New technology and reporting processes being adopted by lifesavers across the state will help minimise incidents, educate beachgoers and, ultimately, save lives according to Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ).
Moving forward, all of SLSQ’s lifeguard and lifesaving services across the state will be equipped with iPads and iPhones to log any rescues and incidents in real-time into a central database monitored via SLSQ’s Surf Communications Centre (SurfCom).
Officially named the Lifesaving Incident Management System and Operational Console, or LIMSOC, the new system will have numerous benefits for both lifesavers and beachgoers alike, according to SLSQ operations support coordinator Jason Argent.
“With the new technology and procedures we’re able to monitor beach usage, rescue numbers, first aid treatments and any incidents as they unfold in real-time and, for us, the benefits of that are huge,” he said.
“At any given time it means that our SurfCom operators can use LIMSOC get a snapshot of exactly what’s happened on the beach that day, or even in the past five minutes, which will help us in terms of managing our assets and manpower, and proactively responding to any incidents.
“For example, if we see there have been a lot of rescues on a specific beach that day, we could use that information to proactively issue public warnings, alert the Westpac Helicopter to perform additional patrols in that area, or even instruct our lifeguards on-the-ground to close that particular location.
“It also gives us the opportunity to make quick and educated decisions about how best to use our resources during peak periods,” he said.
Coupled with SLSQ’s surf surveillance cameras, also monitored at SurfCom, the new technology will give SLSQ unprecedented access to real-time data and information from across all patrolled beaches along Queensland’s coastline.
“The benefits also extend well beyond what happens on the beach; moving forward we’ll be in a much better position to review where the majority of rescues are taking place and, in turn, educate members of the public about the best spots to swim,” Mr Argent said.
“We’ll also be able to monitor long-term trends when it comes to the rescues, first aid treatments and preventative actions being performed by our men and women on the beach and that will help us when it comes to reviewing our services and patrol times,” he said.