SURFCOM — Protecting NSW’s coastal water users through intraoperability and interoperability
Friday 15 June: 10.00-10.30am
Andrew Ugarte — Duty Operations, Surf Life Saving NSW
Surf Life Saving NSW is one of the country’s largest and most active volunteer networks and the state’s peak water safety and rescue organisation.
Each summer over 21,000 members don the iconic red and yellow uniforms providing over 650,000 voluntary hours patrolling at 129 clubs, over 2130 kilometres of New South Wales coastline. A network of professional lifeguards and support operations including jetskis, inflatables, offshore boats and helicopters support lifesavers every day of the year.
All Surf Life Saving patrol, search and rescue operations are coordinated by the State Emergency Response System through the SLSNSW State Operations Centre at Belrose. It is also the point at which other emergency services, such as Water Police, Marine Rescue, Ambulance and Fire & Rescue, enlist the support of lifesaving assets. Manned 24 hours/365 days, this network of communications has been responsible for saving over 1000 lives since 2008. It is also responsible for collecting essential data used by government and other agencies in developing critical coastal-related policy.
This network is unique in its scope and reach across professionals, volunteers, all levels of government and the community on a limited budget reliant as much on business and individuals as government. As coordinator of this network, Andrew is well placed to relate the system of internal and external relationships and technology that make all this possible.