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Lifeguards skills put to the test

Surf Life Saving Queensland lifeguards from across the Wide Bay Capricorn region will be put through their paces today, undertaking fitness proficiency testing at Kelly’s Beach.

Lifeguards will be faced with both physical and mental challenges to ensure they remain ready to respond to various incidents that may occur on beaches from Yeppoon to Hervey Bay.

SLSQ Lifesaving Services Coordinator Julie Davis said proficiency testing was undertaken for water-based rescues, jet skis, first aid and advanced resuscitation, as well as other competencies.

“The assessment, combined with a rigorous training program, ensures the highest standard of competence is maintained by the lifeguards,” she said.

“The course includes both practical and theory elements, with the pilots putting their skills to the test on the final day when they demonstrate their flying ability.”

“Our beaches may be a little quieter this time of year, but it is essential that our lifeguards remain focused ahead of what will no doubt be another busy season across the region’s beaches.

“A range of complex rescue scenarios, including board and tube rescues, will test the guards’ physical and mental capabilities, ensuring each maintains a high level of fitness and emergency care skills.”

Ms Davis said the annual fitness proficiency testing also encouraged continuous improvement within the service.

“Many of our lifeguards have strong affiliations with surf lifesaving clubs, having begun as nippers, junior or senior surf lifesavers,” she said.

“This day also provides an opportunity to bring them together so they can gain knowledge from each other’s experiences.”

Around 40 lifeguards and trainee lifeguards will complete the testing, an annual requirement for guards employed by SLSQ’s Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS).

Bundaberg Regional Council recently renewed its relationship of more than 30 years with SLSQ, committing to continue funding until 2023 to ensure the continuation of vital services.

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