From the start of the 2019-20 season, Surf Life Saving is recognised as an emergency service; this means we are now on a similar level to the SES. As part of this, we will be asked to assist with more emergencies and not just on the beach.
Previously our Call Out Team has been tasked with out of hours rescues or first aid situations on the beach. We will be now be asked to assist with other emergencies, often in conjunction with other emergency services.
Our first emergency call-out came on the 29 November when we were tasked to assist the Police and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) with a welfare check of those on the Northern Beaches who had been without power for several days due to a storm. This then continued onto 30 November where Surf Life Saving was again tasked with further assisting the Police and the RFS with welfare checks.
All the clubs on the Northern Beaches were asked to assist. However, Newport was well and truly represented on both days. Members were sent off in groups with a list of Northern Beaches residents who had registered medical equipment that required power for charging or operation as well as the elderly who are receiving care from community assistance programs.
During the door knocking welfare checks, Surf Life Saving members identified 18 people who required further assistance and support while they were living with no power and an additional four people who needed to be transferred to hospital as they weren’t coping at home without electricity.
A huge thank you goes to the Newport members who assisted with the welfare checks including Kieran Menzies, Adrian Hill, Jess Menzies, Matt Pacey, Carolyn Hayes, Tony Hayes, Sally Chockman, Marvin Smith, Paul Jacobsen, Steve Middleton, Ray Bratton, Phoebe Savage, Jill Matthews, Leanne Pate and Pete Euers.
If you receive further messages regarding emergency call outs and are able to respond or assist, please follow the instructions given in the SMS or email. Our Newport Emergency Call Out Team will receive further information and training for emergency situations in the New Year.