SurfCom Week Profile: Jackson Towns

At eighteen years old Jackson Towns is one of our youngest SurfCom operator and is a member Elouera SLSC.

Name: Jackson Towns

Age: 18

Club: Elouera Surf Life Saving Club

Occupation: Student – Bachelor of Policing (UWS)

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why? I joined Elouera Surf Life Saving Club when I was 14 years old and participated in the final year of nippers. After many years of doing nippers on the flat water at Ramsgate Beach in Botany Bay, I decided I wanted to challenge myself in the surf and participate in voluntary patrols. I thought it would be a great way to meet new people and do something good for the community. I have enjoyed every aspect of Surf Life Saving since!

Why are you a volunteer SurfCom operator?Since starting beach patrols back in 2010 as an SRC, I gained interest in the work SurfCom did just by listening to the radio whilst on patrol. Hearing how the operators coordinated rescues and arranged ambulances for clubs put a new perspective on surf lifesaving for me and I wanted to become involved. By dispatching ambulances and coordinating rescue services for people in need is not only a very rewarding experience, but is also another unique way surf lifesaving can support me in assisting the community when they are in need.

How many hours in total (not just this season) have you volunteered for SurfCom? Since becoming a SurfCom operator in January of 2012, I have volunteered 314.75 hours to date.

What do you enjoy most about being an operator? As a SurfCom operator, I enjoy supporting not only the individuals who require assistance at the beach, but also backing-up the clubbies that are on patrol, dealing with any issues the public may have.

In what other ways are you involved in Surf Lifesaving? Other than SurfCom, I actively patrol Elouera Beach in Cronulla, NSW and have also just achieved my RWC Operators certificate and will start patrols on the jetski in Bate Bay, Cronulla.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why? Even though I do not personally know him, I admire Andy Cross’ work in educating schools and the greater public about the surf and raising awareness about the importance of surf safety across NSW. His ‘129’ beaches challenge and his strive to introduce the ‘Surfing NSW Rescue 24/7’ program increases the public’s awareness of surf survival and surf safety and will only make our beaches safer. His voluntary work for Surf Life Saving has been worthily acknowledged by achieving the DHL Volunteer of the Year at the recent Surf Life Saving Australia awards of excellence.

Anything else you’d like to add or advice you have for people thinking about coming an operator? If you’re interested in SurfCom, you should definitely attend the SurfCom open day on the 29th November, 2014. This will give you a great insight into what SurfCom does on a regular basis and how we deal with incidents across NSW. As a new SurfCom Supervisor, I have had the pleasure of working with and training new SurfCom operators this season and their commitment and passion to SurfCom has grown and grown and they have become an asset to the NSW State Operations SurfCom Team within a few shifts. The operational roles of SurfCom aren’t difficult and anyone could learn how to do it! So, I would encourage anyone who is interested in SurfCom to sign up and give it a go! You have nothing to lose and I assure you it’s an enjoyable experience and such a great team to be involved with.

Tue 25 Nov 2014