Volunteer Profile: Jessica Sincock
Lorne SLSC volunteer Jessica Sincock is proof that even if you don’t like nippers, just keep going and you never know where lifesaving will lead you! This is now Jessica’s tenth season of patrolling and she has performed many rescues, as well as competing in the recent IRB World Championship event (coming fourth in the world in one of her events), working as a lifeguard on the Surf Coast and balancing her aquatic work with nursing and midwifery. This is Jessica’s lifesaving story:
Volunteer Roles: Chief Instructor, IRB Co-Captain, Patrol Captain, IRB Race Team Manager
Current Club: Lorne SLSC
How long have you been involved in Surf Lifesaving?
I started nippers in the Under 10s in 2003 and continued through all the age groups. I didn’t particularly enjoy nippers, but in the Under 13s I thoroughly enjoyed learning CPR and about rips and so that really kept me hooked to do Bronze Camp in 2009 when I was 15. This is going to be my 10th season of patrolling, and I still love it!
What made you become involved in Surf Lifesaving?
I was lucky enough to spend my summers in Lorne and my parents thought it would be a good learning experience for me to join Nippers. Little did I know that it would lead me to all the opportunities I have now!
What are some of your responsibilities at your club?
I am currently Chief Instructor, so I have been running Bronze and Silver camps, SRC and any other awards the club has decided to run. I am also IRB captain so that involves ensuring that the IRBs and equipment are ready for patrols. It has also meant that I have joined the Lorne IRB racing team and was also the team manager on our recent trip to the Lifesaving World Championships. During patrol season I am also a patrol captain, and so I help my patrol to make decisions and lead them during rescues, first aids and emergencies.
What do you enjoy most about Surf Lifesaving?
I think what I enjoy most about Surf Lifesaving, is the meeting of new people and making of new friends. Some of my best friends now are from Lifesaving. I also enjoy how most of the time I am outside and in the water. I really enjoy being able to teach others and show them any skills I have learnt over the years I have been in Lifesaving.
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering?
I really try to show them how fun it is and how lovely the people you meet are. I also love explaining how lifesaving can benefit other aspects of your life such as your career, personal development and leadership opportunities.
What is your greatest achievement in Surf Lifesaving so far?
My best achievement in the Lifesaving side would have to be captaining my patrol to Best Patrol of the Season in 2017/18! I really love my patrol and have been with them since I did Bronze, so it was super special to achieve this. Then at the Lifesaving World Championships, I was in our Lorne IRB Men’s Teams Rescue that came fourth in the world. We were all super stoked that all our efforts and cold morning training sessions paid off.
What types of rescues have you been involved in?
Most of the rescues I have done have been in an IRB. Last week I did a mass rescue in the IRB with one of the Lifeguards who was working. Three teenagers from London got stuck in a rip, the lifeguards working asked me to assist in rescuing them. Luckily all three boys were fine!
What’s been the most surprising part of being a volunteer with your club?
I think the most surprising part would be the opportunities available to me. I had no idea what I could achieve through lifesaving, everything has been so fun and taught me so much. I also think it has lead me down this career path (midwifery and nursing), which I’d never really thought about.
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy?
Outside of lifesaving I am a Registered Midwife and currently completing my Nursing Degree. I also do a fair bit of nannying during the semester, and over summer I get to do my favourite job ever of Beach and RWC (jetski) Lifeguarding. I play footy for Old Camberwell back in Melbourne, it keeps me fit and entertained during winter!
What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you?
‘If you’re not sure, just ask!’
A lot of my jobs involve looking after people and ensuring they’re safe, if I am not sure of something or I do something wrong, people can be seriously hurt or worse. SO my favourite advice I’ve been told, and I always tell those I teach is to never be afraid to ask questions!