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As more than 360 Lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) consign another successful season to the history books, the focus has already switched to the next challenge of ensuring that by the time season 2017/18 rolls around the ALS are ready to go.

Throughout the 2016/17 season, Lifeguards patrolled over 90 locations which included beaches, pools and a lake demonstrating the breadth of knowledge and capacity the ALS can provide.

Lifeguards patrolled from Tweed Shire in Northern NSW right through to the Bega Shire on the state’s Far South Coast.

They also completed a maiden season as the Lifeguard Services provider for Port Macquarie, and in a first in the organisations long and distinguished history with the exception of Coffs Harbour every council area from the Queensland border through to Port Macquarie was proudly flying the ALS Flag.

Most Lifeguard contracts commenced across NSW last September and continued right through to the end of April with a cursory glance at the statistics alluding to another busy season.

During this time Lifeguards have performed 1,103 rescues which was a 33% increase on the 2015/16 numbers.

Highlighting an increased focus on preventing situations from escalating they also carried out over 280,000 Preventative Actions and administered 11,000 First Aid treatments with the latter representing a huge 72% increase on last season’s figures.

Underpinning these numbers were beach visitations approaching 4.5 million, a significant increase on last year thanks to a warm start to autumn keeping visitors at the beach much later in the season, and the addition of new contract areas.

As of June 2017 it’s important to note that the lone beach being patrolled by the ALS is Main Beach Byron Bay with the beach-going public on the North Coast strongly urged to swim there.

Although the season has finished the work never stops with the ALS team busy conducting reviews of the season, planning training programs, and inspecting equipment.

Perhaps most importantly of all is the recruitment phase. The ALS prides itself on its people with many Lifeguards returning year on year. But they’re always on the hunt for new talent with many Lifeguards having a strong background in the surf club environment.

“Lifeguarding is a challenging but rewarding career that can take you around the state and even overseas,” said ALS NSW Lifeguards Operation Manager Oliver Munson.

“It teaches you skills for life and in fact we’ve found that the surf club environment is an ideal training ground as it gives you a great introduction to the ocean,” he said.

Applicants for Lifeguard positions will participate in a vigorous fitness and skills session ahead of the season to ensure that they are in peak physical and mental condition ahead of the demands of the season.

“Being a professional Lifeguard is a way of life, and we would urge anyone considering becoming a Lifeguard to get in contact with our team,” said Mr Munson.

Australian Lifeguard Service 2016/2017 Statistics:

• Rescues – 1,103

• Preventative actions – 281,465

• First Aid – 11,081

• Beach Attendance – 4,472,067

For further information about becoming a Lifeguard with the ALS for the 2017/18 season please visit the ALS NSW Jobs Page.