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What is the real significance of being a surf lifesaver? This is Lachlan Field's story as part of our National Volunteer Week series. 

How long have you been involved with Surf Life Saving?

Surf Life Saving has been a part of my life since I can remember. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of being a patient for first aid scenarios or being on patrol with Mum and Dad. I started nippers at Cudgen Headland SLSC when I was five years old and have been a member there for the last 19 years.

What part of being a volunteer at your Cudgen is it that keeps you coming back each year? 

The moment that I realised the importance of water safety within our community came at the age of 13. I was spending more and more time in the water and was beginning to realise the advantages of being involved with Surf Life Saving, not only for the surf skills, awareness and confidence that it developed, but also how lifesaving kept myself, friends and others safe in the water. That to me was a very empowering moment that turned it into a passion.

Being a part of the lifesaving movement has meant being a part of the wider community and helping in drowning prevention, surf education and helping to pass on safety skills to future generations. It’s very personally fulfilling.

Have you been part of a rescue?

From volunteer patrols to patrols for the Australian lifeguard service, I’ve completed many rescues in my time as a lifesaver and lifeguard.

I was recently involved in a CPR at Byron Bay during the Easter period. We were first on scene for a patient who had been found face down in the water two Kilometres south of the flags. We brought the patient back but they didn’t end up surviving.

The significance of that rescue really brought home the importance of educating people about surf awareness and swimming between the flags as every drowning is preventable.

What's one of the most inspirational or memorable things that you've witnessed either within your club or on patrol or in training?

The most inspirational thing that I witness on a regular basis throughout Surf Life Saving is the sense of friendship and community. Whether it be everyone looking out for one another during training in challenging conditions, to everyone coming together to support each other after a major incident. You just can’t help but feel like you’re a part of one big red and yellow family.

Why is volunteering as a surf lifesaver important to you?

I’ve always enjoyed helping people and the service that Surf Life Saving provides to the community is invaluable in Australia. We save countless lives every year through prevention and rescues. That to me is a cause worth supporting.

Why is training and assessment such an important part of your contribution to the movement?

After turning 17 and becoming more involved with the Australian lifeguard service, I was lucky enough to call the beach my office. I was looking for a way to volunteer my time and knowledge back into the community and decided to get my CERT IV in Training and Assessing so that I could teach the new generation of lifesavers and lifeguards.

This has been one of the most rewarding journeys for me. I get to be a role model for younger members and watch them grow and accomplish great things within the community.

Education also draws all the generations together in the quest for surf safety. I have taught many members who are older than me particularly during SMAR (Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue) courses and we are united as one fulfilling our duties in SAR (Search and Rescue). I get to contribute to the growth, development and advancement of Surf Life Saving as an educational and physical movement that can make the community a safer and healthier place for everyone.

One word to describe the feeling you get from being a surf lifesaver.




Thursday 23 May 2019