Life Saving Victoria’s Risk & Research area may be just one part of the organisation, but the work it does is central to LSV’s mission to prevent aquatic related death and injury, with many organisation-wide and real-world impacts.
LSV’s Research team conducts research, monitoring and evaluation to build and maintain an evidence base for drowning and injury prevention activities in lifesaving operations, the aquatic industry and wider community.
The Risk & Research team’s findings are shared locally, nationally and globally at conferences, including the World Conference on Drowning Prevention, and the team are well-renowned in the international water safety industry.
The team also publishes the annual Victorian Drowning Report, released each December during Water Safety Week, using this data to identify changing trends and the groups, locations, activities and regions that are at higher risk of drowning compared to others.
Typically, if there is an increase in the drowning rate in one region, the area will be targeted for future education and awareness programs which can be tailored to coastal or inland regions. The area can also be targeted with tailored water safety messages via the media, which is critical to communicating important health and safety messages to mass audiences.
Data from the Victorian Drowning Report is also used to feed in the Victorian Government’s Play it Safe by The Water (PISBTW) campaign and national water safety strategies to reduce the drowning toll.
A critical part of the Research team’s work includes the evaluation of LSV programs and the work it does – identifying gaps in service delivery and looking at cost benefit ratios in particular – to ensure LSV delivers quality, effective, enjoyable programs that meet community and member needs.
Ongoing evaluations, such as the LSV Sport review conducted from 2018-20, have allowed the Research team to glean insights as to how LSV Carnivals are meeting member expectations.
The 2018-20 Sport review found people were satisfied with the level of communication and information they had coming from LSV about carnivals and also helped monitor the trend, typical of many sports, for a drop off in Youth participation in Under 14s and Under 15s.
Such findings help to paint a picture of where to focus efforts to continually improve Carnivals, particularly around member satisfaction, experience and retention.
Other important projects the team has underway include the Lifesaving Capability and Resourcing Review (LCARR) – which has a focus on how LSV should evolve to meet the changing needs of community, government and our volunteers. The results of this major research project, which is significant for the future of the organisation, are to be released in coming months.
With this in mind, the stories in this month’s eNews highlight some of the different ways LSV research is helping to prevent future drowning deaths and injuries and contributing to the organisation’s ability to become better and more efficient at what we do.
Enjoy and until next month, stay safe.