent lifeguard at the popular international tourist destination and notorious ‘black-spot’ ensures greater protection for beachgoers all year round. • Wellington Point – The small suburb just south of Brisbane gained a daily lifeguard patrol service across the Christmas and Easter school holidays. While the relatively calm waters of Raby Bay offer an idyllic beach destination for many local young families, an influx of Morbakka jellyfish over the warmer months sparked fears of cases of Irukandji syndrome, leading lifeguards to provide reassurance and first aid treatments where required. • Townsville City Council – After a long-standing partnership spanning more than a quarter of a century, ALS Queensland’s contract was renewed with the Townsville City Council. Lifeguards continue to provide daily patrols across the region at locations including The Strand, Riverway Lagoon, Magnetic Island, Forrest Beach, Balgal Beach, and Pallarenda.
QUEENSLAND ATHLETES RECOGNISED AS AUSTRALIA’S BEST Queensland’s elite lifesavers have solidified their position as some of Australia’s best surf sport athletes, helping SLSQ secure Surf Life Saving’s Alan B Whelpton Perpetual Shield for 2014/15. The prestigious shield is presented each year to the best performing state across Surf Life Saving Australia’s four Interstate Championship events. Throughout the past 12 months, SLSQ selected four representative teams to compete at the Interstate Ocean, Surf Boat, Inflatable Rescue Boat and Pool Rescue Championships. The four Championship events saw some of Queensland’s top surf sport athletes unite under the ‘Cyclones’ team banner, displaying passion, professionalism and true grit on their way to taking out the title of Australia’s best. The Ocean team kicked off the representative season with a strong performance in January, finishing second overall and just five points behind New South Wales. The Surf Boat team continued this strong form at Shell Harbour in February, also taking out second place.
The next championship event saw Queensland’s all-conquering Inflatable Rescue Boat team line up on the Sunshine Coast in search of their seventh consecutive win, and they did not disappoint. After a dominant performance across two days of competition, they successfully defended their title ahead of Victoria and New South Wales to remain undefeated in the event’s history.
second day of competition eight points off the pace; however, a raft of strong performances in the back-half of the competition saw them storm home to take out the Championships and, in doing so, secure the Alan B Welpton Perpetual Shied for Queensland.
Queensland’s elite lifesavers have solidified their position as some of Australia’s best surf sport athletes, helping SLSQ secure Surf Life Saving’s Alan B Whelpton Perpetual Shield for 2014/15.
“Each year the Interstate Championships bring together the best of the best in our sport to compete, so for Queensland to walk away from it all as the best performing state is a fantastic result and a testament to the training, dedication and professionalism of our athletes and our development programs,” he said.
The final leg of the Interstate series was the Pool Rescue Championships, held in conjunction with the Australian Championships across three days on the Gold Coast in August. After a relatively slow start, the Cyclones headed into the
SLSQ surf sports manager Stuart Hogben congratulated all athletes and paid tribute to their performances across the past 12 months.
“Winning this trophy requires a lot of preparation and teamwork but, above anything else, it requires a great deal of passion for Queensland the surf lifesaving movement.”
Pictured below: Queensland Cyclones 2015 Pool Rescue team. Photo courtesy of Harpix.
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BRISBANE LIFESAVING SERVICE CELEBRATES RECORD-BREAKING SEASON Surf Life Saving Queensland’s groundbreaking Brisbane Lifesaving Service (BLS) has celebrated its milestone fourth season patrolling the state’s beaches.
these ordinary members transform into extraordinary members is nothing short of amazing,” Ms Lawlor said.
The Australian-first initiative experienced its strongest season to date, in terms of membership growth, services provided, beaches patrolled and total number of patrol hours, as well as Surf Life Saving awards obtained.
The Australian-first initiative experienced its strongest season to date, with members volunteering almost 4,000 hours patrolling a number of locations across Queensland.
Members volunteered almost 4,000 hours patrolling a number of locations across Queensland this season, including Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast as well as Bilinga, Kirra and Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast. In addition, BLS members worked in conjunction with SLSQ’s professional lifeguards this season to provide a full patrol service at the Southport Broadwater on the Gold Coast, and assisted Royal Life Saving with patrols at Tallebudgera Creek across peak holiday periods. SLSQ lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor said it was outstanding to see involvement grow from just 33 members in 2011/12 to an incredible 173 in 2014/15. “Patrols are the first priority for Brisbane Lifesaving Service members, and to see
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“There is nothing more powerful than the red and yellow army. Their selfless commitment to saving lives, minimising potential risk and above all making a difference to everyone who swims at our beaches – that is what BLS members do. That is power beyond belief.” New members are trained in a variety of core lifesaving skills, including surf awareness, surf rescue, first aid and resuscitation, as part of their Bronze Medallion course. While theory is taught at Surf Rescue House in South Brisbane, members travel to the Gold and Sunshine Coast for practical training in the surf as well as beach patrols.
BLS members are encouraged to further develop their lifesaving skills through other arms of the organisation, with 15 members joining SLSQ’s Operations Support team throughout the past season. The service also provides an important introduction and pathway into the surf lifesaving movement, with volunteers able to transfer their membership to other clubs across the state. Impressively, 10 per cent of the service’s membership hails from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America. “This rich multicultural background has wonderful benefits not only to BLS but to the community as a whole,” Ms Lawlor said. “It provides opportunities for people from other countries to embrace what is one of our national cultures – Surf Life Saving – and provides valuable lifesaving skills to those people. The flow on effect is greater education awareness within our international beachgoers.”
WESTPAC LIFESAVER RESCUE HELICOPTER CHARITY GOLF DAY It was a beautiful day on the green for the 2015 Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Charity Golf Day held at Indooroopilly Golf Club on 16 July, with $80,000 raised and injected back into the critical aerial rescue service. A record 180 players filled both 18-hole courses for a day of swinging action to raise money for the rescue service in South East Queensland. Two VIP guests with exclusive Platinum sponsorship of the
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.
event arrived in style, alongside the crew of Lifesaver 46 as it made a special landing on the putting green in front of the club house. The ongoing sponsorship support of Westpac, supported by these important fundraising initiatives, keep the service doing what they do best â€“ saving lives and protecting our community.
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heli ball Fundraising gala ball for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service
31 October 2015 Pavillion Ballroom Jupiters Hotel & Casino 6.30pm for 7.00pm start Black Tie / Evening Wear
Single tickets: $180 (inc. GST) Table of 10: $1,800 (inc. GST) Tickets at: lifesaving.com.au/heliball
Proudly supported by Westpac
Despite the cooler weather, it has continued to be a busy period for Surf Life Saving Queensland and its members across the state. The lates...