Rescue Simulation Kits On The Way

Surf Life Saving NSW has been successful in securing the Emergency Volunteer Support Scheme (EVSS) on behalf of the NSW Government.

Coastal search and rescue training is fundamental to Surf Life Saving’s ability to deliver an effective emergency service to the community.

There are an average of 35 coastal drowning deaths each year in NSW, with the majority of these occurring at unpatrolled locations or times and mostly relating to rip currents, rock-fishing and bar-crossings. These lead to Lifesaving Services being required to undertake extensive in-water search and rescue operations.

The EVSS will fund the purchase of specialist water rescue manikins for day and night operations and casualty simulation kits for all SLSNSW branches to support its Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue Award.

The new Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue course builds upon the general rescue skills of patrolling members to develop a team of search and rescue specialists.

“Our lifesavers are increasingly being called upon to respond to more hazardous rescues beyond the red and yellow flags. We see investment in the skills and learning of our people as fundamental in helping reduce the drowning toll. Given the nature of the coastal environment, using ‘live training victims’ for extensive search and rescue exercises can be unsafe. The equipment which will be purchased with the assistance of the EVSS will allow dangerous situations such as these to be practiced safely," said Dean Dudley, SLSNSW Director of Education.

SLSNSW Director of Lifesaving, John Restuccia, believes the equipment will assist the quality of practical exercises for our many duty officers and emergency response teams, who respond 24/7, 365 days a year, to emergencies all along the coast.

"The rescue manikins and casualty kits will add a new level of realism to the scenario based exercises which our people undertake consistently in order to keep their skills sharp,” said Mr Restuccia.

The manikins and casualty simulation kits will be distributed to the 11 SLS Branches across NSW over the coming months. Further information about the distribution of these kits will be circulated to Branches once the funding has been received from the Government.

The project aims for an increase in trained lifesavers that can complete search and rescues both in daylight and at night, a reduction in drowning’s, working towards the NSW Water Safety Advisory Council’s principle goal of 50% less drowning’s by 2020 and enhanced Surf Life Saving capabilities to protect the community in high risk locations.

Wed 9 Jan 2013