Behind the lifesavers who patrol the red and yellow flags is Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV’s) communications team, who are always just one phone call away from every rescue or first aid incident that occurs on the beach.
Being lifesavers and lifeguards themselves, LSV’s comms agents are critical in supporting lifeguards, volunteer life saving clubs and LSV’s wider operations including the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service
Every August, LSV opens applications for new people to join the LSV comms team. But what does an average day in this diverse role look like?
As with every day on the beach for patrol, every day in the LSV comms team is different, from phoning Ambulance Victoria to assist an injured beachgoer, working with the Bureau of Meteorology to identify potential risks to patrol teams to collaborating with government departments to investigate aquatic wildlife reports and coordinating major emergencies.
Being in the LSV comms team presents the opportunity to support lifesaving and water safety at a state level and can be a pathway for opportunities to take on more senior state roles such as State Duty Officer or Emergency Management Liasion Officer.
Previous LSV comms agents have also used their experience to enter other areas of emergency services such as Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, State Emergency Service and the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (triple zero).
Team member Madi Allen said her favourite part of the role is her connection with all Victorian life saving clubs and the wider emergency services sector.
“LSV comms agents are tuned into all 57 of Victoria’s volunteer life saving clubs’ patrol radios, as well as the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service and LSV’s rescue water craft (RWC) service, so we are a part of the action to incidents as they occur on the beach as a form of support for those on the front line,” she said.
“We are a part of every radio conversation and on standby for patrols to support them in the vital role they play in ensuring water safety.
“When you’re a volunteer lifesaver or working as a lifeguard on the beach, you’re generally focussed solely on your beach, but having the LSV comms team there keeping an eye out on everything happening at a state level is great because you know that someone is looking out for you and has got your back.”
Ms Allen also enjoys the comradery of the role, not only within the LSV comms team but between the 57 individual life saving clubs.
“It’s really motivating when one club is on the radios dealing with an incident and as the comms agent you can hear other clubs in their area seeing what they can do to assist and what resources they need.
“We are all from different clubs, but we all have the same mission, which is to prevent aquatic-related death and injury in all Victorian communities.”
LSV will be advertising positions for LSV’s communications operators on our website and social media channels for the upcoming season soon.