Those curious about the behind-the-scenes communications operations of Surf Life Saving on the Gold Coast will have the opportunity to experience the regional SurfCom centre at an Open Day on Saturday 21 February.
Radio operators will be on hand to showcase the central hub of intelligence for lifesaving patrols, equipped with state-of-the-art technology to connect beach patrols and emergency services across the coast.
Surf Life Saving Queensland Gold Coast regional manager Lachlan Sherrington said the Open Day is an opportunity to experience the fast-paced communications arm of Surf Life Saving which many overlook.
“We see surf lifesavers on the beach in the red and yellow, but not many people are aware of the extremely hardworking and dedicated volunteers who spend their weekends and public holidays patrolling the airwaves,” Mr Sherrington said.
“We’re always on the lookout for more members to join SurfCom and assist with critical radio operations, including assisting in the coordination of rescue communications, and contacting emergency services as well as the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.”
Surf lifesavers at SurfCom coordinate patrols, task emergency services, and track what’s happening along the expansive coastline using cutting edge technology (including GPS tracking systems for all lifesaving craft, UHF and VHF radio frequencies, and voice recognition data recording), and operate a surf safety camera surveillance system.
As well as showcasing SurfCom’s operations and facilities, the Open Day will culminate in a dedication ceremony of the new David Irvine Room, named in honour of the late David Irvine, Life Member of Northcliffe SLSC, South Coast Branch and Surf Life Saving Queensland.
“David worked tirelessly for many years maintaining communications at branch, state and national Surf Life Saving carnivals. He instructed countless members in their radio awards, and was a mentor to many,” Mr Sherrington said.
Gold Coast SurfCom is located at 178 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach. Open Day activities begin from 2pm, with the David Irvine Room dedication ceremony commencing at 4pm.