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New operations centre opened for Surf Life Saving NSW
Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) is expecting to be better prepared for the upcoming season after the official opening of the new state-of-the-art State Operations Centre in the Sydney suburb of Belrose.
The construction of the centre, funded by the NSW Government, ensures the state’s volunteer surf lifesavers are properly supported to patrol beaches and better equipped to respond to critical incidents and COVID-19 social distancing requirements this season.
In addition to providing greater coastal surveillance capability, faster response times and improved asset coordination, the new State Operations Centre will double as a back-up emergency management centre for the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA) and the North West Metropolitan Region.
The new State Operations Centre has been designed in consultation with other NSW emergency service organisations including the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service and builds upon learnings from the design of their emergency operations centres. Recent multi-agency emergency responses - including the response to the NSW bushfires in January - also helped inform the design of the new centre and how it can be used for maximum effectiveness for the protection of NSW communities.
The State Operations Centre will support beach patrols and emergency management at 129 Surf Life Saving Clubs across the State.
SLSNSW Chief Executive Steve Pearce said with more people expected on the coastline this summer, this new facility will be an important asset to responding to any emergencies.
Pearce added “with near record drownings last summer and a significant increase in boating fatalities, it's vital that our lifesavers have the best technology available to help save lives on the water.”
SLSNSW President George Shales said Surf Lifesavers will play a pivotal role in coordinating COVID-19 response over the summer months and the new State Operations Centre will be crucial in monitoring beach attendance.
Shales notes “with many more people expected to head to the coast this summer, we want to send a strong message to all beachgoers to respect the advice and direction of surf lifesavers and lifeguards - about beach safety social distancing requirements.”
Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott added “this facility will reduce response times, improve coordination between agencies and most importantly help keep everyone safe on our waterways.
“This $550,000 project, delivered on time and on budget as part of a $16 million investment into Surf Life Saving NSW over four years, will provide greater coastal surveillance and improved asset coordination.
“The 20,000 active surf lifesavers in NSW play an important role responding to emergencies and it is pleasing that they will now have the most up to date facility to assist them.”
The Surf Life Saving summer patrol season officially begins on Saturday 26th September.
Image: Left to right: SLSNSW Chief Executive Steven Pearce, NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott, SLSNSW President George Shales, SLSNSW Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman
9th September 2020 - Gold Coast inspires through their delivery of Surf Life Saving inclusivity
5th September 2020 - Surf Life Saving WA prepares for busy beaches with return of helicopter services
15th May 2020 - Development work to commence on Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club
27th March 2020 - Surf Life Saving NSW ends volunteer beach patrol season early
30th January 2020 - Surfing Australia set to launch new female participation program
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