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Surf Lifesavers and Sutherland Shire Council have collaborated to install new innovative technology that will help reduce response times at one of the Sutherland Shire’s unpatrolled beaches.

The state’s newest ERB (Emergency Rescue Beacon) unit was launched at Greenhills Beach on Thursday with representatives from both the lifesaving community and local government on hand to see it in action.

Weighing in at approximately 18 kilograms and utilising a 3G voice intercom, SMS functionality, and a camera the technical aspects of the machine are impressive.

In an emergency situation the button can be depressed by a witness and instantly connects with the State Operations Centre on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. A text message is also sent to the nearest lifesavers and lifeguards which alerts them to the situation.

“This is a next generation tool for Surf Life Saving, and is a great way for us to support lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach,” said SLSNSW Chief Executive Officer Steven Pearce.

The unit is one of only a handful on the state’s beaches with Greenhills proving to be a natural choice.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Cr Carmelo Pesce said it will help keep residents and visitors to the area safe. 

“Each year, tens of thousands of people visit our beautiful Greenhills beach and we want to make sure every single one of them gets home safe,” he said.

“Greenhills is a remote stretch of beach and this is why we have chosen this location to install the Emergency Response Beacon.”

Although this exciting technology will play its part in saving lives, the importance of swimming at a patrolled location can never be underestimated.

“Greenhills Beach is a beautiful location but with local surf clubs such as Wanda in close proximity we would certainly encourage everyone to make the responsible decision and swim between the red and yellow flags,” said Steven Pearce.

“Of course the ERB is there for emergencies and if you see someone in difficulty in the water pressing that button will ensure that the people who need to know do so in a timely manner.

“We have 129 clubs around the state but we obviously can’t be everywhere at once. This immediate response unit is ground breaking for us and it’s an exciting time for lifesaving in NSW,” he said.


Friday 1 December 2017