Northern NSW Lifeguards Prepared For Testing Summer

Beachgoers across the Far North Coast can be confident that the men and women from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) charged with keeping them safe over summer will be in top condition when they hit the beach for the peak patrolling season beginning next month.

Ahead of what promises to be a busy peak patrol season, ALS lifeguards will be put through their paces at two official testing sessions this weekend.

On Saturday, lifeguards will be put through a gruelling testing session at Yamba where they will have to complete a rigorous pool session before hitting the beach for rescue scenario training exercises.

When Sunday dawns lifeguards will hit the waters of Byron Bay for their own day of testing.

ALS Northern Coordinator Scott McCartney said the training days were an important milestone for all Lifeguards.

“These training sessions are extremely important for everyone involved in the ALS as they are not only a great opportunity to build team spirit, but also the chance to see where their fitness and skills are at ahead of the season.

“The lifeguards are all very professional, they know the high standards we expect of them and have worked diligently throughout the year to ensure that they reach them,” Mr McCartney said.

It’s not only the experienced lifeguards who will be put through their paces on the North Coast in coming days. From next Tuesday a group of 15 rookies will descend on Camp Drewe near Lennox Head for three days of theory and practical work, as they learn just what it means to be a lifeguard.

During the program these new lifeguards will work on their fitness, conduct mock search and rescue operations, and will be introduced to the policies and procedures that they will be need to become familiar with as they strive to keep local beaches safe throughout the summer.

Scott McCartney will be coordinating the program with the assistance of Steve Mills (Far North Coast Supervisor), and 2016 ALS Lifeguard of the Year Angus Macphail.

“I believe the annual Lifeguard School has become a real fixture in the early careers of our lifeguards. It has proved to be successful at creating a culture of comradery and togetherness among us all regardless of what beach we end up patrolling at,” said Mr McCartney.

“Each year we have our experienced members come along and share their knowledge. Between that and the formal mentor program where we buddy up rookies with the older Lifeguards it helps us deliver the highest standard of service.”

The public are reminded that the only beach currently patrolled by lifeguards in the Byron Bay Shire on weekdays is Main Beach which is offering a 7-days-a week service, and are strongly encouraged to swim there.

Tips For Keeping Safe At The Beach

• Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website
• Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
• Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
• Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm
• In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police
• Don’t forget to be sun safe by remembering to: Slip on some protective clothing, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on a pair of sunglasses, Seek some shade and Sip on lots of water to stay hydrated
• For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App

Fri 18 Nov 2016