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Surf Life Saving NSW recently donated personal protective equipment (PPE) masks to Fire and Rescue NSW for use by frontline personnel who are at risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus.

The donation of the masks was orchestrated by SLSNW CEO Steven Pearce and Superintendent Kell McNamara. They will be used to supplement existing frontline PPE during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

During the bushfires that devastated much of NSW in January, Surf Life Saving NSW was the grateful recipient of PPE masks donated by Direct Relief in the USA. The masks were flown from the USA to help lifesavers operate more safely in areas with poor air quality.

SLSNSW distributed the Direct Relief protective masks to its volunteer lifesavers and professional lifeguards for use during the bushfires and now for use during the Coronavirus epidemic. With supplies of PPE masks running low globally, SLSNSW recently donated 11,000 masks to the NSW Police Force to protect frontline personnel from the threat of exposure to Coronavirus.

Surf Life Saving Services (SLSS) Chief Operating Officer Dan Gaffney met Leading Station Officer Ben Chalmers and Senior Firefighter Nicky Solomon, from Forestville Fire Station 51, to hand over several boxes of PPE masks for use by their frontline personnel.

“Fire and Rescue NSW is enormously grateful to our friends at Surf Life Saving NSW for responding so quickly to our request for protective masks. And to Direct Relief in the USA for making the generous donation to Australian first-responders,” said Superintendent Kell McNamara from Fire and Rescue NSW.

There is a long and proud association between Surf life Saving NSW and Fire and Rescue NSW - with many current and former firefighters also volunteering as SLSNSW lifesavers. Ben Chalmers, who accepted the masks on behalf of Fire and Rescue NSW, is a long-standing professional lifeguard and trainer from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

“Ben Chalmers has previously partnered with the Australian Lifesaving Academy NSW for the delivery of CPR, First Aid and BLS training to thousands of people across the state. It was a pleasure to be able to hand over the PPE masks to Ben as representative of Fire and Rescue NSW as somebody who has been associated with the Surf Life Saving movement,” said Surf Life Saving Services COO, Dan Gaffney.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce, said the distribution of the PPE masks is a pertinent example of how emergency service organisations are working more closely than ever to keep emergency service personnel safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

Top of Page Picture : Ben Chalmers and Dan Gaffney.

Pictured Above : Nicky Solomon  and Ben Chalmers


Thursday 16 April 2020