Australia has a massive 35,000 km of coastline where volunteer Surf Lifesavers from 310 clubs around the country assist more than 100 Million beach visitations each year.
The cost of providing this service is only possible thanks to the wonderful support of the community. Donations are directed into four main areas requiring ongoing funding, rescue gear and equipment, Surf Lifesaver training, first aid supplies and surf safety community education programs.
Surf Life Saving is a not-for-profit organisation and it can sometimes be easy to forget that Surf Lifesavers volunteer their time to patrol our beaches. This time is given freely and willingly, at no cost. However, lifesaving equipment costs money and this is where we seek support from the public. Rescue gear and equipment represents the biggest single cost to running lifesaving services in Australia.
The sun, surf and sand are the reasons we love going to the beach but these are also the very elements that damage the rescue gear and equipment that our Surf Lifesavers use every day. There is no second chance when it comes to saving lives so ongoing maintenance or eventual replacement is needed to make sure that they are in top condition and are ready for any beach emergencies.
Rescue Equipment and Gear
Rescue gear and equipment represents the biggest single cost to running lifesaving services in Australia. Constant exposure to sun, sand and salt water means that equipment requires ongoing maintenance and eventual replacement.
Help SLSF buy the equipment below by entering our lottery and go in the draw to win a house!
ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE (ATV) – Cost $17,500
Also known as a quad bike, this is a valuable piece of equipment that aids in the day to day patrol duties of surf lifesavers. Their primary purpose is to allow for lifesavers to respond quickly to incidents along with essential gear & equipment such as rescue boards and First Aid kits.
ATV’s are also used by lifesavers to conduct roving surveillance patrols that often help to locate lost children and return them safely back to their parents.
DEFIBRILLATOR – Cost $5,000
Defibrillators are a vital piece of equipment for successful resuscitation of a patient who has suffered cardiac arrest. Once only available for use by doctors, today defibrillators are being used safely and successfully by volunteer surf lifesavers.
FIRST AID KIT – Cost $400
The First Aid Kit is an essential resource to every Surf Life Saving Club. Over 41,000 First Aid Treatments were performed last season, from minor cuts and marine stings to suspected fractures and spinal damage.
INFLATABLE RESCUE BOAT (IRB) – Cost $18,000
Designed specifically for Surf Life Saving, the Inflatable Rescue Boat is an essential piece of rescue equipment, and an ideal tool for:
- quick response to a rescue
- mass rescues
- patrolling stretches of beaches
An IRB has a useful life of approx 5 years.
LOUD HAILERS – Cost $160
Loud Hailers are used by lifesavers to alert swimmers of dangers in their area, advise board riders to remain clear of the flags and to immediately inform the public of a hazard on the beach or in the ocean. They are extremely effective when a message needs to be relayed to a large number of people in the shortest time possible.
MANIKIN – Cost $550
Surf Lifesavers develop their essential resuscitation skills through effective training and constant practice. Manikins allow lifesavers to simulate resuscitation skills they may one day need to use to save a life.
NECK BRACE – Cost $40
An adjustable brace is used when a patient is suspected of having a spinal injury.
OXYGEN BOTTLE – Cost $40
An oxygen bottle is used in conjunction with an Oxy Viva to increase the oxygen in a patient’s blood stream following: exhaustion, near drowning, cardiac arrest or allergic reactions.
OXY VIVA – Cost $3,500
The Oxy Viva is vital to the recovery of a patient and often used to increase the oxygen in the patient’s blood stream following near drowning or cardiac arrest.
PATROL PACK – Cost $50
The patrol pack allows surf lifesavers to carry some of the most commonly used lifesaving items with them on patrol. The patrol pack saves precious time by allowing lifesavers to immediately retrieve items such as resuscitation masks, whistles and gloves.
PATROL TOWERS – Cost – $2,600
Patrol Towers are used by lifesavers to provide an elevated observation position which gives greater visibility of the swimming areas.
Patrol Towers also help lifesavers to see over waves which in turn allow them to identify potential rescues or hazards earlier.
RESCUE BOARD – Cost $1,300
One of the original pieces of rescue equipment but still one of the best and most utilised. The rescue board is designed for a lifesaver to perform a rescue and transfer the patient back into shore.
RESCUE TUBE – Cost $120
An effective and very widely used rescue device that allows a lifesaver to take floatation to a patient and secure them back to shore. Rescue tubes play a significant role in contributing to the thousands of rescues that occur each year.
Rescue Water Craft
RESCUE WATER CRAFT – Cost $22,500
Otherwise known as wave runners, RWC’s are a fast, highly manoeuvrable piece of equipment ideally suited to the surf environment. Whether used for roving patrols in or outside the red and yellow flags or to respond to an emergency, the RWC is an invaluable lifesaving craft.
SPINAL BOARD – Cost $500
Essential for spinal injury cases and moving patients unable to walk.
UHF Hand Held Radios
UHF HAND HELD RADIOS – Cost – $800
Hand Held radios are an essential tool used by lifesavers to communicate effectively and efficiently. They are used to call for assistance when conducting a rescue, First Aid treatment or to manage any potential incident on the beach.
Hand Held radios are also useful for communicating potential hazards
Equipment may not be exactly as shown
Surf Life Saver Training
To keep up with the increasing demand on our services, we need more surf lifesavers on our beaches.Every patrolling volunteer surf lifesaver must have their Bronze Medallion. This involves assessment in many areas including CPR, rescue techniques, First Aid and fitness testing which must be updated each year.
The cost of training a single volunteer is $800 but the benefits are enormous. Safer beaches and safer communities. Find out more about our lottery here.
First Aid Supplies
Every Surf Life Saving Club has a First Aid room that needs to be continually replenished with items like bandages, Ventolin puffers and disposable sheets.
In fact on average, each club spends over $2,000 on First Aid supplies each year. Not surprising when you consider that lifesavers perform over 30,000 First Aid treatments each season from marine bite stings and minor cuts to suspected fractures and spinal damage. Surf Life Saving Lotteries help lifesavers give more than 30,000 first aid treatments yearly.
Each First Aid Kit costs $400 and must be fully stocked at all times.
We are constantly trying to reach more beach-goers and educate them on how to safely enjoy our greatest natural asset. Targeting schools, businesses and tourists in particular, we are able to instill the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags as well as other vital surf safety tips like how to spot a rip. Our lotteries help educate thousands of school children each year.It costs up to $500 to run a basic surf safety demonstration for the community.
BEACH TO BUSH PROGRAM 2012
The Telstra Beach to Bush Program offers students in regional areas an introduction to Surf Life Saving and the vital surf safety skills required to stay safe in an aquatic environment. Qualified Surf Lifesavers visit classrooms across the country to deliver interactive surf safety lessons using lifesaving equipment.
The program is designed to increase awareness of the risks associated with the surf and local waterways and show children how to minimise these risks. Children from regional communities are often less familiar with the potential dangers of the surf and the program aims to reach those children before they reach the beach.
The program, which is going into its eighth year in Queensland, is the largest and most innovative surf education program in Australia today, reaching more than 70 schools and 10,000 students each year.
Your support helps us to maintain beach safety programs such as this one.