Rhys Drury has embraced the new smart phone technology
Rhys Drury has embraced the new smart phone technology Warren Lynam

Lifesavers take iPhones to beach for work, not Pokemon

SURF Lifesavers and lifeguards will be taking their iPads and iPhones to the beach as the rescue service embraces new technology to help save lives.

Surf Lifesaving Queensland (SLSQ) has equipped all lifeguard services across the Sunshine Coast and Noosa with the smart technology to log any rescues and incidents in real-time into a central database monitored via SLSQ's Surf Communications Centre.

This will replace the pen-and-paper system of recording information used by lifesavers since the service first started in Queensland decades earlier

SLSQ operations support coordinator Jason Argent believed the new system, officially named Lifesaving Incident Management System and Operational Console or LIMSOC, wouldn't only streamline paperwork, it could minimise incidents, educate beach-goers and, ultimately, save lives.

"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 our SurfCom operators can use LIMSOC to get 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 pro-actively responding to any incidents.

"If we see there have been a lot of rescues on a specific beach that day, we could use that information to pro-actively 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."

Sunshine Coast lifeguard Rhys Drury has been using the new system for several weeks already and found it was making life easier.

"It is also good as it means we will use less paper, which has to be good for the environment," Mr Drury 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 on the Sunshine Coast.

"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 educate 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 be help us when it comes it comes to reviewing our services and patrol times," he said

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