February 6 - 12, 2022: Issue 525


Trauma Kits Presented to 15 NSW Boardrider Clubs at australian boardriders battle final

L-R : North Narrabeen Boardriders, Kingscliff Boardriders, Avoca Boardriders, North Shelly (Central Coast) Boardriders, Maroubra United Boardriders, Coffs Harbour Boardriders, Jones Beach Boardriders, Cronulla Boardriders, Merewether Boardriders, Avalon (NASA - North Avalon Surfriders Association), Matt Lawson - Surfing NSW, Surfers Rescue 24/7 Coordinator

15 New South Wales boardrider clubs were presented with state-of-the-art trauma first aid kits on Saturday February 5th, as part of a collaborative project between Surfing NSW and the NSW State Government. The presentation coincided with the Australian Boardriders Battle Final at Newcastle Beach. The boardrider clubs included North Avalon, North Narrabeen, Long Reef and North Steyne.

The custom kits, which are designed for use in the event of an immediate, life-threatening trauma incident were designed in collaboration with Surfing NSW staff, and include equipment to deal with immediate trauma, bleeding control, hypothermia, fracture management and minor wounds.

“Surfers are often the first to respond to surf-zone incidents at unpatrolled or regional beaches and in many of these cases, every second counts,” said Matt Lawson, Surfers Rescue 24/7 Coordinator at Surfing NSW. 

“Providing these specialised trauma kits and training across 190 locations in NSW will save lives. If immediate first aid is required as a result of a shark attack, fin chop, or propeller injury we can help to reduce serious injury or preserve life while paramedics are on the way," Mr. Lawson said.

The trauma kits have been developed by TacMed Paramedics and Military Medics with approved equipment used by military, law enforcement and ambulance agencies globally. 

An online training course will supplement the kits to ensure all locations personnel are competent in using the equipment. 

Additionally, all surfers in NSW have access to free first aid training through the Surfers Rescue 24/7 program where they can learn how to perform lifesaving water rescue techniques and CPR. 

The initiative has been funded by the NSW Government in an Australian-first for shark incident response as part of NSW Government’s 2021-22 Shark Management Program that includes:

  • The largest fleet of shark-spotting drones across 50 beaches
  • 37 VR4G listening stations to detect tagged sharks
  • 170 SMART drumlines
  • The continuation of 51 shark nets between Newcastle and Wollongong 
  • The SharkSmart app, community awareness and education programs and shark research

The initiative was announced in November 2021 at Manly beach.

The lifesaving technology and custom first aid kits and training specific to shark attacks is being deployed to more than 160 boardrider clubs, surf schools and high-performance coaches at beaches along the NSW coastline, in this Australian-first for shark incident response.

You can find out more about the Surfers Rescue 24/7 program at www.surfersrescue247.com

Photo: Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden announcing the new initiative at Manly Beach alongside former Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall and Member for Manly James Griffin. Photo: Ethan Smith /Surfing NSW