Rookie lifeguards put through their paces


Northern NSW rookie lifeguards will attend the 2013 Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) Lifeguard School on November 27 and 28 at Camp Drewe, Lennox Head.

The school is the training program for those lifeguards who are about to go through their first season with the ALS. It aims to fully prepare new lifeguards for all aspects of their job, focusing on giving them all the knowledge and skills needed so they are ready once summer comes.

The lifeguards have already completed demanding physical skills assessment in testing conditions.

An extensive program has been developed in accordance with the ALS objective of providing well-trained, quality lifeguards to ensure a safe beach and aquatic environment. As the program is part of the final selection process for ongoing employment, it requires each probationary lifeguard to actively participate in all sessions and activities.

Sessions for the week include Beach Management and Public Safety, Advanced Emergency Care, Law Enforcement, Incident Control, Media Management, and Dealing with Hazardous Materials, and all participants will receive their Cert III in Aquatic Search & Rescue upon completion. Speakers from local councils and emergency services will deliver sessions on the Local Government Act, ambulance protocols and public relations.

‘The lifeguards will learn a lot over the next couple of days,’ said northern NSW lifeguard coordinator, Scott McCartney. ‘With briefings from some senior emergency services personnel that will improve not only the lifeguards but the safety of the beachgoing public.

‘During the testing process the lifeguards felt the pressure when pushed to the limit. We will continue to test their skills and their decision-making ability over the next couple of days.’

While the school gives the students the skills to work on the beach, senior lifeguards are assessing the candidates on their suitability to be appointed as an employed lifeguard.

‘We are assessing the students’ aptitude, personality, how they handle stressful situations and how they communicate with others,’ said McCartney. ‘Not only do we want lifeguards to be skilled rescuers but they must have the people skills to deal with many different situations. We also expect lifeguards to be wonderful ambassadors for their council and for surf life saving.’

Rookie lifeguards from Kempsey, Nambucca, Bellingen, Clarence Valley, Ballina, Byron and Tweed Shire Council will be in attendance.

For further comment please contact northern NSW lifeguard coordinator, Scott McCartney, on 0405 579 342.







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